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  • Posted by: Fred Burt on Friday, May 31 2013 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

    Last week, Interbrand sponsored the P&G Global Alumni event in Geneva and I had the great pleasure of attending and meeting a wide range of executives.

    Before the conference started, there was breaking news: It was announced that P&G CEO, Bob MacDonald, was retiring and A.G. Lafley, P&G’s former CEO, was stepping back in. While this turn of events could have easily cast a big shadow over the conference, the participants kept their focus on the issues at hand.

    My Interbrand colleagues and I could not help but to notice how connected the former P&G employees still were to the P&G business. Young and old P&G alums were consistent in their praise of the professionalism and integrity that P&G had instilled in them when they worked there. This was a real testament to the strong values that P&G has upheld throughout its history.

    Since social science, behavioural economics and neuroscience were a few of the conference’s larger themes, my Interbrand colleagues and I decided to run a behavioural economics experiment with conference delegates. Our experiment illustrated the point that how all of us make choices is far from rational. Some interesting insights were uncovered around the degree to which mood can be “primed” by context and can influence our decisions.

    P&G Alumni Conference

    Jez Frampton, Interbrand’s Global CEO, struck a chord with conference delegates when he described how brands are created in today’s global marketplace. There was a flurry of camera phone snaps when Jez presented Interbrand’s B&C model—that it’s not business-to-consumer but business and consumers—and explained how decision-making and strategy have radically changed in today’s post-digital landscape.

    Dimitri Panayotopoulos, Vice Chairman of P&G Global Business Units, outlined his priorities: pushing through innovation, delivering more speedily and enhancing P&G’s premium position with more value-driven options for developing markets.

    Dimitri was asked to comment on the war on talent and the challenge of recruiting tomorrow’s leaders. Since many alumni members spent 10,15 and even 20+ years working at the company, a number of the younger alumni members openly discussed the challenge P&G will face as Millennials no longer subscribe to the “job for life” mindset. It was noted that, undoubtedly, the role of the P&G Alumni network will need to evolve as a result.

    Another interesting conversation I had at the conference revolved around innovation. Is there a need to foster greater risk-taking in order to produce more successful innovation? The “up or out” culture at P&G breeds winners, but it doesn't have much tolerance for failure. In this “constant beta” world we live in, it seems appropriate to ask whether this “up or out” culture should remain intact. Google, a company mentioned repeatedly during the conference, clearly has a knack for attracting (and retaining) young talent – but, interestingly, it also tolerates failure. Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman, noted, “This is a company where it’s absolutely okay to try something that’s very hard, have it not be successful, and take the learning from that.” It will be interesting to see whether P&G adopts a similar approach under Lafley’s leadership as part of its push for innovation.

    It was a tremendous privilege—and hugely energising—to spend time surrounded by so many intelligent business leaders at the P&G Alumni event. My colleagues and I look forward to keeping the conversations going—and seeing what changes come about as a result of this new era in P&G leadership.

    Please visit our Facebook page to view photos from this event.

    Fred Burt is the Managing Director of Global Accounts at Interbrand. He is based in London.

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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Tuesday, February 28 2012 12:02 PM | Comments (0)

    Despite the global economic slowdown, legions of new consumers have quickly gained access to wealth, education, and higher living standards across the world’s fast developing markets. They also have more access to information than any prior group of emerging consumers, which fuels the demand for high-quality products and brand names. How can established brands cater to this new target group that is unlike any before it? Check out our white paper, What’s in store for 2012?, for deep insight into fast developing markets and 15 other sectors.

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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Monday, February 27 2012 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

    Far beyond the rising price of fuel, events that transpire under the broad umbrella of the energy sector affect nearly every business, from natural disasters to severe weather changes. Last year, world leaders at the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban made significant progress toward a shared responsibility for global energy policy. But the future is far from certain. Learn more about what to expect in the energy sector—as well as 15 additional industries—in our latest white paper, What’s in store for 2012?

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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Sunday, February 26 2012 12:55 PM | Comments (0)

    In today’s rapidly shifting market, CPG brands must adapt quickly to maintain their perceived value in the minds of their customers. Gone are the days of limited choice, when shoppers meandered down grocery aisles and picked up familiar products. Now, nearly any product is available in-store or online, and a brand’s reputation goes far beyond its packaging. What does this new consumer-centric era of marketing mean for CPG brands? Get our latest white paper, What’s in store for 2012? to see what brands across 16 sectors can expect in the coming year.

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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Thursday, February 23 2012 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

    The idea of “retail” used to be associated with a physical location. Not anymore. Today, a “store” has evolved into a fluid idea that serves the mobile, global customer in search of new experiences to share. Physical stores are still relevant, but must be imagined as showcases for brands—not as isolated destinations. Online shopping has changed the face of the game entirely, and those brands that can seamlessly integrate values, moods, and emotions with commercial and social aspects will succeed. What does this mean for store footprints, retail branded-apps, and social media strategies? Check out What’s in store for 2012?, our latest white paper, for insights into retail and 15 important sectors for the coming year.

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