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Afternoon at the FUSE Symposia

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Steven Webster , Mary Kay's Design Visionary took us on a complex 7 year
case study about transforming a heritage brand by keeping it relevant and then consistently
globalizing it.
This huge mission to concurrently temporize and globalize had one objective
feeding the other.  With respect to
the founder Mary Kay Ash, they had to root her persona into history but take
forward the guiding principles that drover her success.  They needed to evolve away from pink.  They discovered that they did not 'own'
pink, but pink 'owned' the brand.  Pink
was bringing dated and possible negative baggage.  Having proliferated into over 1,000 SKUs, they had a war
with complexity.  The only way to
fight that was to hyper simplifies. 
Steve and has team created a brand architecture that dramatically simplified
the design elements starting with enlarging and then cropping the existing
logo. They evolved the pink and brought in new accent colors like black.  They defined a type style and a photographic
aesthetic for the core brand.  They
then evolved all of these assets for both Gen Y and for premium audiences to
complete the new brand architecture.
How to implement this huge endeavor?  Steve offered two perspectives.  Get some distance from it and look at the inconsistencies.  And then get in to the granular level
and seek the consistencies.  
In the end the role of the Design Director was to be a preacher, a
teacher and a game show host. Evangelize the branding message, explain it in
very simple terms and then reward those who follow it!
Karen Edwards, GM Consumer Marketing and Robert Dietz, Bing's Design
Director gave us an inside peak at an evolving challenger brand. 
Like many challenger brands, they started by pointing out what was wrong
with the category, in this case Google. They marketed themselves as 'the antidote
for search overload'.  They measured
and contrasted themselves against Google in every way. We can do what they do
but better.  But this created a 'me
too' proposition.  They also
discovered that they were marketing ahead of the brand offering.  The product was not living up to the
So they went after true differentiation by changing consumer search
behavior.  The brand created 'social-based
searching'- incorporating your friend's perspectives in your searches.  This was a truly unique offering but
this time they were marketing ahead of the customer.  There were not enough friend postings to make the 'social search'
experience really different.  
As the challenger brand they needed to build credibility before they
could move beyond a comparison to Google. 
These missteps were caused because marketing and design worked in silos.
  The way that marketing and
design now work?  
share common success criteria.
 Collaborate- work together. Break the solos.  Mutual responsibility
Integrate- shared view of customer value -- measure
the process toward full alignment.
They embrace that Bing is a challenger brand and that frees them up to
mentor other challenger brands. 
They understand that the brand cannot rest on the Microsoft platform.   It needs to fit within the
broader structure but can be scrappy when they need it to be.
James Fox, CEO Red Peak: 
They Key to brand Success in China
James took us through an informative, thrilling and sometimes
frightening look at China as it quickly evolves as the world's super
power.  He deconstructed the
incredible contradictions in Chinese culture and how that is reflected in
consumerism and the Chinese consumer's relationship with brands. Ruralism has
moved to urbanism, with a great percentage of China living in cities that have
just been built, cities with no history. Isolationism moves to globalism with
China looking outside its boarders to model its behavior. Regiment and
governmental restrictions have caused the need for individual expression.  And collectivism under Mao has moves to
ambition. There is a tremendous disparity between the rich and poor but now
there is a growing middle class. This is mirrored in consumer behavior.
Brands are seen as a reflection
of the owner's success. 
Specifically luxury brands. 
The one child policy has created a unique group of Gen Y consumers who
are referred to as 'little emperors'. The great majority of these youths are male.
All are dramatically over indulged and over worked.  They are regimented and yet seek individual expression.   They are China's next wave of consumers.  Figure out how to market to them and
brands will have dramatic success.  How? Market brand that resolve their conflicts and alleviate
their tension and stress.
Jared Weiner, a futurist ended the day with an engaging look at the 10
forces that are shaping our near term and long term future both geopolitically,
financially and in the context of branding.
1. Design Space- Its not what the product does but how that makes us
feel.  Design will still shape the
future of brand engagement.
2. Time Space- Time is the ultimate luxury.  We will continue to multi task and try to make the most of
our work/life balance
3. Inner Space- Neuro imaging will help us understand how people think
and better map the brain to create projectable outcomes from specific stimuli.
Sensory branding will play not only on the 5 recognized senses but also on our
sense of empathy, fear, self-reliance and other senses.
4. Micro-Space ' Nano technology will determine how to synthesize oil
and other natural resources so that they never run out. 3-D printing is already
starting to achieve this.
5. Cyber Space ' How the Internet and web model will be used for all
other forms of communication. 
Virtual reality and the alternative currency, virtual money like
'Bit-coin' is examples of that happening already
6. Inner Space- We are evolving into one global brain.  The Internet will store all our
collective information so that we will all have the same knowledge.  Collaborative consumption like Zip Car
will evolve.
7. Green to Blue Space ' Moving beyond 'doing' Green to 'being' Green in
your every action.  This will then
evolve to actually giving back more than you use, or being 'Blue'.  Ecotechture allows trees to grow into
homes.  Homeless hot spots give the
indigent a revenue source.  New
technology will recreate the ecosystem.
8. Play Space ' Humans of all ages need to play.  Gameification and gaming mechanics are
used in the military, in schools, in corporations to bring a sense of teamsmanship
and play into our interaction.
9. Storage Space - We will need a place to store all our stuff and all
our knowledge.  Quartz has been
discovered as a medium that can hold an incredible amount of digital data.  We will also evolve to use our entire
brain.  The human brain is capable
of holding and using more.
10. Outer Space ' We will explore extra terrestrial life.  The GPS is doing this now on earth,
tracking our moves and anticipating our needs. This will continue as we explore
the multiple universes.
This was an inspirational end to a great day of insights. Its time to
share our new knowledge over a couple of drinks and come back tomorrow with
even more to share!
Rob Wallace
Managing Partner, Wallace Church

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16 - 17 Nov 2020, Eastern Standard Time Zone (EST)
Future-Proofing Brands Through the Power of Design
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