2021 Agenda

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Pre-event meetups | Wednesday, April 28 | Thursday, April 29

BrandSmart Conference Platform

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Pre-event Meet-ups
Free to all registrants!

Wednesday, April 14 from 1-2 p.m.

New Content Playbook

In this interactive workshop, you’ll get an in-depth look at a proven content planning process—from pros who’ve used it for years to help clients drive maximum impact (and sales!) from content.

Jada Cash Creative Director at LoSasso
Jamie Goff Account Director at LoSasso
Sarah Thaler Content Marketing/SEO Specialist at LoSasso
David Fabbri Chief Strategy Officer at LoSasso
Wednesday, April 21 from 12-12:45 p.m.

Power Networking at Virtual Conferences

Get a head start on building your network and gain some great networking tips. Allison Summers will lead us in a quick 15-minute session on how to network like a pro in a virtual environment. Then, we will walk you through setting up your BrandSmart profile to put your best brand forward. Finally, we will jump into 30 minutes of networking tables with small groups of fellow BrandSmart attendees.

Allison is host of the Disruptive CEO Nation Podcast, author of Connect to Influence, and President of AMA Chicago.

Allison Summers President, AMA Chicago

Conference Day 1:
Wednesday, April 28 from 1 to 5:30 p.m.

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.BrandSmart Conference Platform Opens

Soft Opening

Log in to the BrandSmart conference platform (Whova) to check your connection, complete your profile and explore all the virtual conference has to offer.

12:00 – 12:30 p.m.Networking Tables


Meet as many people as possible at the BrandSmart conference with table shuffling!

These virtual network tables are about meeting new people. Expand your circle and meet a variety of interesting marketers, brand experts and other professionals you may not have thought to reach out to.

1:00 – 1:10 p.m.Welcome

1:10 – 1:45 p.m.Opening Keynote


The Brand “Chicago”

Sponsored by:

Michael Fassnacht CMO, City of Chicago

1:55 – 2:35 p.m.Breakouts: Brand Strategy and Purpose

Breakout 1A

Move from Brand Positioning to Purpose Positioning

Purpose positioning provides the essential framework to create and execute on brand purpose along with potential short-term, reputation-enhancing promotional initiatives. This approach helps prevent “Woke washing” — the practice of using purpose initiatives as just a marketing strategy without the appropriate focus and in-market actions, that places both brands and their reputation at extreme risk.

Sponsored by:

Diane Primo Chairman & CEO, Purpose Brand
Breakout 1B

Next Gen Roadmap for Women in Marketing

As women, we’ve had to chart our own leadership roadmaps. Hear our stories, learn our hacks, and start making the mindset shifts that shape smart actions.

When we leverage our intuition and insight, the brands that we lead can soar. In this session, we explore the inherent strengths women embody in all the roles we play professional and personal. There’s ground to be gained in recalibrating how we approach and integrate all of them.

Moderator: Michelle Hayward CEO, Bluedog Design
Eriko Clevenger Pope CEO, Katalyst STL
Lena Lewis Vice President – Consumer Experience at Ferrara
Amanda Hill CEO, Female Forward
Breakout 1C

From Hoarding to Humanity: How Toilet Paper Brands Shifted the Narrative

When the pandemic surprisingly caused a shortage of toilet paper, Cottonelle® and Scott® Brand didn’t just focus on restocking shelves, but leveraged the category spotlight to counteract hoarding with humanity and support those affected by COVID-19. We will discuss how to build campaigns that have the power to shift social narrative, meet the moment, build brand equity, and engage audiences across channels.

Sponsored by:

Andrea Wandrey Brand Manager, Kimberly Clark

2:35 – 3:05 p.m.Visit Partner Booths for Passport Stamps

Explore & Network

Use this time to:

  • Connect with AMA Chicago’s partners in their booths
  • Collect passport stamps – attendees who collect every stamp in their passport are entered to win a $500 gift card!
  • Check in with the office
  • Run to the restroom
  • Refill your drink

3:05 – 3:50 p.m.Breakouts: Brand Insights

Breakout 2A

Insight-Led Transformation

Learn how BOLD insights have played a critical role in driving the transformation of GE Appliances. A company with a long heritage with over 100 year history but with new ownership required the business to adapt quickly to meet new expectations. The transformation of the company has been insight led and is now reaping the benefits of putting the consumer at the center of our business.

Allen Whitehouse Head of Insights, GE Appliances
Breakout 2B

The Tenets of Branding for B2Bs Young and Old

What makes a strong and lasting brand? And why is crafting and maintaining a powerful brand critical even in the days of data-driven marketing? This presentation draws from eMarketer’s newly released B2B Brand Strategy Report, authored by Ryan, to answer these questions by walking through the blueprint for B2B branding including best practices, case studies and the tenets of an impactful brand strategy.

Sponsored by:

Jillian Ryan eMarketer Principal Analyst at Insider Intelligence
Breakout 2C

How Anthropology Can Make Brands Smarter

Anthropology is a discipline within the social sciences. It is the study of humans and culture. Brands and brand teams can become smarter and propel smarter in market execution by tapping into research with an anthropological orientation.

Key takeaways:

  • Learn how anthropological research differs from typical market research usually utilized by Insights and Insights & Analytics functions.
  • See examples of the deeper learnings that may be harnessed for a brand with anthropology.
  • Walk away empowered with knowing when it is appropriate to utilize anthropology in building a brand’s insights arsenal.
Autumn D. McDonald Owner of ADM Insights & Strategy

4:00 – 4:35 p.m.Closing Keynote


Bringing a Legacy Media Brand into the Digital Age: A conversation about rebranding with PBS

Sponsored by:

Ira Rubenstein Chief Digital and Marketing Officer, PBS
Connie Birdsall Senior Partner, Creative Director at Lippincott

4:35 – 5:00 p.m. BrandSmart Awards


2021 BrandSmart Awards

Recognizing the very best of brand marketing from around the globe. Learn  more

Conference Day 2:
Thursday, April 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. BrandSmart Conference Platform Opens

Soft Opening

Log in to the BrandSmart conference platform (Whova) to check your connection explore all the virtual conference has to offer.

9:00 – 9:05 a.m. Welcome

9:05 – 9:40 a.m.Opening Keynote


Evolution of a Company

How to turn a stodgy company of products into a streamlined consumer centric brand.  How one woman led the turnaround of a 52-year-old company and has set it on its path for future growth.

Alison Gutterman CEO, Jelmar (CLR and Tarn-X)

9:50 – 10:35 a.m. Breakouts: Brand Activation

Breakout 3A

Post Pandemic: The Affect/Effect on Sponsorship

We will discuss how both the pandemic and the “rush” to digital properties has fundamentally changed a brand’s expectations of their sponsorship and partnership marketing efforts. Examples and stories shared will showcase how this critical time period should be leveraged and invested in to help build and strengthen the “bridge” between your physical and digital audiences as well as why this “bridge” has become the new center stage for engagement in the years to come.

Bryan Waddel Marketing Manager, Experiential, Nestlé
Breakout 3B

Influence and Impact: Activating an Established Brand with the Voice of the Customer

How do you connect and inspire people in a niche medical market during a global pandemic?

People who need ostomies often require a lifetime of support, and that support is core to the mission of Hollister Incorporated. In 2020, that support demanded a new virtual landscape to inspire confidence, raise awareness, and encourage connection in the global ostomate community.

Hollister launched a multichannel social campaign built around micro-influencers, activating unique crowdsourced social tactics in the healthcare industry.

In this session, you’ll learn how to leverage customer voices to bring a story to life, make the most out of your budget, and create an activation plan that truly resonates with your audience.

Elina Yufa Associate Programs Manager – End User Marketing, Hollister Incorporated
Breakout 3C

Affiliate, Dealer and Distributor differentiation: How to build your own identity in the shadow of another brand

Dealers, distributors and other partners face the unique challenge of representing larger brands while also trying to carve out and communicate their own unique identity. In this session, you’ll hear the story of how one multi-state John Deere dealership network is navigating this brand-building journey. While ties to the John Deere brand and reputation are clear and prominent, 21st Century Equipment has an important story to tell about its own unique value proposition. Dave December, 21st Century Equipment’s VP of Marketing, will speak firsthand about the challenges, triumphs and learnings.

Dave December VP Marketing, 21st Century Equipment – John Deere Dealer

10:35 – 11:05 a.m.Visit Partner Booths for Passport Stamps

Explore & Network

Use this time to:

  • Connect with AMA Chicago’s partners in their booths
  • Collect passport stamps. People who collect every stamp in their passport are entered to win a $500 gift card.
  • Check in with the office
  • Run to the restroom
  • Refill your drink

11:05 – 11:50 a.m. Breakouts: Brand Innovation and Evolution

Breakout 4A

Think Big & Small: Innovation at Mondelez

Invent, Amplify, Invest.

Learn how Mondelez harnesses innovation to bring new brands from small to scale. Brigette shares the thinking and processes that Mondelez employed to build a portfolio of innovative new Well-Being brands, a new category for Mondelez, in only two years.

Brigette Wolf Head of Snack Futures Innovation at Mondelez
Breakout 4B

Innovation & Insights in the Sports Nutrition Industry

Through this presentation, you will learn:

  • different innovation frameworks you can leverage
  • that innovation comes in many shapes and forms. It’s not only a new toy or new product!
  • the relevance of understanding consumers needs
Ignacio Sola VP Innovation, Insights, & Sustainability at Glanbia
Breakout 4C
Panel Discussion

Bringing the Power of Perspective

This is a panel discussion moderated by 50,000feet. We’ll cover the critical role that brands play today and the importance of how we translate insight into strategy, then strategy into action.

Erin Amico Chief Marketing Officer, P33
Gordon Gill FAIA Founding Partner, Smith+Gill
Molly Ungs Strategic Partnerships, Sappi North America
Steven Watts Senior Director, Global Marketing Brinks Incorporated

12:00 – 12:35 p.m.Panel Discussion: Tastes of Chicago


Sponsored by:

Mindy Kaplan Senior Director of Communications at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
Debbie Marchok VP of Marketing at Eli’s Cheesecake
Howard Katz President of Wildfire

12:45 – 1:15 p.m.Networking Tables


Close out the conference by connecting with fellow attendees to share what you’ve learned and what you’re going to implement immediately.

By being grouped with 3 other random attendees, you’ll expand your circle with a variety of interesting marketers, brand experts and other professionals you may not otherwise have the chance to meet.

Build your career with AMA Chicago

Registration is closed for BrandSmart 2021, but our calendar is always full of the programs and networking events marketers need to build their careers. Join us at an upcoming event, or learn more about becoming a member of AMA Chicago.

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