BrandSmart 2016 was a Huge Success!

Thank you to our speakers, sponsors, and attendees for making 2016 BrandSmart a huge success!
Learn about Brand Smart 2017.


Connect and Create – Expect more at this year’s BrandSmart!

For over 10 years, the Chicago AMA’s BrandSmart Conference has been the Midwest’s leading forum on branding thought leadership for over 10 years drawing sell-out audiences.

Steve Jobs once said, “Creativity is just connecting things.” – and there may never be a truer sentiment about the art of marketing. From analytics to account management to breakthrough voice and visuals, creativity is what moves great brands above the fray.

BrandSmart 2016 will help facilitate those seemingly disparate lines of innovation, and will open its attendees to a world of all new possibilities with tried and true brand builders, troubleshooters, innovators and risk-takers. They will illuminate solutions to everyday problems years-long marketing challenges to help you think differently about your brand challenges and how to create a culture and infrastructure to become a truly great brand.

BrandSmart 2016 Opening Keynote Interview:

zainsbookAll Attendees Receive a Copy of:

Marketing for Tomorrow, Not Yesterday – Surviving and Thriving in the Insight Economy™, by Zain Raj.

Sponsors

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Get in front of top branding marketers! Starting at $750!

Presentations

Keynote: Marketing for Tomorrow…Starting Today

Speakers:

Ron Bess, Former President North America, Havas Worldwide

Zain Raj, President & CEO, Shapiro + Raj

Description:

We have entered a new world of Marketing – one with constant change and more complexity than ever before.  There is much more data to be analyzed; constantly evolving technologies to master; continued fragmentation of channels and touchpoints…plus more demanding consumers with constantly escalating expectations.
This evolution has created a challenging, and at times, frustrating environment for everyone who has a role in the marketing value chain.
In today’s digitally-led, data-enabled, consumer-empowered economy, the Brand Marketing of the past no longer works.   But the key principles of Marketing persist. Savvy business leaders and smart marketers realize we’re now entering new territory in the way we identify, position, manage and evolve relationships.
Marketing should be a core strategic partner that drives business results. However, Marketing is being pushed by the same forces that are impacting other parts of the business.  Everyone has to do more… with less. Lower budgets and reduced headcount are the norm today. So innovation and creativity are more important than ever.
The talent that will take us from data, to insights, to ideas needs to have a collaborative spirit and thrive in a creative process.  They need to share a common Vision, Values, and Goals. When it all connects, everyone wins.

Take Aways:

1.    No matter what role you currently play, you can develop winning strategies by both embracing constant change and respecting battle-tested principles.
2.    Data is only valuable when it leads to insights that stimulate ideas that drive results.
3.    Connecting data to results is a creative process that calls for collaboration among people who share the same Vision, Values and Goals.


zainsbook

All Attendees Receive a Copy of:

Marketing for Tomorrow, Not Yesterday – Surviving and Thriving in the Insight Economy™, by Zain Raj.
From Midwest Book Review:

“Impressively well written, exceptionally well organized and presented, “Marketing for Tomorrow, Not Yesterday” is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. As practical as it is ‘reader friendly’ from beginning to end, “Marketing for Tomorrow, Not Yesterday” is very highly and very useful reading for entrepreneurs and business managers alike. Indeed, “Marketing for Tomorrow, Not Yesterday” is strongly recommended for corporate, community, and academic library Business Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.”

Insurance Agents Are Rock Stars

Speaker:

Steven Handmaker, Assurance Agency

Description:

Assurance_logoAssurance is not your average insurance broker. In fact, Assurance is the Purple Cow of insurance brokers. Currently ranked #1 Best Place to Work by the Chicago Tribune and #4 best workplace in the United States by Fortune Magazine, Assurance has actually made insurance cool. Assurance created and marketed a corporate culture built on over-the-top employee engagement that has resulted in increased productivity, improved employee health and wellness and off the charts customer loyalty.
Assurance’s success story is one of creating and marketing a competitive differential. The company discovered being a great place to work was one of the few opportunities left to distinguish itself in a highly commoditized marketplace. Once it made its own already great workplace its primary brand message, a flood of new talent and new clients began pouring in. The media took notice as well and has showered Assurance with an endless number of local and national workplace awards.
Steven Handmaker is the Chief Marketing Officer of Assurance, one of
the largest, independent insurance brokerages in the U.S. He serves as a member of Assurance’s executive management team and is responsible for the company’s marketing, communications, branding and digital media efforts. With more than 20 years of successful marketing experience, including his current tenure with Assurance, Steven’s become a sought after public speaker on a variety of topics related to marketing corporate culture and building a “Best Place to Work.”

Hear the Brand

Speakers:

Colleen Fahey, US Managing Director, Sixième Son


Description:

Hear the Brand: The Rise of Audio Branding: How to Get the Most from Your Sound

sixieme_sonGlobalization, audio-enabled devices, content marketing and «continuous partial attention» all contribute to the rise of audio branding.Today a brand needs an audio identity as powerful as its logo, colors and packaging.

Taking a look at Peugoet and Atlanta’s global efforts, we’ll see how audio branding takes advantage of the fact that music is a language that’s universally understood. We’ll share the process a global packaged goods brand used to create the distinct audio identity that expresses the brand’s values and personality with both structure and flexibility.

We’ll look at best practices in implementing an audio brand through multiple audience touch points. Our experience suggests that there are key times in a brand’s life when a brand must re-examine its audio landscape : launches, re-positioning, new target audience, merger/acquisition, intensified competitive environment.

Key Take-Aways:

  1. How to powerfully emphasize your brand’s points of differentiation
  2. How to unify your brand and raise brand recognition
  3. How to turn every customer touch point into a relationship builder
  4. How music moves behavior and influences sales

Think Differently - Opportunity Identification or Breakthrough Ideas

Speaker:

Lindsay Avner, Founder & CEO of Bright Pink

bnr-bright-pink-logo-459x293Description:

Bright Pink was founded in 2007 by Lindsay Avner to educate and empower young women to take action and be proactive with their breast and ovarian health. Nine years later, the organization is poised to reach 14.4 million women nationwide in 2016 alone. In a world where everyone is trying to capitalize on “pink,” Avner has built a brand that stands out in a saturated market and deeply resonates with her target audience. She has honed the ability to innovate in the basics and will discuss techniques for capitalizing off of existing trends in better and smarter ways. Similarly, as a result of working in the nonprofit space, she has mastered the ability to grow exponentially in the face of limited resources and will discuss techniques that translate to the for-profit sector. Bright Pink’s consistently relevant branding reaches women in an effective, authentic manner that triggers life-saving action. In part, this success is due to strategic marketing partnerships that drive results—because we all know content can’t be created in a vacuum. Lindsay will present best-in-class case studies and cover tips for forging and maintaining partnerships that work.

Three things the audience can expect to learn:
• How to stand out in a saturated market
• How to grow exponentially with limited resources
• How to form marketing partnerships that drive results

Brand-Building and Data-Driven Demand Generation

Speaker:

Craig Greenfield, COO, Performics Worldwide

Description:

Today, consumers move seamlessly and simultaneously across channels and devices in the path-to-purchase. Every brand touchpoint is part of a holistic, omni-channel shopping journey. The lines between physical and virtual shopping have blurred, with mobile as the key integrator. No matter where, each and every moment could be “shoppable.” Throughout this journey, consumers have come to expect highly personalized experiences, aligned with their wants and needs, in specific moments. Yet, many advertisers still treat every customer and moment the same. Intent is the largest marketing variable. It shapes how people discover content, dictates paths-to-purchase and mediates meaningful interactions with brands, regardless of media type. In today’s landscape, successful advertisers are identifying intent at each consumer decision point, matching that intent and turning it into conversions.
  • Move from mass marketing to moment marketing, and pull strategy to predictive strategy
  • Build a process to understanding consumer intent, extracting meaning from data: consumer journeys, search keywords, device, geo, demographics, CRM etc.
  • Create an intent hypothesis, a vision of experiences that you think will best engage each of your audiences by moment
  • Leverage in-market data (clicks, leads, conversions)–powered by advanced analytics–to continually validate and refine your intent hypothesis

Transforming The Cubs Brand

Speaker:

Alison Miller, Senior Director of Marketing, Chicago Cubs

Description:

chc_1200x630A 140 year old brand with the longest championship drought in all of sports (yes, it’s been 107 years).  An unfortunate  ‘loveable losers’ nickname.   A historic but dilapidated ballpark.  Behind new ownership and investment from the Ricketts family, a major reboot has happened on the north side.  Both on and off of the field, the Chicago Cubs are the ultimate turn around brand in the making.  Cubs Senior Director of Marketing Alison Miller will give us a behind-the-scenes look at how the organization is crafting a transformation of one of sport’s most iconic brands.

♥ LUV* Lessons – Building a Brand from the Inside Out ♥

Speaker:

Dave Ridley, Recently Retired CMO, Southwest Airlines

Description:

7316751-SouthwestLogo♥ Southwest Airlines has built its brand by creating a Culture where it’s People feel welcomed, appreciated, and, yes, loved. In turn, those Employees have reflected that care and concern to the external Customers who have rewarded Southwest with a passionate loyalty that has led Southwest Airlines to a record of unprecedented success in one of the most difficult industries in the world.

Takeways:
  1. Hire the right People (and fire the wrong ones)
  2. Put the Employee First
  3. Lead from the Heart

Getting Creative with the B2C Agency of the Future

Moderator:
Erin Paul, Director of Design Strategy, Trinity Brand Group

Panelists:
John Starkey, Vice President, Gum, Mints & Media, Wrigley
Lianne Sinclair, Senior Vice President, Group Account Director, Energy BBDO
Andrés Ordóñez, Chief Creative Officer, Energy BBDO

Description:

What is a B2C “agency” today? What are successful B2C agencies doing to keep
clients? And perhaps most important of all — how will they need to “get creative” to
keep client relationships thriving in an ever-changing future?

As in the afternoon session covering B2B, Erin Paul will interview the leaders from a very
successful agency-client partnership, this time B2C: John Starkey, Vice President of Gum,
Mints & Media, Wrigley, along with Lianne Sinclair and Andrés Ordóñez of Energy BBDO, the
Senior Vice President/Account Director and Global Creative Director for Wrigley,
respectively. (Ad Age named BBDO its 2015 U.S. Agency of the Year.)

Attendees will get a real-world look at how to make the client-agency relationship mutually
productive, and also have the chance to ask questions of the participants.

Key Takeaways:

1. How to recognize and deal with the biggest current challenges in client agency relationships.
2. What capabilities clients expect any single agency to offer — and how to meet those expectations.
3. How agency and client resources need to evolve.
4. What kind of talent agencies, and clients, will need to develop or recruit in the future.

Embracing Change and Design as a Catalyst for Better Brand Engagement

Dyfed “Fred” Richards
Chief Creative Officer & Partner, Kaleidoscope

As it becomes inherently more clear that the world as we know it is changing, brands must continue to adapt and evolve. In this presentation, Fred will discuss the ingredients of good design, the pitfalls of category language, how consumers respond to and shop the categories where your products live, how to educate consumers through packaging and branding, and tackle the question, “How can you use packaging to tell your brand’s story while inspiring change in consumer behavior?” This vibrant presentation will allow attendees to gain an understanding of how to create better briefs, build better relationships with clients, and have packaging be considered throughout the entire process of building a brand drives business growth.

Getting Creative with the B2B Agency of the Future

“Getting Creative with the B2B Agency of the Future”

Moderator:
Erin Paul, Director of Design Strategy, Trinity Brand Group

Panelists:
Linda McGovern, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, USG Corporation
Michael Hensley, Co-Founder/President, Gyro (Chicago and Denver)

Description:

What is a B2B “agency” today? What are successful B2B agencies doing to keep clients? And
perhaps most important of all — how will they need to “get creative” to keep client
relationships thriving in an ever-changing future?

As in the morning session covering B2C, Erin Paul will interview the leaders from a very
agency-client partnership, this time B2B: Linda McGovern, SVP of Global Branding for USG and
Michael Hensley, President of Gyro (Ad Age’s 2016 B2B Global Agency of the Year). Attendees
will get a real-world look at how to make the client-agency relationship mutually productive,
and also have the chance to ask questions of the participants.

Key Takeaways:

1. How to recognize and deal with the biggest current challenges in client agency relationships.
2. What capabilities clients expect any single agency to offer — and how to meet those expectations.
3. How agency and client resources need to evolve.
4. What kind of talent agencies, and clients, will need to develop or recruit in the future.

Eckrich and Operation Homefront – Redefining a Brand Through a Cause Partnership

chuckgitken_squareSpeaker:

Chuck Gitken, SVP Brands and Marketing, Smithfield Foods

Takeaways:

  1. A cause that fits with a brand can enable winning with customers, consumers, and the community
  2. For a cause partnership to be successful, the brand must speak in an authentic voice
  3. A key to connecting an idea with consumers is to integrate the idea into every touch point

operation-inspiration-homefront-eckrich-highlight

See what happened at BrandSmart 2015!