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The ‘Brandfather’ inspires budding entrepreneurs at Alliance Manchester Business School

University of Manchester alumnus, John Murphy, founder of Interbrand and dubbed the ‘Brandfather’ spoke at the latest Entrepreneurs@Manchester event hosted by the Masood Enterprise Centre.

John founded Interbrand in London in 1974, initially as a name creation business, but increasingly John came to realise that they were creators of brands and introduced the term ‘branding’; now a key marketing and business discipline.

John was at the forefront of the branding revolution in the mid 1970’s when he asked the previously unheard question… ‘What’s in a brand name?’ Realising how little time companies spent on naming their products, John asked clients such as Ford, Nestlé, BA and AMEX to describe the persona of their products. This revolutionary approach, combined with defining the differentiator, became the origins of Interbrand.

Addressing a packed audience in Alliance MBS, John spoke about the natural transition of his first entrepreneurial journey, highlighting the importance of spotting opportunities and running with them. John told the audience; “a client once asked us if we could design their logo and as a result the next chapter of our journey began.” Bringing together three disparate elements of name creation, trademarking and graphic design, John developed a new business discipline, “the branding business.”

He also stressed the importance of surrounding yourself with a great team when building your start-up – people who were able to think on their feet. “Be bold and go for it” was John’s take away tip for the audience of budding entrepreneurs. The man behind the naming of so many products also stressed the importance of not bringing in too many people at the start; and of creating a solid business plan that will achieve sustainable growth for the company.

John Murphy was speaking at the Entrepreneurs@Manchester speaker series organised by the Masood Enterprise Centre and supported by a2e Industries.

Our next guest for the E@M speaker series on the 12th November is Josephine Fairley, co-founder of Green & Black’s – a chocolate brand now approaching £100 million a year. You can register for your place here.

The Masood Enterprise Centre is the focal point for enterprise and entrepreneurship programmes for students, graduates and staff and our aim is to encourage and support the growth of start-up businesses across the Campus.

Watch John's top tips for entrepreneurs >>