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Brilliance@Work: Consumer Brand Marketing Expert Karen Hershenson

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.”

Karen Hershenson

Karen Hershenson

FUSE 2017 presenter Karen Hershenson is the leader of the clay street project, one of Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) top innovation capabilities, which “strives to reveal the genius of P&G people to deliver more human-centric ideas and organizations.” Karen joined the clay street project in 2008 after a 15-year career in consumer brand marketing, building and managing some of the world’s most valuable brands including Coca-Cola, Barbie, and Disney.

As a preview to her presentation, Karen shares her insights on how creativity and innovation support sustainable business performance by building high-performing teams:

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How did your experiences in consumer marketing shape your character and career?
Karen Hershenson:
Working on brands like Coca-Cola and Barbie early in my career gave me an appreciation for the sacred relationship that brands have with their consumers. I still get goose bumps when I remember how little girls’ eyes would light up at the sight of a new Barbie doll. When you realize the role your brand plays in another person’s life, you feel a sense of responsibility to make the best possible experience for them.

PB: What role does marketing play in the performance of a brand?
KH:
I see my role as a marketer to be both a steward and an integrator. As a steward, I guard the consumer-brand relationship, ensuring the brand stays true to its heritage, but evolves to meet the consumer’s own growing needs. As an integrator, I start with integrating human insight with business-building strategy. Then I continue by working with my cross-functional team to create and deliver a holistic experience that is consistent over time.

PB: What is an “innovation ecosystem” and how is it set up in an organization?
KH:
An innovation ecosystem is a way to look at your organization to identify the culture you need, to deliver the business results you want. For us, it means recognizing that work is a direct reflection of the teams that are doing that work, and the system in which they operate. So if you want to change your results, you must create the conditions for innovation in all three areas — the team, the system and the work.

Often, organizations have many separate efforts directed to change culture, work processes and team building, and the results become scattered. We have found that creating a series of experiences that are connected results in overall less effort and more synergistic results in the work and culture.

PB: What are some of your most notable projects?
KH:
In our early years, we touted new product launches like Ariel Gel or the creation of the consumer-facing P&G brand. But today, we assess our success on two things: 1) our ability to continually evolve and expand how we serve P&G businesses — moving from 3-month sessions at clay street to a series of short integrated experiences for an entire organization; 2) the speed of culture change we observe across the organizations where we work and the personal transformation we enable.

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?
KH:
A much-needed pause to help them connect their own creative dots! They will experience and learn about simple techniques they can weave into their busy days that can help make them more present and creative.

Want to hear more from Karen? 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: Jeremy Lindley, the Man Behind “The 10 Commandments of Brand Design”

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.”

Jeremy Lindley

FUSE 2017 presenter Jeremy Lindley is Global Design Director at Diageo, the world’s leading premium beverage business with an iconic collection of alcohol beverage brands across spirits and beer. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Windsor, Buchanan’s and Talisker whiskies; Smirnoff, Ciroc and Ketel One vodkas; Baileys, Captain Morgan rum, Tanqueray gin, and Guinness beer.

Prior to joining Diageo, Jeremy was head of design for Tesco Stores Ltd., where he was responsible for design across the portfolio of 19,000 private label products and for leading the store formats and design teams. During his early career, Jeremy was a design consultant and university lecturer.

As a preview to his presentation, Jeremy shares his insights on how design is at the heart of brand thinking and activity:

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How did your experiences in design shape your character and career?
Jeremy Lindley:
I fell in love with the idea of being a designer when I was 17 years old and had to switch tracks from a very academic focus at school. Task one was to learn how to draw!  Forcing my way into a profession that my early education choices did not obviously lead towards helped me recognize that great talent and ideas can come from many non-traditional places, and it’s not just the “creatives” that can be creative.

My art school training taught me the importance of empathy (to create great design you really have to understand the end user), openness (great ideas rarely come quick and often from unexpected sources) and humility (as a designer you are not always right, there is always much to learn). These skills have served me well throughout my career.

PB: What role does design play in the performance of a brand?
JL:
We operate in an era of multiple media channels where consumers are in control of whether to watch an advert or not. Each channel needs a unique solution – creating a 30-second advert and pushing it out to all platforms simply won’t work.

The reference point for brands used to be the advertising narrative. Today it’s the brand’s visual world – how the brand shows up across multiple applications. Design is the interface between the brand and the consumer, providing coherence and meaning throughout the whole consumer experience. If design is not at the heart of brand thinking and activity, the company will underperform.

PB: How can design connect on an emotional level with consumers?
JL:
The human brain is designed to understand images. We’re so good at this instinctive skill that we mostly don’t realize the meaning we take from visual stimulus. Consumers take implicit understanding from every visual output of a brand; these are influenced by existing memory structures, other brands and culture.

The question for brands is less “how can design connect emotionally” – it already does! Rather, the focus needs to be on understanding how the brand already connects, what the existing memory structures already are, and how these can be developed.

PB: What are some of your recent design projects?
JL:
As Diageo is the world’s leading premium spirits business with over 100 brands in our unrivaled portfolio (these include Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness), there are too many projects to mention!  One recent project of which I am very proud is the redesign of Buchanan’s whisky that won a Gold at the Design Business Association’s Design Effectiveness Awards in London. I value this award because it demonstrates the business impact of design; to win you have to prove conclusively the link between design and business performance.

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?
JL:
I’ve been working as a designer for over 25 years; seven of those freelance and the remaining leading design within client organizations. I’ve tried to distill the key things I’ve learned from working on some of the world’s most iconic brands into a “10 Commandments of Design.”

Want to hear more from Jeremy? 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: Human Factors Workplace Specialist Melissa Steach

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.”

FUSE 2017 presenter Melissa Steach was formally trained as a fine artist, bringing her understanding of aesthetics to the world of human factors and ergonomics. She has a bachelor’s degree in studio art and a master’s degree in I-O Psychology with a focus on human factors. Melissa currently works as a Human Factors and Ergonomics specialist at Herman Miller and is an I-O Psychology PhD candidate.

As a preview to her presentation, Melissa shares her insights on how work is a physical, cognitive and social experience:

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How did your experiences in art shape your character and career?
Melissa Steach:
My mother is an artist. She taught me how to draw, how to mix colors, how to see more than what’s physically there. This last part is, I believe, the most important aspect of what I learned through making art.

Art is not all about what the eye sees, but what the mind, body, even soul experiences. Perhaps this is how I came to understand the built environment as a holistic experience. The path to my career has been paved with what at the time seemed like disparate choices. But I now understand that I’d been exploring different ways of work – leading me to Herman Miller.

PB: What effects do work environments have on the employee experience?
MS:
Oh wow! There are so many ways in which work environments affect the employee experience. Common ones of interest are collaboration/innovation and attraction/retention. Work environments can literally set the tone for the culture it contains. An organization’s floor plan can signal to employees what sorts of behaviors are expected and encouraged.

For instance, a company culture that values innovation through collaboration will have many settings designed to support interaction; by allowing for planned and spontaneous collaborations or meetings, sight lines for eye contact, and opportunities for changes in scenery to suit changes in work task which in turn, will have accompanying changes in individual employee behavior for completing those tasks.

Such a floor plan is in a sense alive in that it supports a diverse population of people by providing an environment that allows for them to engage, create and collaborate in ways that are more natural to them.

PB: What role does compassion play in business and design?
MS:
If we think of culture, communication, collaboration, and creativity as separate legs of a table, then compassion is the work surface upon which innumerable amazing things can be made. Compassion is integral to business and design because without it, the other “c’s” have no place to come together. There’s a reason why we all want a proverbial “seat at the table.” We want to be seen, heard, even constructively challenged in a space where we feel safe to share. Compassion is the key to such space.

PB: What do you see as the next phase of ergonomics and human design in the global marketplace?
MS:
The more we understand about the way environments impact our cognitive, social and physical well-being, the more connected we become, the more we will demand that ergonomics be a component of all goods simply through our purchase choices. The great thing about a competitive marketplace is that it allows people to vote by purchase. Those interested in significant Return on Investment (ROI) and Value on Investment (VOI) will vote in favor of products that support them to do and be their best.

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?
MS:
Not only is it part of our innate state as humans to feel compassion, it also impacts our business bottom lines. This presentation will help to inform and inspire compassion as part of regular business practice within our organizations. The audience will learn three main take-aways regarding the impact compassion has on business, design and profitability.

Want to hear more from Melissa? 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: Brand Catalyst Brian Singer

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.”

Brian Singer

Brian Singer

FUSE 2017 presenter Brian Singer is a San Francisco-based artist and designer who has received international attention for his provocative social projects such as TWIT Spotting (Texting while in Traffic) and The 1000 Journals Project. Previously, Brian was the Design Manager for Brand Creative at Pinterest and managed design teams at Facebook.

As a preview to his presentation, Brian shares his insights on how design is about problem solving:

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How did your experiences in design shape your character and career?
Brian Singer:
I think my character might have shaped my design career, actually. I think I pursued design out of a love and interest in art, which, if you boil it all down might have just been a way for me to get attention/positive reinforcement as a child. Design has taught me a lot about people and has led me on a long (sometimes frustrating) path towards finding meaning in my work and career. As for affecting my character, I’m still kind of a jerk, but the nicest jerk you’ll ever meet.

PB: What role does design play in the performance of a brand?
BS:
Design has always, in my mind, been problem solving. How well the brand performs depends on how well the problem has been solved. This can be the functional side (does it work, is it simple) or on the emotional side (how does driving a VW Beetle feel compared to a Ford Focus). If you do both well, the brand should succeed. Of course, if you’re not solving a need, then all the design in the world won’t help.

PB: How can design thinking drive innovation?
BS:
Design thinking is really just a process for problem solving. Personally, I think ideas are easy. They’re a dime a dozen. The real work is in making the ideas a reality. That might require money, or courage, or influence inside a company. You might need consensus, the right talent, or the green light to even pursue it. It requires building a prototype, proving it works, testing it in market, and even then, the numbers all have to work out. That’s a lot. I’m still a fan of one good idea, well executed.

PB: What are some of your most notable design projects?
BS:
I’ve worked on projects for everyone from Apple to Facebook to Pinterest to Adidas to Microsoft to Levi’s.

The most notable thing I’ve done though has probably been on my own and an attempt at solving distracted driving. After noticing how often drivers in stop-and-go traffic on a freeway were using their phones, I began taking photos of them (always while I was a passenger, not while I was driving because that would be stupid). I then put the photos on billboards.

The project received a massive amount of attention in the press from television to radio to online. I’m willing to bet it was more effective than the $8 million the government spent on their distracted driving campaign that year. The point is, I think it’s notable because it had an outsized impact for the investment, and it was driven by a simple idea. It’s too bad I didn’t have that $8 million to work with.

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?
BS:
Why, they’ll know how to get rich, of course. They’ll also walk away with renewed purpose and outlook on their pursuits. I hate to say I’ll inspire people, but I might, even if I inspire them to quit their jobs.

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.


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Brilliance@Work: Cyborg Anthropologist Amber Case

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar professionals 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.”

Amber Case

Amber Case

FUSE 2017 presenter Amber Case, author of Calm Technology: Designing for the Next Generation of Devices, studies the interaction between humans and computers and how our relationship with information is changing the way cultures think, act and understand their worlds.

As a preview to her presentation, Amber shares her insights on the how calm technology helps us to be more human.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What is calm technology, and from where did this term originate?
Amber Case:
We live in an era of interruptive technology. The world beeps at us incessantly. We are asked to update the software on our Apple TVs before we watch a show, not right before we turn the device off. There are ways to deal with this technology overload. We need a calm technology, not an interruptive one.

A Calm Technology describes products that are there when we need it, not when we don’t, where our devices recede into the background and allow us to be human.

The terms “calm technology” were coined in 1995 by PARC Researchers Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown in reaction to the increasing complexities that information technologies were creating. They felt that the promise of computing systems was that they might “simplify complexities, not introduce new ones.”

PB: What is the importance of calm technology in the global marketplace?
AC:
Calm Technology can help us understand what we need to implement to handle the increasing complexity of the world.

Humans do things that technology is bad at: customer service, warm embraces, and problem solving when something goes wrong with technology. Humans are natural curators. They understand context. No matter what, all loops should have a human at the end to check for accuracy. Otherwise we can get stuck in very unfortunate circumstances of automation. Need we bring back the movie WarGames?

PB: How do consumers and brands benefit by calm technology?
AC:
A great technology gets out of the way and lets us live our lives. It recedes into the background when unneeded and appears when it does. It’s important to bring this concept back in an era that will have an estimated 50 billion devices by 2020.

The first principle is this: Technology shouldn’t require all of our attention, just some of it, and only when necessary.

Old systems and bad interfaces will plague us if we don’t learn how to design for the long term. By writing code that’s small instead of large, and making simple systems rather than complex ones, we can begin to design technology that gets out of our way.

How many times have you been on hold with an automated phone tree? This kind of behavior turns humans into machines. A similar thing happens when we try to put humanness into technology. We end up with products that get us stuck in places, look and act creepy, or have other unwanted characteristics.

PB: What are some great examples of companies using calm technology to enhance our lives?
AC:
Google is clever because it connects human information to other humans. Invisible search engine bots index billions of pages made by hand. It does a great job managing search results, but it doesn’t make the final decision for us. Instead, it gives us a sheet of possible results. It is up to us as humans to make our choices. We are the ones with the context. This is why Google removed the “I’m feeling lucky” button. Humans choose from a small list. Machines cull down a large list. This is a good human-machine symbiosis.

The Roomba vacuum cleaner communicates only in melodies and chirps. The cleaner emits a happy chirp when it is done cleaning, and a sad chirp when it is stuck. Because it is small and cute and doesn’t continue to do work when it is stuck, it is a non-scary device. It waits for human help rather than trying to do everything itself. The chirp is easy to understand. It doesn’t need to be translated into many languages. It conveys the information with a light and a tone, and it is approachable enough that cats enjoy riding on it in YouTube videos!

The LUMOBack Smart Posture Sensor is a device you wear around your waist. It monitors the angle of your back and buzzes you when you exhibit poor posture.

PB: What do you see as the next phase in the interaction of humans and computers?
AC:
We have a very large capacity for attention, but often times we design products that only work with our visual sense, and these require us to pay all of our attention to them. As you move away from the sense right in front of you, you can get other senses. Touch, peripheral vision, and sound! We can do so much when we make use of these additional senses. It’s a way to get the same amount of information across with the least amount of attention. Think of it as compressing information into another sense!

Computing at this point will have reached a resource limitation as well. Bandwidth will be an issue, as more and more applications rely on the far vs. the near. Video streaming applications like Netflix will see their bandwidth costs soar and consider various solutions. Connectivity is not built like electricity. It’s not as reliable, and that’s going to become a larger problem!

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?
AC: Attendees will learn how our devices take advantage of location, proximity and haptics to help improve our lives instead of get in the way. They’ll also learn how to determine the minimum amount of technology to solve the problem.

Want to hear more from Amber? 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: 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.


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Brilliance@Work: Brian Robinson Tells a Great Story at Universal Pictures

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.”

Brian Robinson

Brian Robinson

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.