I am Ville Vahteri – an entrepreneur, writer, runner, and Aalto alumnus from Helsinki. At Aalto University I majored in marketing, with a focus on brands. For my minors I chose management, visual communications, and philosophy. While on exchange I studied communications, and international business. I began my studies in 2012 and graduated in 2018.
Why did you want to study marketing?
Originally, I was supposed to become an architect. I wanted to design something big, visual, experiential, and impactful. In the entrance examinations I fell short of that path by one point, but I was more successful in the business and economics exam. I was accepted into the School of Business and chose marketing as my major – which bore at least some resemblance to architecture. So, instead of designing buildings and landscapes, I started studying the design of mental images – brands.
How’s your career path been?
My career path has been experimental, winding, and one that follows my own interests. Although I am usually very calculating and deliberate in my decisions, I have trusted my intuition when taking on jobs, and have been very quick to grasp onto opportunities. This might not look good on a CV, but it has felt good to me.
During my studies I worked in sales and marketing, but the most excited I was about organising the startup event Slush. First, I worked as a volunteer and a team leader, then continued as the Head of Volunteers, and finally worked on the year-round marketing team in 2016-17. Before we founded our own brand company with that same team, I had worked at two slightly more focused agencies as a marketer and as a writer.
You are one of the founders of the brand company Bou. What does Bou do, how was it born, and how did you end up in it?
The idea of founding a brand company – or agency if you will – started forming when the Slush CEO was asked on morning TV about which agencies Slush uses for its brand building. She answered that we have our own small team for that. At that moment, we realised that there might be larger demand for our skills and expertise. Encouraged by that realisation, we closed our first customer, and in January 2019 we became full-time entrepreneurs.
Bou builds brands through marketing, communications, design, and development. This means that we specialise in a brand as a whole – not exclusively on one of its aspects.
In practice we can design a visual identity for a company, product, or service, code a website that follows it, write correctly toned content on the pages, direct the target audience to the site with an advertising campaign, and get featured in international media through PR. When one and the same agency can do all of this, the desired brand image is communicated effectively and consistently.
Although our brands vary from quantum computers to coffee roasteries and the public sector, we focus primarily on serving the European technology field. From there our founding team has grown together, and from there we can find a huge amount of potential solutions to the most serious problems facing the world. These companies deserve to be heard, remembered, and admired.
We have noticed that Bou's service model and tech-focused positioning work excellently. So far we have worked already with more than 70 brands, and by the end of the year, the size of our team will grow to double digits – assuming that we find the right talents by then.