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Steve Jobs: The Man Behind the Brand

On the month that marks the second anniversary since Steve Jobs' passing, blogger Edgar Estévez reflects on the influence and legacy Apple's main man left to the marketing world...  

Young Steve Jobs

An entrepreneur, an innovator, an inventor, a visionary…  a genius. These are just some of the adjectives used to describe Steve Jobs, a man whose path was never predictable. He was given up for adoption at birth, he dropped out of college after only one semester and at the age of 20 co-founded Apple, currently one of the most valuable companies in the world.

There is no doubt that Steve Jobs created a revolution. As one of the top pioneers on the personal computer and electronics field, his impeccable taste and sense of style made him push all market boundaries, transforming one industry after another - from computers, to smart phones, to music and even animated films.

It’s been two years since he passed away and we still remember him as the very soul of the organization he helped create. His aggressive and demanding personality made him a perfectionist, always aspiring to be one step ahead of the industry and setting the market trends in innovation and design. But most importantly, he impregnated his passion for simplicity and top-notch quality into the company’s organizational culture, making this one of the key components of Apple’s sustaining performance and competitive advantage - percieved upon entering any Apple store in the world or simply by opening the box of any Apple product for the first time… It’s almost like a ritual!

As a marketer, Steve Jobs was a natural. He was driven by his obsession and love for his products, and made it a personal mission to have an impact in people’s lives. Not only did he invent great things, he also made the consumers feel emotionally attached to the brand at the point of turning them into passionate advocates of Apple. They don't think of themselves as consumers, but in turn members of a movement, a mission, something larger than themselves. He helped build mystery and expectation around product launches, always generating buzz and suspense before unveiling some amazing new gadget, making consumers and specially the competition go mad with speculation.  Jobs was also not afraid to go big, as pointed out on, and one great example was the widely known 1984 “Think Different” commercial for the new Macintosh, where he hired Ridley Scott, director of Alien and Blade Runner, and spent around $1.7 million ($3.4 million today) between producing the ad and running it one time during the Super Bowl. This was a huge risk for the company, especially since it wasn't clear that the ad would succeed, but it paid off. The ad generated as much coverage as the Macintosh itself.

No doubt that Steve Jobs is a tough act to follow and the company is not only facing  new challenges in the market but also trying to continue his legacy. So, how is Apple doing today? According to a study conducted by Interbrand Corp. on the Top 100 brands this past September, Apple has unseated Coca-Cola as the world’s No. 1 brand with a brand value of $98.3 billion, 28% more than last year. 

Still, some say that the brand is losing its magic. Some of the latest product innovation hasn’t raised the bar high enough for competitors and for consumers, who are always expecting big things from Apple. Many of the brand’s major products are facing increased competition from Samsung’s top-selling Galaxy phones, Amazon’s Kindle tablet reader and Spotify’s music service - and still the company keeps innovating around the same things - which is probably not innovating at all. The brand may be loosing its momentum, but they still have time to turn things around. After all, Apple is a very strong brand and the most profitable technology company there is, generating $41.7 billion last year. And even more importantly, they still have the consumer’s trust, since the popular perception is that “Apple could do no wrong”.

Most recently, the company appointed former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts as their new SVP of Retail and Online Stores, which many industry experts are saying is one of the company’s best decisions so far, since she is likely to bring a fresh leadership focus to Apple and complement well with current CEO Tim Cook to bring the brand up to the next level with breakthrough innovative products in new categories, allowing Apple to become the outstanding company of this decade. 

 Before you finish reading I wanted to leave you with the 10 things I have personally learned from Steve Jobs as a marketer myself. Additionally, here's a small fragment from a PBS documentary of 1994, which for me, perfectly reflects the way he saw and lived his life. Enjoy!

10 things I’ve learned from Steve Jobs as a marketer:

  1. Innovate.
  2. Time to market is crucial.
  3. Simple is always better.
  4. Failure is part of the process. The most important thing is knowing how to stand up again.
  5. Tenacity and hard work always pays off.
  6. Be curious.
  7. Stay focused.
  8. Pay attention to details.
  9. It’s ok to go a little crazy sometimes.
  10. Don’t be afraid to think different.

Steve Jobs on 'One Last Thing', a PBS documentary: 

“ When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money.

That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is - everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.

The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it.

I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again."

Advertising Week with United: DAY 4


Applying big data

Alfonso Marian Chief Creative Officer / OgilvyOne New York | Ben Edwards VP, Global Communications & Digital Marketing / IBM | Dimitri Maex Managing Director / OgilvyOne New York | Melissa Grady VP, eBusiness / MetLife | Mike Berrett Managing Director of Communications Planning / Heat | Todd Cullen Global Chief Data Officer / Ogilvy & Mather

As the business world relies more on data, is creativity in advertising in danger? This panel of executives shared the benefits of involving quantitative information for good creative.

Why is data suddenly good for the creative process? According to our panelists, data enables brands to focus and run tests that help create better campaigns, with far less risk. It also provides information on how to improve what they’re already doing, and to do things that they are currently not doing. Quantitative information is key for good creative.

Organizations with this mindset need to be more agile, quicker in listening and using insights. It’s not just about using data, but also acting upon them, and fast.

In this data driven world, data can help us understand emotions for campaigns that outperform any other. Never has the client – agency relationship been closer; we now speak the same language.


Retail remixed

Catherin Taber CEO / SparkFly | John Dee President / PlaceWise Media | John Roswech CRO / HookLogic | Matt Plumber VP, Business Development / Kuapay, Inc. | Rick Chavez Chief Solutions Officer, Microsoft Advertising | Tim Dunn Director of Mobile / Roundarch Isobar

During this panel, retailers discussed the major challenges and opportunities that they face in today’s digital world: What are we selling? What are people buying? How are people going to find our products and how are they going to buy them? Answering these questions is crucial when you want to be ahead of the game.

Providers and brands are pivotal to moving products for scale. Collaboration in the retail business has never been more important and the consumer decision journey is key in order to measure each step of the way.

Fundamentals that are vital to good a retail strategy:

  • Embrace technology: now, more than ever, retailers have morphed into publishers and technology companies.
  • Leverage your data and share it with your team players.
  • Tie your mobile applications to your in-store experience
  • Create a full shopping experience
  • Run experiments and learn from them.
  •  Ask people for information in order to get feedback on their brand experience.


Changing the rules

Chris Scharaft President, Content Solutions / Time Inc. |  Noah Garden EVP Commerce and Sponsorship / MLB Advanced Media | Paul Marcum Director of Global Digital Marketing & Programming / GE | Seth Rogin Chief Revenue Officer / Mashable 

Media companies and brands are the same business: the business of telling stories that influence behavior and change minds. Understanding a consumer’s journey is a key in order to leverage opportunities of having a voice during each step of the way.

Campaigns have evolved as the media industry has transformed with new players such as digital and social. Publishers, brands and agencies need to rise above the noise, and create strategies to make brands a part of people’s conversation. Brands need to see themselves a publishers that awaken respect, value and trust from customers.

From the advertisers side, engagement has become more about relevancy and content. Even banners can become platforms for interaction. But what works on one social platform does not necessarily works on another platform. A big mistake is to think that information and content works the same in every place, which results in standardizing the information. From an ROI perspective, each social platform works differently. They are all social, but they are all different. What you need to do it set up a different goal per platform to get the return on your investment. Don’t measure them the same way.

Brand storytelling is a great build brand awareness and to deliver the equity that through the years your brand has accomplished. Get content and then share it. Content is king, and distribution is queen - and she wears the pants. Get partners to get your message out there.

What does it take for a person to want to share branded content? If you’re a brand and if you’re going to create content, you need a consumer centric approach that considers:

  • The channels in which they consume content
  • The information they want to consume
  • What is interesting to them - the source of the content or the content itself?
  • Content that inspires credibility
  • Create content that people think their friends are going to like it.
  • Add value

“This age demands constant reinvention. You can’t just reinvent and go ‘Phew, I’m glad that’s over.’”


People as brands

Erica Domesek Founder / P.S. - I made this… |  Fat Jew Content Creator / Thrillist |  James Borrow Co-Founder and CEO / SHIFT | Jason Stein Founder & President / Laundry Service |  Jo Zablud Director, Social Media / Audible, Inc. | Liz Eswein Co-Founder / @NewYorkCity

Nowadays, thanks to platforms such as social media, individuals can be influential and serve as media outlets for brands. Entrepreneurs in this sector have learned to be curators and monetize their online presence.

This panel of individuals embraced technology and became become icons in the world of online with a personality, tone and a voice.

How do they communicate genuinely with the people that follow them?

  • They create interesting and relevant content
  • The communicate authentically
  • They target people who share their interests

Brands need to treat social with the respect and financial support that it needs and leverage off people that have equity on these online platforms.


Line is it

Adam Pincus Founder and Director / MediaCom Beyond Advertising | Alexandra Bruell Reporter / Advertising Age | Benny Lawrence Manager, Media-Brand Innovation / Audi of America |  Erin McPherson VP and Head of Video Programming & Originals / Yahoo!

Storytelling - the industry’s new buzzword. Sales and marketing is being redefined as brands ask themselves: who’s story do we tell? The customers or ours? Do users want to be entertained with a great story or be part of it?

Agency and media executives, reporters and brand managers discussed the challenges in storytelling and how data is enabling new methods of sharing content. Feedback, for one, plays an important role as a channel to find out if people are getting the message and if they like what brands are trying to say.

Consumers are getting bombarded with content.  Successful brands master the marriage of content and technology. Content is better because there is more and better data to inform the creative process. We can use data to know what our audience is looking for. It’s art and science.

Native advertising allows brands to work side by side with digital and social.

Challenges through the process:

  • Listening to clients
  • Failing fast and fixing fast
  • Time
  • Money



Elliot Lum VP, Strategic Marketing / Columbia Records Creative Agency |  Glenn Johnson Co-Founder / RTCMG |  Nathan Coyle EVP, Head Business Development / Refinery 29 |  Ron Farris Founder / CEO of Virgin Special Projects / Virgin |  Stephanie Paciullo Agent, Commercial Endorsements / Creative Artists Agency |  Todd English Founder & CEO / Todd English Enterprises

The business between brands, agencies and celebrities is evolving and the message to the consumer has to be authentic. Industry executives got together for a discussion on how the work between brand, agencies and celebrities is evolving and the message to the consumer needs to be. What are the other key factors to success, and how do you cultivate them?

Very few marketers are willing to take a level of risk when it comes to embracing emotional on social media but as long as that celebrity is transmitting the same values as the brand, a strong idea can become a very lucrative business.

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Advertising Week with United: DAY 2


 Creative Leadership

John Norman CCO/ TBWA\Chiat\Day LA | John Patroulis CCO / BBH New York | Mark Fitzloff Global Executive Creative Director / Wieden + Kennedy | Paul Venables Founder & Executive Creative Director / Venables Bell + Partners | Rei Inamoto CCO / AKQA | Ted Royer CCO / Droga 5

You can’t have the best restaurant in the world without a great chef. The same principle applies to agencies and their creative teams. In today’s world, coupling the power of creativity is more important than ever. For that matter, top creative executives met for a deep discussion on how best to develop creative leaders in the current realm of advertising.

When it comes to being a leader, harnessing human values is of utmost importance.  Soft skills are hard to develop. Sincerity, respect, sympathy, empathy and honesty are just few of the characteristics make a good trailblazer, and simply put, some people have them and some people don’t.

Exceptional creative leaders all share similar traits that set them apart from everyone else:

  • They provide inspiration to their team.
  • They get out of their chair and talk to people
  • They are as excited with their work as his/her team
  • They feel ownership of the brand
  • They build a one-on-one relationship with their clients
  • They understand the needs and problems of their team and client better than anyone else
  • They adapt and evolve 

In the end, being a good leader boils down to this epic phrase:

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou


The brand as an experience

Dan Hirsch Founder & CEO / On Board Experiential Marketing | Ed Cotton Dir. Of Strategy & Innovation / Butler, Shines, Stern & Partners | Hosi Simon Global General Manager / VICE | James L. McDowell VP / MINI

What good is your brand if it doesn’t evoke an experience? Executives from the world’s most creative brands – MINI, Intel and Nike – came together for a panel on how to engage with clients in new and creative ways.

Campaigns may come and go, but in today’s world, brands should strive to focus on creating movements and memories. Emotions and experience are part of the things people carry for the rest of their lives. Brands such as Nike, for instance, base their vision on elevating the experience of the athlete. Authenticity is a key aspect when it comes to creating a brand experience. Ask yourself,  “Is there a real reason why the client is using the product at that particular moment?” Brands that will succeed in the future will harness this power and add the extra value to people’s life.

Digital platforms such as social media are excellent opportunities to ignite conversations revolving a product that often lead to one of the most powerful assets a brand could have: a community. Creating an environment suitable for user-generated content is the ideal scenario that not only provides a snapshot, but an ongoing story with people.



Alexi Glick CEO / GENYouth Foundation | Elizabeth Harz VP, Business Development / Chegg | Jennifer Enderlin Sr. Project Mgr. Philanthropy / AT&T Foundation

Marketing for millennials - also known as ‘Generation Y’ - sounds a lot easier that it actually is.  Today’s “made-to-order generation” has become a influential target studied by marketers, one that posses a very specific set of characteristics:

  • They are architects their own education
  • They custom craft their media consumption (they decide which emails to open, which apps to download, which brands to follow and even which ads to watch / search for on Youtube.)
  • They build brand relationships in whichever way they want
  • They spend 47 media hours a week on mobile phones
  • They do things on their own terms, whenever they want
  • 84% have smartphones
  • 34% have tablets
  • 61% follow a brand on social media

When it comes to students, brands need to earn their business and trust. It’s not just about the product; it’s what the organization does behind the scenes.  But most of all, 80% of the people under this target remembers the ads that made them laugh – ads that were authentic, entertaining, unexpected and inspiring.

Engagement that works is based on:

  • Product sampling
  • Special discounts
  • Personalized messaging
  • Loyalty rewards
  • Insider apps
  • Real time consumer care


Award winning creativity

Matthew Quint Director, Center on Global Brand Leadership / Columbia Business School

When it comes to creativity, the advertising industry has basically established that thinking outside the box is the best way to boost good ideas. In this seminar, Matthew Quint challenges us to see how thinking ‘inside the box’ can actually inspire innovation and creativity.

Betty Crocker’s cake mix and the Walkman – products that were both created by thinking inside the box – came to life by modifying or adapting existing qualities or ideas for new opportunities.

So how can constraint inspire creativity?  Research shows that award-winning creativity can be crafted from well-defined frameworks.

These “design structures” can be divided into:


  • Unification- when the medium mixes with the message
  • Activation- doing something that unites with the medium and the audience
  • Metaphor- using the brand to deliver the message in a sarcastic way
  • Subtraction – removing the product from the medium


  • Extreme consequences: using the product to illustrate something drastic that’s happening
  • Absurd alternative: illustrating something ridiculous in an ad
  • Inversion: illustrating the problems of not using the product
  • Extreme effort: illustrating some extreme deed in the ad in order to be funny. 


 The new creative director

Diane Jackson EVP, Dir. of Integrated Production / DDB Chicago | Helayne Spivak Director/ VCU Brandcenter | Joe Alexander CCO / The Martin Agency | Paul Lavoie Chairman & Cofounder / Taxi | Susan Credle CCO / Leo Burnett |Ty Montague Co-CEO / Co Collective

What does the new Creative Director look like?

Over the last few years, with the transition of communication towards multiple platforms, creative directors now look at ideas in a completely different way. Their focus on execution has been transformed into strategy, as mediums have become holistic communication platforms. The world of advertising spots has evolved into conversations.

In light of that, directors are now acquiring a broader spectrum of skill sets as they learn to work with bigger teams and adapt to building brands based on big data and analytics. Technology, consumer intelligence and collaboration are more important than ever.

Thinking about why you are creating something and why would anyone want to see it and use it, is vital.  Strategy is the first part of good creative work. Getting the right people around the table is essential in order to execute that strategy. In businesses, we’ve gone from a 'baton-pass' in terms of work, to teamwork. Everything is collaboration.


 Big ideas

Amy Hodgings – Carvajal SVP, Creative Director / Publicis Kaplan Thaler | Conor Brady Chief Creative Office / HUGE |  Gary Koepke Chief Creative Officer, North America / SapientNitro | Reid Miller ECD / Taxi New York | Sam Cannon Executive Creative Director / Razorfish | Teressa Iezzi Editor / Fast Company Co. Create

How do top creatives come up with great ideas and find inspiration? This panel of creative directors discussed the different techniques that have produced successful advertising for brands.

When it comes to new ideas, there’s a secret: we recycle ideas all the time. Good ones always come back as boomerangs. It all comes down to putting together a lot of old ideas in new ways and delivering them in a fresh new format.

In today’s world, brands should stop trying to push the product to clients, and instead focus on the emotional relevance they can build with them.

Top creators don’t focus on winning or losing, but rather on an attitude that can create the ideal scenario for the creation of better ideas.



Anna Christine Diaz Editor / Creativity | Ben Jones Creative Director / Google | Elyssa Gray Head of Creative & Media, Citi North America Marketing / Citi | Freya Williams SVP, Strategy Director / Publicis Kaplan Thaler | Jim Kotulka EVP, Executive Creative Director / Publicis Kaplan Thaler

With the intention of helping residents and visitors “unlock” New York City, the Citi brand aligned itself with a beneficial project – the NYC Bike Share. This act of giving back to consumers in a meaningful way has now translated to stronger brand engagement.

What started out as a project between the city of New York and the brand, it has now become a program that has grown and transformed into an action that provides value. In just 76 days, 3,000,000 rides have been taken on 6,000 bikes all over 330 stations in the city. Not only has it helped people lead a healthier life, it has also reduced 3,600 tons of emissions of carbon dioxide

What has the NYC Bike Share done for the Citi brand? It has completely altered people’s perception of the brand and has allowed for an excellent use of media in a city that has a high degree of competition when it comes to OOH advertising.

Citi Bike is a great marriage between advertising and something valuable for the city.

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Advertising Week with United: DAY 1

On a typical September morning, the city of New York welcomed the advertising world’s most exciting week - Advertising Week. Industry executives, creatives, clients, students and the media flocked to seven different venues throughout the city, including the New York Times Center, in order to jumpstart the first of a five-day celebration that honors the best in the business.

Throughout the day, we partook on seminars and panels that dealt with the hottest topics shaping the scope of brands and advertising. Here are the panels that More Than Branding hit during Day 1 of Advertising Week:


Advertising Week

Amanda Zaky Manager of Interactive / Mars Chocolate US | Ashley Schwartz CEO / Furious Minds | David Cohen Global Chief Media Officer / Universal McCann |  Naveen Tewari CEO & Founder / InMobi | Scott Marsden SVP of Media / DigitasLBi

When it comes to connecting with consumers, what is working and what is not? In a quest to find out how exactly brands are embracing mediums that allow personalization, Inmobi put together a panel with executives from Mars Chocolate, Furious Minds, Universal McCann and DigitalsLBi to discuss how marketing is changing the way we engage consumers through smartphones and tablets.

In a world in which big data is essential for the creation of insights, good creative and analytics become fundamental for engagement. Why? Consider the amount of time users spend on tablets and mobiles versus print or television.

Mobile, still an infant when it comes to advertising, requires more data to track conversion and acquisition. Business models are very mature and mobile is still “immature”, so there is still a learning curve the world needs to surpass.

Brands need to focus on how we want consumers to engage with them, and then drive them there.  The day of pushing an ad has its days numbered. Brands need to think on how they get messages through in a different way - they need to become much more relevant and real-time to people. 


 Advertising Week

Ari Lewine Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer / TripleLift |  Doug Scott President / Ogilvy Entertainment |  John Cantarella President, Digital, News & Sports Group / Time Inc. |  Steve Spurgat Managing Director / Big Human |  Vivian Rosenthal Founder and CEO / Snaps!

The universe of images knows no boundaries. With social networks such as Instagram, Pinterest and Vine taking the world by storm, marketers have new opportunities to engage users using photography, video and infographics as a means to create content.

This so-called “visual revolution” now means two things: user generated content and a higher engagement on social media. But for brands that are not exactly “visual”, how exactly should they tell their story? Easy – they let consumers tell the story for them.

There is a universal truth that has stood the test of time - people have an undeniable need to express themselves. Images bring people together across the globe, regardless of language, race or age, and mobile has been a key catalyst for this transformation. Anyone can now become and brand and create content. 

We are witnessing a shift from traditional advertising – one under which brands used to tell someone what to read - to social advertising, in which they influence consumers with content that is relevant to them. Content always finds a way to find users - and through images the impact is greater and more efficient than ever. Pictures give us a glimpse of a person’s life. And that’s exactly why it’s so authentic; it’s personalized storytelling through visuals.

It all boils down to a brand creating content that embodies a lifestyle and shares it with the right audience, at the right time and through the right medium.


 Advertising Week

Allison Arden VP & Publisher / Advertising Age |  Aman Govil Team Lead, Advertising Arts / Google Inc. | Babs Rangaiah VP Global Media Innovation & Ventures / Unilever |  Daving Shing Digital Prophet / AOL |  Peggy Conlon President & CEO / Ad Council | Priscilla Natkins EVP, Dir. of Client Services / Ad Council

When sharing their story online, successful brands use engaging tools and compelling content strategies that boost and reinforce their brand essence. According to this panel, marketers should embrace new marketing platforms for these purposes.

Technology allows for the massification as well as personalization in order to sustain conversations directly where clients are. Nowadays, brands are not bound to a 30 or 60 second spot – with digital storytelling is endless. Conversation knows no boundaries.

When building brand online, focus on:

  • Capitalizing on visual opportunities; get closer by being on social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram.
  • Videos; they’re a great way to get closer to people and tell stories.
  • Not being afraid to fail.
  • Being transparent and authentic.
  • Having an interesting idea.
  • Defining your audience
  • Determining how your message resonates on every channel.


 Advertising Week

B. Bonin Bough VP Global Media & Consumer Engagement / Mondelez International | Jonah Peretti Co-Founder & CEO / BuzzFeed |  Ron Faris Co-Founder / CEO / Virgin Special Projects | Scott Donaton Global Chief Content Officer / Universal McCann

In an age in which social media has radically shifted the way we absorb news and entertainment, brands and marketers must look for methods to create opportunities in which users would want to consume and share its content.

A few years ago, when Twitter and Facebook weren’t around, people still had a inclination to want to share things. When people found things they liked on the Internet, they relied on emails in order to forward experiences that changed their life. The same principle applies today. Brands need to focus on creating content that people will find worth sharing, such as stories, which, in turn could become advertising.

Media consumption for millennials is becoming more and more exciting with the passing of time. When discussing this topic, this question rose up: if 85% of advertising is consumed on mobile devices, why are we investing so little on it?


Advertising Week 

Damien Thompson Global Head of Consumer Insight / Analytics and Insight / MEC |  Pele Cortizo-Burgess Global Director, Integrated Planning / MEC

As human beings and consumers, we are always ‘on ‘ and forming perceptions or opinions regarding brands. This internal process that often leads to acquisition goes through a course that involving triggers and momentum that drive us from a passive to an active stage.

A passive stage is propelled by what we call “distinctiveness” - the creation of a meaningful statement on a person. As brands, we need to carve a territory in the mind of the client and provide triggers to move someone to an active stage.

Different categories have different triggers. Some brands are better than others in associating themselves with specific triggers. Triggers are an opportunity for brands to gain or lose momentum. We get to these triggers by asking questions pertinent to the usage and desire of our product and category. What is important for the person? Is it what we offer?

Touch points are a key element during the purchase decision and play different roles during each of the stages. Social media has become essential when it comes to risk management. People use it to see what others have to say about products they are considering.

In the business world, nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity. As brands, we must identify what our clients choose over us in order to identify new opportunities for growth.

Three things brands need to know about the purchase journey:

  • How consumers really make decisions
  • How to perform against competitors
  • Which strategies ignite momentum


Advertising Week 

Alan Schulman VP, Global Digital Marketing & Brand Content / SapientNitro | Beth Mulhern Executive Director, Digital Experience / Verizon | Debbie Weinstein Global Director of Media / Unilever |  Laurie J. Koehler Consumer Campaigns Activation Manager / Intel Corporation

What is changing - the way we tell stories or technology? As the world shifts from campaigns to content through the use of digital, social is providing brands a place to tell their story with credibility and authenticity.

This evolution has allowed for them to tell stories that matter through different channels. There is a social behavior that brands are trying to align themselves with: marketers are shifting from campaign orientation to content continuity. The key is to produce the content and make others do our speaking for us.

In order for a brand to have this orientation, it should rely on:

  • An editorial calendar with content organized in a way that is meaningful to people
  • Content divided by type:  entertainment, forums, social media and product content
  • An understanding and knowing what you are going to say and when
  • Being on real-time, all the time.
  • Producing high quality content
  • Think of the ways people can contribute
  • Determine the business metric that will be applied.

In the end, brands that embrace storytelling must become newsrooms and understand that when it comes to content platforms, everybody plays a role. No one owns it but the market, the customer. It is they who determine the conservation.


Advertising Week 

Seraj Bharwani Chief Analytics Officer / Visible Measures Corp. | Stephen DiMarco CCO, CMO / Millward Brown Digital

When it comes to having a story, a brand must create a valuable human experience. One way to approach brand stories is through the premise of having something interesting and creative to say. The news needs to be interesting enough to want to be shared.

It all starts with the user experience. Think of what the person will take away from your brand and what this experience is translating into. Would people be compelled enough to want to share that information?

Things we can do:

  • Understand best practices
  • Don’t let the numbers get into the way of thinking out of the box
  • Forget about TV, it’s about the content.
  • Start by determining what you want people to think, feel, and then think about platform. 
  • You need to work with people that understand how different each medium and each platform are.
  • You need to make sure people understand the story. What exactly are we talking about?
  • Study the consumer
  • Check if your story adapts to the medium

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Design and Marketing: The Critical Duo

The way we interact with our surroundings is defined, quite possibly, by its structure. Shapes, colors, words, sounds and other elements combine to create an environment that may well be hostile or friendly to us.

All space and objects we come into contact with is subject to a process that has led to this physical creation: design.

Daily, we hear this term applied to many industries, and for various purposes: graphic, textile, urban, architectural, industrial, interiors, editorial, advertising, digital, etc. It has so many meanings and interpretations, and, unfortunately has become a discipline somewhat misunderstood and underestimated. Not many people appreciate its true power, or better yet, its transcendence in our lives and in the business world.

All things we choose in our everyday (clothes, food, consumer goods, etc.), as well as for our big decisions (house, car, school, etc.) are always subject to a criteria of functionality and aesthetics, sometimes in different orders of priority. Thus creating within us a perception that may result in a purchase.

In marketing, design is critical to the success of a brand. From the design of a product: its packaging, presentation, logo, name and colors, to its pricing strategies, point of purchase display and advertising. Everything is conceived, planned, designed. Design must therefore provide a functional and aesthetic solution to a specific need on principles of simplicity, practicality and economy (entailing an efficient management of resources that comprise it, without desire to cheapen the concept).

A consistent design, from all angles, generates great power and value to brands; it projects a very strong cohesion, and its elements are not reduced just to visual elements. A company that displays a careful visual image, a product or service well-crafted, effective business communication, and consistent behavior of its employees or agents, has great opportunities and a huge advantage over their competitors.

If a brand’s advertising is flawless, it is possible to persuade a large number of people to buy it - but if its container is not ergonomically friendly or service lends itself so clumsy or hasty - perhaps it will discourage consumers from buying it a next time. If, however, the physical design of a product is outstanding, many people may not have a chance to try it if your advertising and communications is poorly designed.

The development of effective business design is built upon several disciplines that are complemented by a single purpose: marketing, semiotics, hues and chromes, typography, psychology, semantics, sociology, and so on. Those responsible for the design of a graphical solution, product, space or advertising message need to know this in order to create a strong and suitable concept.

According to several professional and remarkable designers, we can conclude that good design must comply with the characteristics below:

  • Good design is a concept, a story, something to say.
  • Designing communicates, not decorates.
  • Good design should be universal and timeless. Your message must be easily understood in different places and cultures. Moreover, it must strive to transcend time instead of becoming obsolete quickly.
  • Good design is versatile. Fits various means.
  • It is simple, clear and concise.
  • Good design is innovative. It surprises and calls the viewer's attention.
  • It helps us to understand a product. It communicates benefits perfectly.
  • It makes a product useful.
  • It watches the details.