I attended the International Brand Conference 2016. The program was intense with many speakers and activities. I would like to give a summary of the things that hit me.
1. “You need to have a story which is illuminating, shocking, funny and sexy.” Mark Borkowski
Mark Borkowski, Public Relations Guru talked about fame in his speech “There is An Algorithm for That: Being Heard in a Post-Truth World.” Borkowski said,
“We generate too much content. Fame matters more than ever, and it is harder to achieve. Each day a marathon shall be run to sustain it. Fame is not just numbers; you have to engage your fans- lovers and haters. You need to think carefully about the audience, engagement, and loyalty, which is quite hard to earn because everybody is competing. Ignore the competition! You keep on going because sustainability is critical. Blindness is not an option, you have to keep eyes on your haters.
Mobile is everything, and you need to make your brand on social media. You need to have a story which is illuminating, shocking, funny and sexy. You need 2-4 stories a month to stay on the radar. The topics shall be relevant, you need to plug into topical themes and live the zeitgeist.”
2. “Social Entrepreneurs are inspiring.” Ümit Boyner
Ümit Boyner, Boyner Group Board Member in her speech on the topic “A New Business Revolution: Social Entrepreneurship” mentioned the hard times that the society is experiencing and gave the message there is still a way out in that situation. Boyner said,
“Social Entrepreneurs are inspiring because they work for the social benefit. They try to figure out the missing and incorrect points in the society and find solutions. Profit is a sustainability factor for their business. Their growth strategy is continuous innovation rather than competition. Bulusum.biz is a platform that brings together the social entrepreneurs, who say “I have an invention” and supporters, who say “I’ll support that invention.” Boyner Group Companies also fund the project that they select.”
3. “Press releases will evolve to video.” Serdar Ekrem Şirin
Muse – Founder, CEO Serdar Ekrem Şirin in his speech “How “Video” Changes the Brand Communication Game?” said,
“Video is a completely transforming business. In TIMES magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list the YouTuber and vlogger PEWDIEPIE is listed. As the power of social media increases, the influencers’ importance rises. Today 84% of the marketers are working on influencer marketing. (www.vidyard.com)
In the future, every brand will have managers who are responsible for video campaigns. Sales teams will position video as a source. Video data will be integrated into the organization; even human resources department will be part of that process. Press releases will evolve to video.”
In one of my previous interviews, we share such data “In 2021 Videos will be the largest data by then and 70% of the data will be videos, which means eleven times more than today.”(https://www.thepercept.com/networked-society-at-2021-and-ericsson/)
4. “If risk management is preventive medicine, crisis management is surgery.” Sani Şener
Sani Şener, TAV CEO in his speech “Tips for Crisis Management: Fast, Decisive, Fearless…” gave great recommendations. Şener said,
“If risk management is preventive medicine, crisis management is surgery. The risk management is corporate; crisis management is contingent. Corporation is a collection of discipline and rules. Contingency is freedom. Letting your mind free adds you value.”
He answered the question “How do you succeed in your business?” as “You work hard, hold your comfort zone narrow, focus on the job and improve your innovation abilities” and continued “You need to do all of them in the crisis with the sense of urgency. I add the prudent paranoia to this. You shall obsess about your business. Success does not come with improvisation. You have to know your business very well. Your career starts fresh each morning. The great successes may turn into a failure in a minute. Your life is determined by 10% what happens to you and 90% how you manage them.”
Şener, who recommends not to be afraid of the crisis, continued his speech “Know your business, work hard, communicate fast and have the urgency feeling in you. Optimism is a must-have but insufficient. Optimism may cause widening the comfort zone, laziness, and nonchalance. You cannot see the risks in optimism. Be positive! There is productivity in positivism.
He shared his advice to his colleagues with us, “If you turn your back to the sun, you always see shadows. Turn your face to the sun so that shadows stay in your back.”
5. “I was exposed to an event in the Crimea. The mother of three kids sends one child to school on Monday, one child on Tuesday and the other one on Wednesday because they have only one pair of shoes.” Rıfat Elhadef
TOMS Turkey President Rıfat Elhadef informed the audience about the Sustainable Goodness.
Elhadef started telling the foundation story of TOMS. While traveling in Argentina in 2006, its founder Blake Mycoskie, witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. His solution to the problem was simple, yet revolutionary: to create a for-profit business that was sustainable and not reliant on donations. Mycoskie is the person behind the idea of One for One® which is a business model that helps a person in need with every product purchased.
Elhadef gave information on the Turkish operation. He said, “we have given 70 million shoes worldwide since 2006. In Los Angeles, there is a philanthropy research team. They wrote a report on the view of Turkish people of philanthropy. We distribute the shoes via non-profit organizations. We work with TEGV in Turkey. In 2016 we reached out to 150-200.000 children in Turkey. We provide shoes for each child over the course of their education. I was exposed to an event in the Crimea. The mother of three kids sends one child to school on Monday, one child on Tuesday and the other one on Wednesday because they have only one pair of shoes. The given shoes have a tremendous effect on the child’s and parents’ lives.”
Kenan Doğulu, the TOMS voluntary brand ambassador, joined him also on stage.
6. “They have a campaign saying “Don’t Buy This Jacket.” How impressive it is!” Gamze Çuhadaroğlu
Danone Group General Manager Gamze Çuhadaroğlu gave examples of companies that produce sustainable products in her “The “Good” Will Win” speech.
The company I’d like to share is Patagonia (www.patagonia.com). They have the motto “we all have a chance to make a difference. Let’s take a stand”. Their goal is to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. They have a campaign saying “Don’t Buy This Jacket!” and last year they repaired 45.000 products.
Çuhadaroğlu who thinks Patagonia is an impressive company shared a survey done with employees about the company they wish to work for. Employees say;
- 75% – Company shall care about the universe and the society as much as profit
- 57% – Company shall work for a cause
- 45% – Company shall include me in projects with social benefit.
Çuhadaroğlu mentioned that those requests come mostly from millennials, “Organizations are forced at a point because the clients and employees are millennials.”
Çuhadaroğlu also talked on Danone “Danone works on corporate beneficence since 1970, and we set our moral goal as healthy generations” and continued “50 Admired Companies growth average is 16.6, which is higher than the S&P companies’ average growth. The outcome is when your business is good; then the good clients will find you.”
7. “I target the simplicity. Simple is less for the same price, but the present culture is based on getting more for the same price. Christophe Pillet
Interior Architect, Designer Christophe Pillet talked on “Lucidity & Simplicity as a Design and Brand Philosophy.” Pillet,
“Today consumption is enormous. We forgot about our goals in life. I’ll give you two figures; in one life in one house we consume 300.000 products. We spend more money buying clothes and stuff then our children’s education. If we look what we need in life, it has not been changed a lot for centuries. We need to eat, sleep, make love, have fun with friends and be proud of our lives. I design a product thinking essential needs of people. I concentrate on necessary and useful to take away the useless.
Simplicity means getting the essence of things by getting rid of the bulge. Simple is less for the same price, but the present culture is based on getting more for the same price. I tell stories by expressing my vision and philosophy like a writer or a filmmaker. I use the furniture as media. I fill them with stories, meaning and content. The virtue of simplicity is its being universal. There is lucidity in simplicity. More people understand me when things are simple. It’s also my strategy to reach more people. In mathematics, the elegant theory means a complex theory told in a simple way. I like that elegancy.”
Unfortunately, I can share only a few of the powerful speeches. The power of inspiring ideas and great people who change the audience’s vision takes you out of the fatigued mood. It gives you strength and makes you think “What can I do to make a difference?” and in my opinion achieving that the event reaches its goal perfectly.