Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar people and their best practices at work. We’re kicking off 2017 by featuring brand, design and marketing strategy experts to help you “thrive in the new brand reality.”
FUSE 2017 presenter, Brian Robinson, Executive Vice President of Creative, Design and Development at Universal Pictures, spent 10 years in retail, leading brand strategy and new partnership ventures. Over the last four years, he’s been a brand leader in the entertainment world, building and cultivating brand and creative teams at DreamWorks Animation and now Universal Pictures.
As a preview to his presentation “DO NOT OPEN: A Tale of Resiliency, Imagination, and the Power of Curiosity,” Brian shares his insights on how unbridled imagination is at the heart of innovation.
Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How did your previous work in retail and brand strategy translate into success in the entertainment world?
Brian Robinson: Have a seat and let me tell you a story, a great, grand story. But first, tell me yours.
Listen to the rhythm of culture, hear the dreams, ideas and aspirations of your fans and build an undeniable empathy for those that love what you do. This understanding, this empathy, will allow you to tell great stories, and great stories are the great connector. Whether campaigns, design, product development or innovation, the combination of empathy and great storytelling will always deliver success.
PB: How do your leadership values support your creative work and the work of your team?
BR: The culmination of my leadership values – courage, authenticity, resiliency, respect –are intended to unlock the most exciting and purest forms of creativity, while encouraging individuality.
PB: What is the creative process you follow to bring your ideas to life?
BR: The most unadulterated form of my personal creativity is free-form writing and is always the beginning of my creative process. Followed by editing, challenging, story-arching, and ultimately, pitching the idea.
PB: How do resiliency, courage and imagination drive your quest for innovation?
BR: Life is a quest and trying to innovate within my own life journey means I’m living. I’m failing, I’m learning, I’m living, I’m failing, and in this cycle, it is my own personal resiliency, courage and imagination that continually drive me forward.
PB: What do you see as the next phase in the movie entertainment industry?
BR: Phases no longer exist. The speed at which change takes hold is breathtaking. In the great renaissance of storytelling, one’s relevancy is the single most important idea in the entertainment industry and dare I say all industries. You must have compelling, empathetic stories that connect to culture, but unless you can make your stories relevant, they don’t exist.
PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?
BR: They’ll experience the amazing, courageous art of getting knocked out and the resiliency and determination to get back up and keep on fighting.
Want to hear more from Brian? Join us at FUSE 2017. Learn, network and share best practices with the most influential leaders in brand, design and marketing. Stay connected at #FUSEdesign.