• Posted by: Interbrand on Monday, August 18 2014 01:33 PM | Comments (0)

    Month of Service 2014

    In keeping with its annual tradition, during July Interbrand united for its Month of Service as part of Interbrand Inspired – our Foundation. Across the globe, Interbrand provided pro-bono consulting services to inspiring non-profits and social impact startups, in addition to offering hands-on volunteering in local communities. In total, Interbrand hosted and participated in more than 20 activities and positively affected the lives of many.

    The gift of generosity is a powerful expression of humanity and when a corporate community embraces altruism, the true character and spirit of the brand is revealed. Corporate Citizenship at Interbrand is our demonstration of appreciation for what we have and what we can give to others in pursuit of making the world a better place.

    From the Americas to Australia, Interbranders left a lasting impact on the organizations it partnered with and the communities in which we operate. The effects were felt in New York, where one team worked with Futures and Options to help underserved youth express their own personal brands – advice that Futures and Options knows will “help in their professional growth no matter what field they pursue.”

    The volunteer opportunities also support Interbrand’s collaborative and world changing internal culture, providing employees with the ability to think creatively and grow closer through shared experiences. Our Madrid office dedicated their time to a local community center, and as Angela Rodriguez expressed, “it was a life changing experience for all of us.” In working with Student Reporter, Associate Consultant Jeremy Shapero noted, “our work was an exciting opportunity to flex beyond our traditional roles and teams."

    During Month of Service, Interbrand partnered with the following non-profits and start-ups: Career Gear; Friends of the Children New York; Minds Matter; Domestic Violence Project; Rooftop Films; Bite Size Learning; Friends of Bezalel; Student Reporter; Charity Miles; Pencils of Promise; Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE); GrowNYC; Futures and Options; Per Scholas; Upwardly Global; ABC Life Literacy; The Library Project; and Envision.

    For more photos from Interbrand’s Month of Service, visit our Facebook page here!

    About Interbrand Inspired
    Interbrand Inspired is Interbrand’s very own commitment to Corporate Citizenship. It is a not-for-profit foundation leveraged to promote the power of education around the world. Interbrand Inspired provides our employees an opportunity to give their time and talent to our communities through partnerships with educational organizations.

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  • Posted by: Vandana Ayyar on Wednesday, August 13 2014 12:31 PM | Comments (0)


    Interbrand is excited to announce that we have submitted to SXSW, in hopes of hosting a panel at SXSW Interactive and SXSW Music in 2015 and we need your help to get us there!

    SXSW, held in Austin, is a three-part conference and festival taking place from March 13th-22nd, consisting of three sessions: Interactive, Film, and Music. Notable speakers at the conference included Neil Degrasse Tyson, Chelsea Clinton, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Rosario Dawson.

    Interbrand has submitted four panel suggestions to SXSW, with each focusing on brands and how they use technology.

    To vote, simply click on the titles of the panels and make an account on SXSW’s PanelPicker site. Every vote matters so make sure to submit yours today!

    Mecosystem 2020: Brands are evolving into platforms to survive. Think GAFA — Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. Possessing unique Log-In IDs and rich, multi-contextual touch points, the user is currently displacing the masterbrand as the primary, centralizing lens. Over time, these platform brand ecosystems will become mecosystems — user-generated brand instances that reflect a unique set of preferences and dynamic, biometric data. We will map out a model for brands to achieve a cohesive experience, a coordinated act of optimizing the interface layer, the partnership layer and the supporting infrastructure. Is the current age of the GAFA platforms enhancing or constricting the user's total experience?

    Wearables & The Happiness Quotient: Can wearables help us be happier? From the quantified self movement to the emerging biometric economy, wearables may finally deliver on the collective dream — to identify what we desire and create predictive and reinforcing engagement models to help us achieve our goals. Defining a 'happiness algorithm' via ubiquitous computing and biometric data promises to be the most exciting and meaningful endeavor of our respective disciplines. In this pursuit, how can individuals, marketers and policy makers create a win-win scenario surrounding increasingly personal data?

    Brand Strategy For The Internet Of Things: Buzzwords = pain points. These days devices are "seamless": Seamless communication, seamless integration, seamless connection. Customers want their devices (and data) to be "social" — to relate to one another in convenient, helpful, and appropriate ways. But siloed protocols prevent seamless cross-category connections. We end up with Smart Scales that don't sync. Selecting the right communication technology is more than a product decision; it's a brand decision. Communication and data standards are key differentiators that dictate the devices — and brands — that can participate in an ecosystem. Partnerships and brand alliances will increasingly drive how products communicate, share data, and relay information to customers. In this session, we'll look at how communication and data standards will form an integral component of brand strategy, and examine the ways in which brands can identify and form solid partnerships to truly deliver a seamless experience to customers.

    Digital Killed The Music Star: As platform brands like Google and Apple compete for music delivery and revenue, the experience gets better and better for the music fan: shareable, streamed, on-demand, curated and tailored for the listener, cheaper and even free. At the same time, it's getting worse and worse for the artist. Digital is largely responsible for many musicians no longer receiving fair compensation for the consumption of their music. Do digital practitioners feel a responsibility to right this wrong? What is the blueprint for a win-win compensation model for musicians, fans and corporations? How can technology and branding revive the pessimistic state of the industry?

    Voting ends on Friday September 5, 2014, so be sure to get your votes in! For more information and updates, visit SXSW.com.

    Vandana Ayyar is Interbrand’s Marketing Coordinator, North America. 

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  • Posted by: Nicole Diamant on Thursday, July 31 2014 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

    Image: © Kreg Holt for WOBI

    According to strategy expert Rita Gunther McGrath, the competitive advantage is dead. Any edge your brand has over another will be trumped faster and more furiously than ever before. And in fact, most of the speakers at the WOBI on Innovation conference focused on these disrupters: brands that emerge, seemingly out of nowhere, and shake up a category so dramatically that all others in its category must hustle to stay relevant.

    McGrath advises a new, nimble mindset as the best way to protect your brand from being edged out, including changing your thinking about innovation and also your business strategy. Incredible agility is now required when we consider our products, budgets, and even our own careers.  Innovation should be incorporated fully into our company, not as an “extra,” but as another cost of doing business. Products and ideas should be championed for as long as they are effective and then relinquished for improved solutions. And, as employees, we have to consistently and proactively shape and nurture our career paths.

    If the WOBI faculty is an indication of the future, then healthcare in particular must be alert to the patter of disrupters. Technology looming on the horizon could threaten many healthcare brands; however, getting educated about what’s happening at the leading-edge and being open to possibilities gives brands an opportunity to progress and position themselves as forward thinkers, whether that means partnering with “disruptive” consumer brands or refocusing their own R&D.

    What does the future hold?

    If we are to believe tech entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa, our future is going to be super cool and very scary all at the same time. We’ll start with the (now) ordinary but end up with the extraordinary—and a number of questions about our privacy and consumerism in general, will be raised. What happens to the pharmaceutical industry when we can print our own medications? Or to doctors when robots perform all our surgeries? Our phones will track everything our bodies do, from fitness to heart monitoring, to medication absorption. Global data is growing at a rate of 59 percent per year, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Pills will come with sensors; medicine for conditions like cancer will be personalized. We’ll print hearts and lungs and bionic hands. Devices and tattoos on our skin will store our health records, credit cards, and IDs. Robots will continue to advance in medicine and beyond, replacing pharmacists, delivery vehicles, factory workers, and more.

    How does a brand adapt?

    So how does a healthcare brand stay agile during this tumultuous time? CEO Mark Bertolini offered some insight into the direction Aetna is taking that is inspiring for anyone in healthcare today. Perhaps most importantly, Bertolini has shifted the company’s perception of its customer, its marketplace, and its role:

    “Healthcare is focused on curing disease, not creating highly functional human beings. Our goal should be highly functional humans because they are productive, economically viable, and therefore happy. That should be our definition of how a healthcare system works.”

    Not only is this aspirational, it’s practical. Between the ACA, new technology, and concierge medicine, healthcare is more patient-centric than ever. Consumers now have the tools to understand, monitor, and take an active role in their health like never before. Bertolini goes so far as to say that if the healthcare system is structured properly and built around the individual, traditional insurance won’t even be necessary. He sees three main transformative principles for staying ahead:

    1. Move towards consumer-centric digital tools that empower customers to take control of their healthcare
    2. Partner with doctors and hospitals to share incentives and keep people healthy
    3. Exact concierge level service for chronic patients that is high touch and high tech

    Bolster your brand

    There are no guarantees against disrupters—and they’re also not always a genuine threat. For every Uber or AirBnB there’s a Pets.com or LaserDisc. However, taking the whole landscape in account, it’s very clear that we’re entering a brave new world for healthcare. Therefore, understanding the strength of your brand in the marketplace and developing future strategies around that can help you adapt to the industry’s turbulent new normal. What shifts should you make to foster innovation and keep employees engaged? How can you push new products forward and disengage from those that have run their course? Can you adopt new technologies to better serve your consumers? We don’t know where the next disrupter will come from, or when it will emerge, but by recognizing changes in our industry, employing forward-thinking techniques, and adapting to consumer marketplace trends, we can set our brands up for success and longevity.

    Nicole Diamant is the Marketing Manager for InterbrandHealth. You can follow her on Twitter @NicoleDiamant.

    Interested in future-proofing your brand? Connect with InterbrandHealth here.

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  • Posted by: Vandana Ayyar on Tuesday, July 29 2014 05:12 PM | Comments (0)

    World Changing Speaker Series

    Interbranders gathered to watch Yash Egami, Director of Content at The One Club, as he spoke about new trends in advertising, design, and digital.

    Interbrand New York picked up the World Changing Speaker Series right where it left off last year, by bringing in front-runners from a variety of industries. The series provides a space for these leaders to talk about their line of work and give insight into their successes, goals, and what has led them to their profession.

    What was originally a platform for professionals to network, has now transformed into a stage for creative minds, from fields different from our own, to share their stories, energy, and inspiration.

    This year, we have been excited to host:

    World Changing Speaker Series, 09/20/14: Stephen Messer, Co-Founder and Vice Chairman, Collective [i]

    Stephen Messer is the co-founder and Vice Chairman of Collective[i], the first Big Data network built around technology that delivers enterprise-wide analyses curated and developed by the world’s leading data scientists. Prior to Collective[i], Stephen, along with his sister, Heidi Messer, founded, built, and managed LinkShare Corporation until its sale in 2005 to Rakuten for $425 million. Stephen has been recognized for his contributions in the marketing industry and spoke with us on September 20th about what led him onto this path.


    World Changing Speaker Series, 10/25: James Wu, Head of Branding and Creative, Acumen 

    Brooklyn local, James Wu, spoke about his role as the Head of Branding and Creative at Acumen, a non-profit organization whose mission is to change the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders, and ideas. Since its founding in 2001, Acumen has invested $83 million in 75 companies throughout South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, creating 58,000 jobs and impacting more than 100 million lives. James led a global rebranding of Acumen, including a strategic renaming and repositioning of the organization, the co-authoring of a new mission statement and manifesto, the development of a new logo and visual identity, and the production of a new website. The rebranding received praise from the likes of Richard Branson, Seth Godin, Creative Review, Design Week, and Brand New. James’ work in many facets of the advertising industry led him to his position at Acumen. Work he has produced for Acumen has been featured by YouTube, ABC News, GOOD, Design Observer, Core77, Brain Pickings, and Swiss Miss. To learn more about Acumen, visit: acumen.org. 

    World Changing Speaker Series, 12/06: Yash Egami, Director of Content, The One Club 

    Yash Egami is known for his role as the Director of Content at The One Club, which is a non-profit dedicated to recognizing excellence in advertising and promotion. They have four awards a year and James came and spoke with us on December 6th about the new categories in this year's One Show. He also discussed some of the trends in advertising, design, and digital that were evident in the work of last year's winners. From watching contestants’ inclinations to seeing what judges and audiences are attracted to, James has a clear view on what’s hot in advertising and how the field is evolving. His presentation included long-format commercials, case study films, and big ideas that inspired new waves of creativity. To learn more about The One Club, visit: oneclub.org.

    World Changing Speaker Series, 02/07: Tucker Viemeister, Industrial Designer and Owner, Viemeister Industries

    Tucker Viemeister is famous on the shelves of your home and favorite stores for his industrial design and creative solutions. Best known for the OXO Good Grip kitchen tools designed with Smart Design (a company he helped found in 1979), he has been both wildly successful and wildly innovative throughout his career. He is a multidisciplinary industrial designer—his firm, Viemeister Industries, explores creative solutions without borders. From traditional to new media, he designs things, places, and experiences for clients such as Apple, Coca-Cola, Cuisinart, Black & Decker, Viking, J&J, Timex, Levi’s, Phat Farm, Joe Boxer, Nestlé, Unilever, Motorola, Toshiba, Sharp, Seibu, Toyota, Nike, Knoll, Steelcase, Kate Spade, JetBlue, Cosmopolitan Casino, Yotel, Venice Biennale, and the NYC Board of Education. Tucker’s work is displayed in MoMA and he has earned many prestigious awards, including the first Presidential Design Award. He teaches at Parsons, writes, holds 32 utility patents and is the Vice President of the Architectural League. To take a look at his work, visit his website: tuckerviemeister.com. 

    World Changing Speaker Series, 02/21: Michael Zakarin, Musician and Entrepreneur, The Bravery

    Michael is known for his experience in the entertainment industry, having worked ten years on both the artistic and business sides of it. After graduating from Georgetown University, he returned home to New York City to pursue a career in the music business. He worked in the marketing and video department of a major record label during the day, and at night he wrote music and rehearsed with the band that would become The Bravery. Michael’s gift for detecting fundamental shifts in the music industry has allowed him to create success both on and off of the stage. His band released three albums on a major label, achieved two gold records, three top ten radio singles, and toured over 50 countries—but he also led the group’s marketing efforts and managed the band’s brand equity. He explored and introduced new channels to promote his music and marketed his band as an entirely new brand. Michael continued to pursue his interest in entrepreneurship and growing brands, co-founding a company that links investors with early-stage technology startups. To learn more about The Bravery, visit: thebravery.com.

    World Changing Speaker Series, 03/14: Cedric Terrell, Photographer and Owner, Cedric Terrell Photography

    Cedric is both a seven-year Marine Corps veteran and a rising star in the photography scene coast to coast. His style encapsulates social norms and then quickly shatters them. He sees photography as a form of empowerment for his subjects and clients. From headshots and lifestyle spreads to fashion and commercial shoots, Cedric has catapulted Cedric Terrell Photography to an internationally recognized brand that¹s been featured in an array of critically acclaimed publications. Cedric spoke with us about his experiences on March 14th.  For more information about Cedric Terrell Photography, visit: cedricterrell.com.

    World Changing Speaker Series, 04/11: Tim Riley, Director of Online Experience, Warby Parker 

    Tim Riley is the Director of Online Experience for Warby Parker, where his goal is to make shopping for eyewear online as easy and fun as possible. He spoke to Interbrand about Warby Parker’s earlier days and the feasibility of its still-evolving business model. Prior to Warby Parker, Tim had been working on enhancing the customer experience for many products and clients. Tim has been developing strategy for clients such as Volkswagen, Audi, Walgreens, and Kaplan University, aiming to engage consumers and enhance the overall customer experience. For more information about Warby Parker, visit: warbyparker.com.

    World Changing Speaker Series, 04/25: Ermin Siljkovic, Manhattan Recycling Outreach Coordinator, GrowNYC

    Ermin Siljkovic spoke to Interbrand about his time growing up in New York City. Ermin has always wondered how communities can cooperate to make life in the big city a more wholesome experience. His passion continued to grow throughout school and even more so when he began working at GrowNYC, where he helped set up recycling programs in New York City Housing Authority buildings. Ermin is currently working with building residents and managers throughout Manhattan to devise effective strategies for diverting waste from landfills toward reuse, recycling, and compost. Taking a community-by-community, block-by-block, building-by-building approach, Ermin Siljkovic of GrowNYC’s Office of Recycling Outreach and Education strives to inform NYC residents not only on the “how-tos” of recycling but the “whys” and the importance of understanding waste as it relates to our health, economic, and environmental well-being. For more information about GrowNYC, visit: grownyc.org.

    World Changing Speaker Series, 05/09: Drew Chafetz, Co-Founder and CEO, love.fútbol

    Drew Chafetz was born and raised with a soccer ball at his feet. His family helped nurture his love of the sport by taking him to see games in many nations where he was also exposed to many cultures. In 2005, while traveling through a remote town in Morocco, Drew came across children playing the game he loved under dangerous circumstances. The following year, Drew put his business and economics degree (and his heart) to the test and went on to co-found and run love.fútbol, a nonprofit/social enterprise that partners with and empowers underserved communities to create simple soccer fields for youth. This nonprofit creates safe places for kids to play the game and stay active. love.fútbol has catalyzed fifteen community-driven soccer field projects throughout Guatemala and Brazil, which all serve as hubs for social programs and enterprise, providing a safe place to play for over 13,000 youth. For more information about love.fútbol, visit: lovefutbol.org

    After such a successful series, we are anticipating another motivating set of speakers this upcoming fall. 

    Vandana Ayyar is Interbrand’s Marketing Coordinator, North America.

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  • Posted by: Interband on Friday, July 25 2014 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

    Corporate Citizenship

    From more sustainable sourcing to social innovation, companies are doing more every day to create positive social change and sustainable solutions—and consumers are increasingly “rewarding” brands that take social responsibility seriously.   

    Super Market News reports that American supermarket chain, Safeway Inc., has made great strides in its efforts to sustainably source all fresh and frozen seafood by the end of 2015. The brand is already more than halfway to its goal, proving its leadership as a sustainable seafood retailer. In addition, Safeway has saved over 75 million gallons of water, eliminated 300 million plastic bags, and donated 72 million pounds of food.   

    Speaking of plastic bags, the infamous question of “paper or plastic?” may soon be a thing of the past. According to PackagingDigest.com, standard materials are being replaced with non-toxic, lower weight, biodegradable, reusable and recyclable alternatives. Also, bio-plastics are showing a growth rate of more than 20 percent with production expected to increase from 1.39 million tons in 2012 to 6.18 million tons by 2017. Why? Because packaging influences purchasing decisions—and more consumers are showing a preference for sustainable materials and design.   

    Picking up on the real-world solutions trend, Eco-Business reports that more organizations are moving beyond donations and philanthropy. Instead, they are becoming actively involved in projects that benefit business and have a positive social impact. Whether showing a focused commitment to a particular issue through a corporate foundation or embedding CSR into company operations, CSR programs and foundations boost employee morale and enhance corporate reputations. And the choice does not have to be one over the other—a greater CSR strategy can work simultaneously with a foundation.   

    As these efforts illustrate, businesses are doing a lot to give back—but are they doing enough? According to the 2013 UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study on Sustainability, as Sustainable Brands reports, two-thirds of CEOs admitted that businesses could be doing more to address sustainability challenges. Although CEOs see engagement with consumers as the single most important factor motivating them to accelerate progress on sustainability, they are often out of step with what motivates consumers to make responsible purchasing decisions.   

    To engage more effectively with consumers, companies must close the gap between performance and perception, according to Interbrand’s annual Best Global Green Brands report. Commenting on the report, Vikas Vij of JustMeans.com said, “The consumers of today hold the world’s top brands to an exacting standard and expect these brands to act responsibly.” As Interbrand’s research indicates, reducing the gap between socially and environmentally responsible business practices—and consumer perception of those practices—is critical to building brand value.   

    To find out more about the value of Corporate Citizenship, be sure to check out this month’s installment of Closing the Gap!

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