In 2005, when he was a student at Delft University of Technology, Gerwin Hoogendoorn came up with an invention that permanently changed the world of umbrellas. After watching a number of umbrellas fall apart from wind damage, he designed a prototype that was resistant to heavy wind gusts. In 2006, he involved two friends in his invention and they subsequently brought their prototype to market. Things took off from there. The company won multiple design awards and now operates in over 50 countries. While umbrellas still constitute the bulk of the business, handbags and scarves have been added to the collection as well. The entire collection is available at www.senz.com.
As is the case with many popular brands, s e n z ̊ has spent significant time and energy on developing its name and logo. CEO Peter Albrecht finds this effort to be more than worth its while. “Our name, the small circle in our logo and the umbrella icon together form a winning combination.” The word ‘senz’ reflects three different features. First and foremost, it stands for the sensibleness of our umbrellas. Our umbrellas are certainly sensible because they are highly durable – hence sustainable; they rarely end up in the trash bin. As for the second feature, Peter Albrecht says: “Our umbrellas need to be held loosely so they can move with the wind. They sense the motion of the wind and could even be described as ‘sensitive’.”
The third feature ‘senz’ stands for is perhaps the most spectacular one: the umbrellas are resistant to wind gusts of up to 100 kilometres per hour. This can rightly be called senzational. And then there is the small circle in the logo and the umbrella icon. The umbrella icon needs no further explanation, but what does the small circle stand for? When you see the logo, you can feel right away that the circle is indispensable. How does that work? Peter Albrecht: “That circle is a degree sign. It signifies that our umbrellas can be used in all kinds of weather conditions. Not only in the rain, but also in good weather. In countries such as China and Japan, people use our umbrellas to protect themselves against the sun.”
The future looks bright for s e n z ̊ thanks to its high-quality products and good reputation. The Delft-based company is ready to conquer the world. To do so, they need proper brand protection. Just like other successful brands, s e n z ̊ faces its fair share of brand piracy. The company is highly vigilant against piracy and always takes action against brand infringement. Peter Albrecht: “Everyone in our team is extremely proud of what we do. If you mess with our brand, you mess with us.”
Protecting your trademark is a must for all companies. But what makes a mark? How do they come about and what do they mean for the trademark owner and most importantly; what do they represent? In this column, we will give you some insight in the fascinating stories behind trademarks. In this feature: s e n z ̊.