When you register, we’ll ask you to select one master class from each of the four categories along your brand journey: Brand Strategy, Brand Expression, Brand Activation, and Brand Equities.
Keynote: David Armano
Keynote: Nick Ragone
Emcee: Jim Harris
Developing a Differentiated Brand Strategy in a Crowded Market with Matt Gordon
Developing a Differentiated Brand Strategy in a Crowded Market with Megan Biggam
Your Culture is Your Brand with Colin McBean
Your Culture is Your Brand with Sherry Duda
The Activation Imperative with William Rosen
The Activation Imperative with Laurence Minsky
For the schedule, please go to Agenda.
Founder and Managing Partner, Thoughtstep
As emcee, Jim Harris will keep things moving throughout the day, and he’ll engage participants in an active wrap-up of the brand journey.
Jim’s firm, Thoughstep, provides business strategy, marketing and communications counsel to leading businesses, investors, and public policy organizations. He has a 30-year track record of achievement, most recently as founder and CEO of The Wall Street Journal Office Network, a digital video network serving more than 800 U.S. office buildings.
A former executive at Allied Riser Communications, the Miller Brewing Co., and DDB Needham Worldwide Advertising (now DDB), Jim has also advised leading marketers at Google, The National Football League, Hyatt Hotels, Gillette, Citibank, FOX, Molson Breweries USA, Audible, Sony Interactive, and Activision. Jim has a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Global Strategy Director, Edelman
At Edelman, David Armano’s focus is on activating integrated marketing efforts that are social to the core, while leading various strategic partnerships. Drawing on his experience in digital and integrated marketing, David has contributed articles to the Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg Businessweek, AdAge, Adweek and Digiday, to name a few. Prior to joining Edelman, David was a part of the founding team of social business consultancy Dachis Group (acquired by Sprinklr).
He has worked with some of the top brands and organizations in the world, including HP, Kellogg’s, PayPal, United Airlines, Adidas, Hilton, Barilla, and the U.S. Dairy Industry. David cut his teeth in marketing at leading digital agencies including agency.com and Digitas as a creative and strategic lead. He has a BFA from Pratt Institute.
From the dawn of Madison Avenue, the approach to cultivating and building brands has been a tried and true process: appeal to the desires of people’s hearts while reconciling what their minds remind them that they need. Today, the business of building and ensuring that a brand stays relevant is more nuanced.
David will discuss the challenges and opportunities for modern brands to ensure they earn the right to evolve, promote and protect themselves in an increasingly real-time business environment.
He will articulate the third dimension of modern brand building and how meeting the “societal” needs of consumers and customers has become an integral part of building a responsive and resilient modern brad. He will also illustrate how some of today’s best examples of modern brand communicators are leveraging new forms of creativity and agility, built on a strategic foundation to connect with and engage audiences in sustainable, repeatable ways.
- How building a modern brand today requires responsiveness, creativity, agility and purpose
- Which brands are doing it right
- Steps you can take to ensure your brand’s reputation is respected and relevant to key audiences
SVP, Head of Retail Banking, Byline Bank
Megan Biggam’s responsibilities at Byline Bank include new customer and deposit acquisition, customer retention, cross-sales efforts, and new product development. Prior to joining Metrobank Group in 2008, she was Division Marketing Manager at Washington Mutual (WaMu) overseeing the retail marketing development for the Chicagoland, Atlanta and New Jersey markets.
Prior to joining Washington Mutual, she was the Regional Marketing Director for TCF Bank for the Chicagoland and Milwaukee markets. Megan has a BA from Indiana University.
Megan will co-present at Brand Smart with Matt Gordon.
Executive Director, Landor
In Landor’s Chicago office, Matt Gordon develops brands, brand strategies, names, and messaging for clients big and small. In his 16 years at Landor, Matt has led projects in nearly every category from technology and financial services to consumer packaged goods. He has also helped develop Landor’s tools and teams, leading work for Fortune 500 clients including Chase, FedEx, HP, Kraft, and NetApp.
Matt has been widely quoted and interviewed in broadcast and print media outlets including CBS, PBS, Fast Company, the Chicago Tribune, and others. He has a BA from Macalester College.
Matt will co-present at Brand Smart with Megan Biggam.
From research and brand strategy to concepting, design, and evaluation, Matt and Megan will share their experience creating a new brand in Chicago’s crowded banking category.
- The process of developing a new-to-the-world brand
- The importance of developing a robust strategy before beginning design work
- Successful ways to evaluate concepts with employees and customers
Founder & President Emeritus, Insights in Marketing
Following his retirement from Insights in Marketing, Gary Kash lectures on key marketing topics and leverages his wealth of successful consulting experiences to help businesses of all sizes prosper. Gary’s experience spans consulting, brand marketing, advertising and marketing research. His practice crossed industries—food and beverage, packaged goods, financial services, insurance, alcoholic beverages—and he has advised companies like MillerCoors, CDW, Gerber, General Mills, Liberty Mutual, Pepsico and S.C. Johnson.
Prior to IIM, Gary was a Management Consultant for The Cambridge Group, specializing in developing and positioning new product concepts. He was an Account Supervisor at Leo Burnett for the Kellogg’s brands including Frosted Flakes, Raisin Bran, and Special K. Before that, he was in brand management at Kraft working in their Maxwell House Division. Gary has a BS from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Owning an effective positioning platform is critical to winning in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace. Yet positioning may be the most misunderstood and abused term in marketing practice. In this presentation, Gary will define/re-define positioning for you; explore its critical importance to your brand’s health and growth; provide a blueprint to developing a platform that connects consumers to your brand, emotionally; and provide lots of examples to bring the concept to life.
- A new perspective: wondering how well, or if, your brand is positioned
- A flipped paradigm: it is not connecting your brand to consumers, but rather having people want to connect with your brand
- A solid understanding of how to position your brand
CEO/Co-founder Tide Spin
David VanHimbergen’s entire career has been at Procter & Gamble, starting in their IT department. He spent his early years as a Business Analyst, then moved on to support P&G’s Fabric Care and Oral Care businesses. In 2008, he transitioned into Brand Management where he helped lead Oral-B and Crest to record results. In 2012, he moved to Minneapolis to lead P&G’s Target shopper marketing for its Fabric, Home, and Pet Care businesses. In 2014, he moved back to P&G’s Cincinnati HQ to lead Front End Innovation for its global Tide and Ariel laundry brands.
In this role, David led a small team that developed the business model that would become Tide Spin, a laundry and dry cleaning delivery service where customers’ clothes are cleaned by Tide experts. In 2015, he hired a team to develop a test program of Tide Spin in Chicago; today, the business is growing rapidly as the team tests various ways to best serve its customers while P&G can profit and improve its competitive position. David has a BS from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign).
So you’re part of a successful brand. Maybe one that’s been around for years, with a name everybody knows. So what. Just around the corner is a category disruptor that’s going to innovate you into irrelevance before you know what hit you—unless you hit first. In this Master Class, David VanHimbergen will show how supposedly staid P&G is taking their Tide brand equity and spinning it into unexpected new directions for a new generation. Learn straight from the founder how the big name in laundry detergent is becoming the breakout player in laundry service.
- How even big companies can innovate like start ups
- How to keep up with ever-changing consumers and uncover “aha!” insights
- How to position your brand to win with the next generation
How To Create a Complete Brand Identity that Brings Your Brand Promise to Life
Chief Marketing Officer, RXBAR
Lindsay Levin oversees RXBAR’s brand and consumer engagement across all channels including e-commerce and traditional retail. She’s a passionate brand builder and enjoys the challenges and opportunities of marketing in a high growth environment where strategy, creativity, analytics and the entrepreneurial spirit have to work together to build a business and a brand.
Since joining RXBAR in 2015, Lindsay has grown the marketing team from two to 15 and growing. She loves finding inherent strengths and unleashing them in brands and in her teams. Previously, Lindsay worked at PepsiCo and focused on traditional brand management and global brand strategy. Lindsay has a BA from Stanford and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.
In the fall of 2015, RXBAR had been around for about 2.5 years and had just rebranded with a disruptive new packaging. RXBAR already had a loyal following, but the broader market loved the transparency and simplicity of the new packaging; the brand began to take off.
The marketing team was then left with a beautiful puzzle: How to transform from a company with a beautiful package into a brand? How to move from a product to a brand without interrupting growth? Over the course of the last year the team has been on a journey to define the essence of the RXBAR brand and the visual and verbal identity that surrounds the packaging and ethos it has as a company. They’ve had to strip back to the essentials create a unique identity, brand promise and verbal and visual language.
In this session, Lindsay will take you on the journey the team went on, the strategy behind the brand’s identity, the struggles the team faced, and examples of how this identity system comes to life across the entire 360-brand experience.
- How to identify your core promise, approach and brand identity tenets
- How to manage agency partners to create your brand (vs. their brand)
- How to partner with key stakeholders to bring them along on the brand identity journey
Vice President of Marketing and PR, Portillo’s
Nick Scarpino’s first job at Portillo’s was as a cashier while he was in high school. Later, he worked in digital advertising at Google, then he returned to Portillo’s as their first marketing employee. Nick’s favorite item at Portillo’s is the Italian Beef n’ Cheddar Croissant; he says you haven’t lived until you’ve tried one.
Nick has a BA from Notre Dame and a MS in Integrated Marketing Communications from Medill at Northwestern University.
Portillo’s is a beloved Chicagoland restaurant brand with a cult-like following. With iconic menu items like the Chicago-style hot dog, Italian beef sandwich, chopped salad, and chocolate cake, the brand has grown primarily through word of mouth over the past 50 years. Nick will discuss how Portillo’s is working to keep top-of-mind in its existing markets and build awareness in new markets outside of Chicagoland.
- How to tap into current events in order to build brand awareness
- How to automate the process of turning current customers and social media fans into your biggest brand advocates in new markets
- A checklist of first five marketing communication must-haves for a B2C brand
EVP Chief Creative Officer, Burrell Communications
Lewis began his career as an Art Director at Burrell fifteen years ago, before his tenure at Leo Burnett, where he became a Senior Vice President/Creative Director. During his career, he has worked on such brands as The U.S. Army, McDonald’s, Allstate, Budweiser, Miller Lite, P&G, and Walt Disney World. He also has an extensive background in the African-American Consumer Market. Lewis’ creative work has earned him many industry awards in television, print and radio. His creative philosophy is simple: “Make It Honest, Keep It Real.” Lewis is a native of Macon, Georgia. He started his trek north by attending Kent State University in Ohio, where he graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design. When he isn’t working, Lewis enjoys running marathons, yoga and spending time with his family.
VP Planning Director, Account Planning, Burrell Communications
Stephen French leads Burrell’s award-winning strategy team on some of America’s most successful brands, including Comcast, Hilton, McDonald’s, P&G, and Walmart. He is committed to helping brands win in the shifting multicultural consumer and marketing landscape. For the past four years, Stephen has also led our strategic partnership with The Futures Company’s Multicultural Monitor. Previously, he has worked at BBDO Retail, Agency 57, and The Richards Group.
- How to extend the essential brand voice across different cultural audiences, without losing the brand essence
- Why multi-channel/multi-dimensional means different things to different groups—and how to use that to your advantage
- How one major brand turned a “multicultural” campaign mainstream—and why you might be smart to, too
Chief Executive Officer, Alex Reidy & Co.
A visionary leader, growth accelerator, and disruptive change expert, Sherry Duda integrates brands and culture to create a differentiated asset. Through a broad range of services that improve organizational effectiveness, Sherry helps CEOs and senior teams execute accelerated growth strategies and transformation. She has held executive level positions as VP of Global Talent & Organization Capability with the Hershey Company, BP and United Airlines.
Sherry has led organizations through high stakes culture transformations; brand and culture integration; global business integrations, such as the merger of two Fortune 500 companies resulting in a combined market capitalization of over $110 billion; divestitures; and high profile transformational change efforts. Sherry was elected as Chief Advisor and Board President for the Organization Development Network, which is the largest international association of OD practitioners in the world. She has a BA and a Master’s degree from The Ohio State University.
Global Brand & Communications Executive
Colin McBean is a communications leader with nearly 20 years of experience building brands and reputations for corporations, products and causes in global markets. Most recently, Colin led brand and corporate identity for Baxalta, a $6 billion biotech spinoff from Baxter. In this role, he oversaw all aspects of corporate branding, reputation communications and citizenship/sustainability.
Before Baxalta, Colin spent nearly eight years at Abbott with roles in external communications, reputation management and content marketing, and led Abbott’s brand-transformation content strategy and operations after the separation of its pharmaceutical business (AbbVie). He has worked for Chrysler on the agency side and in-house, leading policy communications strategy for the company’s technology, energy, healthcare, and international trade initiatives. Colin has a BA from Indiana University and a Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications from Medill at Northwestern University.
Colin will co-present at Brand Smart with Sherry Duda.
A corporate brand is no longer something that is merely applied to the surface of an organization. Image is no longer enough. Strong brands come to life from within. In a world of transparency, globalization and M&A activity, the integration of culture and brand is critical to achieve growth objectives. Organizations that embrace a strongly aligned culture and brand can realize a profound impact on performance, including dramatically improved financial results, a differentiated customer experience, and a respected global reputation. During this session, we will explore examples of culture and brand integration, and identify the levers that make the greatest impact to the bottom-line.
- Understand the new integrated brand model for creating an organization’s holistic identity: Culture = Brand.
- Identify the true costs of “say-do” gaps to the bottom line, including delayed implementation of strategic priorities, siloed behaviors, and potential reputation damage.
- Does your organization have the capacity to deliver an identity that is authentic, built from the inside out? We’ll share tips on how to assess an organization’s culture and brand integration.
- How to implement a unified identity and create a focused customer experience through targeted levers, from creating pride in the brand through cultural storytelling to hiring for cultural fit, plus many other touchpoints.
Partner, Digital at Prophet Brand Strategy
Mat Zucker is a modern creative and content leader, building ideas across channels. A partner in the digital practice at Prophet, he is responsible for helping manage the digital discipline and content strategy offerings. He is co-author of the Altimeter research report, Key Elements of Building a Unified Content Strategy.
Mat is a pioneer in early web and digital marketing. His prior leadership positions have been at creative and digital agencies, including as Chief Creative Officer at OgilvyOne New York, Global Executive Creative Director at Razorfish on BlackBerry, and Executive Creative Director at R/GA and Agency.com. Mat graduated from Cornell University and is a contributor to Forbes.com.
As businesses evolve through digital transformation, so must digital activation for their brands. From new ways to build your brand’s activation to content, services and experiences, we’ve come a long way from stunts, pop-up banners, QR codes and Tumblr blogs.
- How digital activation is changing
- 5 plays for your brand to make better impact
- How to connect creative activation to business results
How To Build Brands and Business by Inspiring Action
Associate Professor, Communication & Media Innovation, Columbia College Chicago
Laurence Minsky is renowned in both professional and academic circles for his strategic and creative leadership and his broad-reaching industry expertise which includes brand development, brand advertising, brand activation, content marketing, new product development, local store marketing, direct response, channel communications, and online and mobile marketing, as well as developing effective cross-channel solutions that boost marketing ROI.
He currently serves as an associate professor in the Department of Communication and Media Innovation of the School of Media Arts at Columbia College Chicago and as a consultant for leading agencies, corporations, and nonprofits across the globe. Laurence has authored and co-author of numerous publications, including The Activation Imperative: How to Build Brands and Business by Inspiring Action (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017) How to Succeed in Advertising When All You Have Is Talent Second Edition (Copy Workshop 2007). He is an award-winning creative with more than 125 industry accolades to date.
Laurence will co-present at Brand Smart with William Rosen.
CEO, VSA Partners
Widely recognized as a leader in cross-channel marketing and branding, William Rosen leads VSA Partners as CEO. He oversees the firm’s commitment to artfully crafted, user-centric solutions that build brands and business on behalf of clients including AB InBev, Google, Nike, Kimberly-Clark, Beam Suntory, IBM and McDonald’s. William was previously President and Chief Creative Officer of North America for Arc Worldwide, the global marketing company and part of Leo Burnett Worldwide and the Publicis Groupe. He has been recognized more than 300 times with major creative awards around the world and served as president of the jury at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
William will co-present at Brand Smart with Laurence Minsky.
How can marketers navigate the growing array of marketing specialties, media options and data sources to improve effectiveness and return on investment? How can they provide consumers with seamless experiences of value across channels that overcome behavioral barriers and actually deliver results?
In this presentation, William and Laurence will provide a guide for marketers to move beyond building brands to activating them—from simply projecting what a brand is to optimizing what it does—to move people closer to transaction.
Drawing on years of research and experience with the world’s most sophisticated brands, they will share how today’s more personalized and trackable communications illuminate tremendous diversity in paths-to-purchase and explain how to leverage this data to develop more effective strategies and creative. Based on the methodologies in Amazon’s #1 new release in business marketing, The Activation Imperative, William and Laurence will offer marketers a road map to manage today’s increasingly fragmented marketing landscape to more effectively and efficiently build brands and business.
- Align marketing disciplines to better drive prospects toward transaction
- Leverage data to develop more effective strategies and creative
- Design solutions that improve business results and marketing ROI
Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer, Principal Financial Group
Elizabeth (Beth) Brady is responsible for global marketing, including branding, advertising, media relations, digital marketing, sponsorships, community relations, data analytics, multi-cultural marketing, research and business intelligence. Previously, she served as president of segmentation solutions and the global head of marketing effectiveness at Nielsen Corps.
Prior to Nielsen, Brady was an officer at General Mills where she served in key senior marketing leadership roles in support of strategic initiatives for the growth and success of various business units, including Progresso Soup and Food, Dry Dinners, and Wholesome Snacks. Beth has a BA from St. Lawrence University, and an MPA from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
We have begun a new chapter in our story. A chapter about building our global brand. Brand is not defined by product, but rather by purpose. It’s not defined by what we do, but rather what we do for people.
Today we’re the same company we were yesterday…with the same name…and the same strong culture and values that guide every decision and action. Our bold new face to the world better represents how we embrace people wherever they are in their journey and shows them that financial progress is always possible. We’re taking what we’ve always been and revealing it with renewed pride.
We didn’t need to change who we were. We needed a better way to express it – one that resonates more clearly with our customers around the world. And that’s just what we’ve done.
- Your culture is your brand
- Branding is the Why…Marketing is the How
- Strong brands have better performance
Clinical Professor of Marketing, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management
Tim Calkins helps people build strong and profitable brands. He is one of just four people to have won Kellogg’s top teaching award twice in the award’s more than 40-year history, in addition to several other teaching awards. Tim manages Building Strong Brands, a blog on brand strategy, and he is the author of Defending Your Brand, named 2013 Marketing Book of the Year by Expert Marketer magazine. He also wrote Breakthrough Marketing Plans and co-edited Kellogg on Branding.
Tim works with major corporations around the world on strategy and branding issues, including Pfizer, Halyard Health, Lifelock and AbbVie. He is also managing director of Class 5 Consulting. During 11 years at Kraft Foods, he led businesses including Miracle Whip, Taco Bell, Parkay, Seven Seas and DiGiorno, and he launched more than two dozen new products. Tim has a BA from Yale and and MBA from Harvard.
Building a strong brand isn’t easy; it takes sustained commitment and resources. This means that anyone hoping to build a brand has to convince people that the investment makes sense—you have to make the business case within the organization. This session will highlight why making the case is so important and consider different approaches.
- Why it is essential to develop a business case for branding
- The pitfalls to avoid
- Techniques to make a strong case
- Understanding the financials
Global Leader, Customer Engagement, Boston Consulting Group
Mario Simon is a leading expert on identifying consumer-centric drivers to fuel brand growth. He has been published widely; he has been a featured guest on major TV business programs; and he is an accredited contributor to the Huffington Post. Mario’s industry experience spans consumer goods, consumer technology, higher education, financial services, professional services, hospitality, telecommunications, media, digital, healthcare, technology equipment, luxury, transportation and home construction.
As CEO of Vermeer, he led the company’s global expansion to the US, UK, Holland, China, Mexico, Brazil, Singapore, Japan, Australia and South Africa. His past roles include serving as Engagement Manager at McKinsey in New York and as co-founder and principal of BBDO Consulting in London. Mario has a BA from The American College of Greece–Deree College, and a PhD and two Master’s from Yale University.
Mario has extensive global experience in linking brand strategy to marketing action in a way that not only creates profitable growth but yields quantifiable financial value. In this Master Class he will show his “students” how to link seemingly intangible marketing efforts to tangible financial benefit; define ROI via brand value management; and determine the underlying, customer-centric drivers that create real value.
- How to link the intangible marketing value to create to tangible financial value
- How to use brand value management to define ROI and a business case for marketing investment
- How to define what the customer-centric drivers of value creation
Moving from a House of Brands to a Branded House
SVP and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Ascension
Nick Ragone, Esq., oversees the creation and execution of brand and marketing, public relations, social and digital communications, and internal communications for Ascension and its subsidiaries. Ascension is the nation’s largest nonprofit health system and the world’s largest Catholic health system. In 2016 the national health system began a significant transformation of its local identity as its health systems and sites of care began to adopt the unified name of Ascension.
Previously, Nick had director roles at Ketchum. A former adjunct professor at Georgetown University, Nick is the author of four books on American government and leadership and has been a regular contributor to publications and news programs. In 2016, he was included in PR Week’s Health Influencer 50 list. Nick has a BA from Rutgers University, and a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Following your day of master classes, Nick will offer a case study in the brand journey by walking you through Ascension’s rebranding process.