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Brilliance@Work: Wearable Technology Innovator Barry McGeough

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

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.”

Barry McGeough

Barry McGeough

FUSE 2017 presenter Barry McGeough is Group Vice President at the Innovation Next division of PVH, one of the world’s largest importers of apparel, which includes iconic brands Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Izod, and Speedo. Barry’s extensive experience includes directing athlete and human biomechanics-inspired product development and innovation teams at Teva, The North Face and Speedo.

As a preview to his presentation, Barry shares his insights on the impact of collaboration and innovation on designing wearable technology:

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What inspires your product development innovations?
Barry McGeough:
Everything from David Hockney and his approach to digital expression from an analogue perspective, to business leaders like Elon Musk and Kevin Plank who build worlds of business and product possibilities off the back of sheer audacity, to thought leaders like Malcolm Gladwell that challenge all our current ways of thinking conventionally. It’s all about being pathologically curious, finding the problems that vex us in life and the business of product and consumer experience, and using that curiosity to create the elegant solution.

PB: What role does collaboration play in the design-production relationship?
BM:
Sounds stupidly obvious, but collaboration is everything. At Innovation Next, we are now collaborating with everyone as we explore how connected apparel becomes part of the IoT. We are working with universities like NC State and MIT, confederations like Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), schools like University College London, Parsons in New York, Hong Kong Polytechnic, as well as being actively engaged in our partnerships in Silicon Valley, in the start-up community, and looking outside our industry into the Defense and Biotech industries. We even collaborate on industry-wide initiatives with our competitors.

Everyone should be empowered to be their creative best selves. The innovation process works best when it’s smart: when its goals are targeted, its desired outcomes are clear, and a path to success is defined. Innovation and the idea of investing in pure R&D research, while well known in industries like consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, and the auto industry, is very new to the apparel sector.

As such we are, all of us, from Under Armour to Adidas, defining what these investments could mean to us as we drive to bring relevant, practical solutions that help our brands build their unique competitive edge and drive revenue and profit. With the onset of fast fashion and the demands of an immediate gratification culture, we can no longer succeed using old go-to-market paradigms. We must now look outside our comfort zones and even outside of our industry to find these unique solutions. And that requires strategic collaboration.

PB: What are some notable products you’ve helped to create?
BM:

PB: What do you see as the next phase of wearable technology?
BM:
In the short term, we as an industry must solve for the problems of power generation and power storage before we can fully integrate apparel into the Internet of everything.

But if we believe as we do, as the World Bank does, that by 2020 there will be 8 billion people on Earth, and there will be 50 billion connected devices and 95% of the world’s population will be connected to the Internet, then we also must believe that in a world of smart everything, from cars to phones to thermostats to wearables, that no one will accept smart EVERYTHING and dumb clothes.

Our expectations for connected apparel will be commensurate with our expectations for functionality in all other areas of the consumer and connected experience. And who better to drive this than PVH, who make products in multiple brands that cover the human body every day. Connected apparel is a ‘how,’ not an ‘if,’ and we are building these gateway solutions today.

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?
BM:
My presentation will specifically discuss the intersection of innovation and biomimicry. As an alum of the outdoor industry, I have been fortunate to cross-pollinate the ideas put forward by Janine Benyus who wrote Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Naturethe primer for the concept of biomimicry, and use some of those concepts to build training aids that help strengthen Olympic athletes for one of the world’s most iconic brands. The inspiration we get for simple yet powerful solutions from the natural world is in its infancy. I will showcase how this insight inspires this and other industries.

Want to hear more from Barry? 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.

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Brilliance@Work: Interactive Creativity Expert Gillian Ferrabee

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

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.”

gillian-ferrabee

Gillian Ferrabee

During FUSE 2017, renowned performance artist Gillian Ferrabee will lead an experiential workshop that introduces creative interactivity and shows why understanding how people play is essential to creating customer engagement and loyalty.

For over 20 years, Gillian has been a performer, creative leader and coach for artists and entrepreneurs. Most recently, Gillian was the Director of the Creative Lab for Cirque du Soleil Media, where she created original content for the international film, TV and new media markets, in collaboration with various partners such as Netflix, Google Chrome, Fox Studios and Samsung.

As a preview to her presentation, Gillian shares her insights on the value of play:

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How did your experiences in dance and acting shape your character and career?
Gillian Ferrabee: Through dance I learned how powerful body-to-body communication is. Over 70% of what we understand in communication is visual, and our bodies are a big part of that. Dance is also a career that requires a very high level of commitment initially, and of re-commitment over and over. I learned a lot about the power of commitment and built inner resilience. Through acting I learned about the subtle interplay between audience and performer, and the flow of attention that occurs during a live performance.

PB: What are the main thoughts around the science of creative interactivity?
GF:
Creative interactivity is about agency, play and rhythm. Agency is the amount of recognition and impact given to each party in an interaction. Play describes a state of being, rather than an activity. It is the most natural way to learn, to invent and to socialize. Rhythm refers to the movement of attention between the parties interacting – how fast is it? How even is it? Is anyone leading? Following? How much room is there for improvisation?

PB: How is gamification essential to creating customer engagement and loyalty?
GF:
Gamification is about play and fun – two things that most people value highly even if they aren’t completely aware of it. We are wired for play and fun, and come back to it over and over. We also identify with our ‘tribe’ through our play styles.

PB: What do you see as the next phase of gamification as it relates to brand strategy?
GF:
I am by no means a brand strategist; that being said, what I see is that when a brand can ‘let go of the reins’ and invite their customers/clients/target audience more room to play within the conversation, that is a winning relationship. Listen and toss back (reply), then listen and innovate and toss back (reply).

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference workshop?
GF:
People will learn about the science of play, creativity and our brains. They will learn the eight key play styles and how to engage people from each of them. And they will play themselves and together with others, which it turns out is the best way to learn.

Want to hear more from Gillian? 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.


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Brilliance@Work: Kellogg’s Brand Design Leader Lisa Day

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

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.”

Lisa Day

Lisa Day

FUSE 2017 presenter, Lisa Day, Design Leader at Kellogg’s Masterbrands and Innovation, combines Consumer Research, Marketing and Design to successfully lead redesigns on brands such CHEEZ-IT, Morning Star Farms, Town House and Keebler. Lisa has spent the last 15 years showing that good design can also mean good business, resulting in growth on multiple brands globally for Kellogg’s, Procter and Gamble, International Paper and Shiseido.

As a preview to her presentation, Lisa shares her insights on how to bring an iconic brand into today’s world.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What inspires your product development innovations?
Lisa Day: Understanding the world around us that influences the decisions that my consumers make.

Politics: With today’s access to information, we need to be more informed than ever about what’s happening in our own country as well as around the world. We are all connected now, whereas before we were not. What we do here (especially on iconic brands) can influence and inspire what we can do in countries all around the world.

Trends: Understanding where things are heading from a trends perspective helps get ahead of consumer anticipation. Understanding what has been done and done well, coupled with creating or moving a brand to a space where there is a real need can create great brand shifts and new products.

The Stock Market: This is not sexy for most design folks, but the benefits of understanding the market – from charts to theory – not only helps with creating trends, but understanding our current limitations as well as where we can push our boundaries.

Understanding our consumers as people: Many people believe that digital road mapping is the most powerful tool we have. Although it’s extremely valuable, we also have to give ourselves the time to sit with our consumers and have a conversation with them; go their homes, understand them as emotional beings, and see what brands they choose and how they use them in their actual spaces that we want to become a part of.

PB: What role does collaboration play in the design-production relationship?
LD: It’s the lifeline; every success in the marketplace is contingent on collaborating with the people who can turn your ideas into reality. If you can have upfront conversations with your production teams, this will allow you to understand what you can and can’t do to bring your visions to life.

PB: What are some notable products you’ve helped to create?
LD: Cheez-It Line Design Restage (including Kellogg’s largest grossing Innovation CI Grooves): This is a brand that nobody wanted to touch for many years because it’s always been such a successful brand for Kellogg’s. Knowing when and how to approach the company about making the right changes was critical. The key to this success was to understand what is working so well and how to keep the essence of that alive along with the brand heritage, all the while bringing the brand into today’s marketplace, both in terms of feel and product innovation. We not only kept the success of the brand alive, but we were able to bring it to a level that Kellogg’s never even imagined.

Keebler Cookies Line Design Restage: A very iconic brand that people know and love. Here, we needed to make sure that the brand worked together as a family while consumers were able to find their favorite cookies. This was a great brand to help recreate because it’s all about keeping the Keebler Elf Magic alive!

Global Re-Branding and Design Strategy for Shiseido: Shiseido is one of the most prestigious and high quality brands in the world, and the number two cosmetic brand in Japan. I was honored to help bring them more into the forefront in the U.S. market while helping to unify them as a global brand. This included Global Branding, Product Development, Global Brand Architecture and Strategic Design Implementation.

PB: What do you see as the next phase of consumer product development at Kellogg’s?
LD: Creating new and innovative products that meet market needs while staying true to what the Kellogg’s brands stand for. There are many different facets to consider (some of which I mentioned above). Overall, we need to understand the world around us, we need to inspire our internal teams (which in turn will inspire the work that will inspire our consumers) and most importantly, we need to be open to change.

Want to hear more from Lisa? 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.


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Brilliance@Work: Dolby’s Collaborative Brand Builder Vince Voron

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

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.”

Vince Voron. Photo: Paul Sakuma Photography, www.paulsakuma.com

Vince Voron. Photo: Paul Sakuma Photography, http://www.paulsakuma.com

FUSE 2017 presenter Vince Voron, VP, Executive Creative Director of the Brand Content Experience team at Dolby, oversees design, brand, experiential marketing, the Dolby Theatre®, and the Dolby® Institute. He came to Dolby after leading marketing design teams at Apple and Coca-Cola.

As a preview to his presentation “Making Others Successful with Your Design Agenda: Leveraging In-House ‘Creatives’ to Evolve Brands and Inspire Innovation,” Vince shares his insights on how a global mindset can help you thrive personally and professionally.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How did living and working in multiple countries shape your character and career?
Vince Voron:
 Living abroad was a humbling experience that provided activities and experiences that I had never imagined. I am so fortunate and grateful to have been exposed to so many diverse cultures, both personally and professionally, during such a moldable portion of my life.

Spending the first 10 years of my professional career working in Singapore, France and Ireland had a dramatic impact on how I communicated with and inspired my colleagues and external partners. The diverse cultural experiences of those three countries alone helped me to construct the values I have today. Living within that diversity provided introspection and outlined the cultural and business values most important to me.

My experiences abroad were also profoundly enriching from a visual standpoint – in very different ways – from food to architecture to landscape to fashion. I learned to speak French, I became fascinated with cultural differences, and I gained a solid appreciation for navigating new locales that were so very different than from where I grew up in Pennsylvania. In addition to those first 10 years solidifying my career foundation, they also had a profound impact on me personally, as I met my wife while I was working in France.

PB: How did your work at Coca-Cola and Apple influence your work at Dolby?
VV:
 I like to say I earned my design chops at Apple and learned my brand knowledge at Coca-Cola. The fusion of working for so many years at these great companies has been one of the greatest assets to enable me to build teams that create thoughtfully-designed experiences that can be scaled and appreciated on a local level, globally.

My global mindset definitely helped me to thrive and survive in two such different corporate cultures as Apple and Coca-Cola, where the work and leadership styles vary vastly.

One of the parallels of working at Coca-Cola that has also helped me at Dolby is the importance of partnerships with other corporations. Both Coca-Cola and Dolby have very integrated co-branded partnerships around the world, and that ability to integrate and synthesize two great brands together, while preserving the authenticity of each, takes time, persistence and patience to do well.

PB: How do your leadership values support your creative work?
VV:
 Trust and transparency are two leadership values that I seek to strive for in my own work and in that of the teams I lead. It is so very important for a leader to earn trust with their teams, and that takes time and significant engagement on a day-to-day basis. It also requires taking the time to understand how different personalities and subject matter experts are inspired, how they work and how they think.

Delivering trust and transparency is a principal element as a leader, but at the same time it’s really important that my team members reciprocate that as well, and for them to be transparent with me, they have to trust me. It’s that two-way street. It’s paramount in all relationships, but especially with a leader who has to work harder to develop and maintain that trust and transparent communication highways.

PB: What role does a collaborative culture play in building a strong brand?
VV:
 Accountability and expectation-setting are at the core of successful collaboration partnerships that are effective. At the beginning of a project, I spend a lot of time assessing and determining roles and accountability amongst team members. I find that by taking this time at the onset, it opens up these channels for my team to challenge me, or me to challenge them, in a non-emotional way.

One of my primary philosophies is how can I make others successful. And collaboration is closer to diplomacy than business negotiations – it’s really important for everybody to experience something positive throughout the process.

PB: What do you see as the next phase of design at Dolby?
VV:
 We continue to work on creating holistic Dolby experiences as well as inspiring our partners with our technologies to help them create and enable amazing experiences. The globalization of the Dolby Cinema® platform is one of our key initiatives that I’m really excited about because we have curated and designed every moment of that movie-going experience from the moment you walk in until the time that you leave. All that attention to detail that we’ve put into this platform – including architecture, design, imaging and audio technologies – is truly compelling. We also strive to look for new opportunities where our technology can improve audio and visual experiences at home, at work and on the go.

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?
VV: I’ll be sharing insightful stories from my experience working in the design teams at Apple, Coca-Cola and Dolby, as well as methodologies and anecdotes that have helped these great global brands become even greater. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from all my years in design, it’s that if a brand can learn how to tell a great story and deliver a great experience, they will capture the hearts and minds of their consumers, and in turn, strengthen the bottom line of the company. I’ll be sharing practical insights on how great brands have developed and leveraged entertaining storytelling to engage consumers and build brand love.

Want to hear more from Vince? 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.