Overheard at MarketingPulse 2018

A few key takeaways from the first annual MarketingPulse event in Hong Kong, featuring presentations from branding veterans such as LEGO, McCann and Leo Burnett.

A few key takeaways from the first annual MarketingPulse event in Hong Kong, featuring presentations from branding veterans such as LEGO, McCann and Leo Burnett.

Hosted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the first annual MarketingPulse was a full-day event featuring presentations from branding veterans such as LEGO, Rebecca Minkoff, McCann and Leo Burnett.

Here are a few key takeaways our colleagues jotted down:

Recipe for a winning brand

“Don’t be the best at what everyone does today. Be the best at what no-one does tomorrow.” We were blown away by former branding director for LEGO Sara Riis-Carstensen’s keynote (and appropriate use of gifs). Her “recipe for a winning brand” focused on how she turned LEGO into one of the world’s most powerful brands in 2017, surpassing even Google.

Her three tips for navigating a disruptive marketplace were:

  • Your brand is your guide to relevancy – not to complacency
  • Stay in tune with changing consumer dynamics
  • The collective wisdom of the crowd is more powerful than the power of the individual

Message first, medium second

During a panel discussion about “how innovation shapes new marketing frontiers”, panellists agreed that marketers need to get their [messaging] house in order before rushing to invest in all the modern bells and whistles that help tell a story. Skipping that first, fundamental step does brands a disservice; shiny new tech used to tell a mediocre story doesn’t hold up and becomes a waste of money.

MUJI’s director, Kei Suzuki, stressed that purpose is the secret sauce to help brands stand the test of time. MUJI, he said, has always put community at the heart of its mission to create a pleasant life. “The logic of humanity is always greater than the logic of capitalism,” said Kei.

Storytelling should never be an afterthought,” said Kazuhiro Shimura, Dentsu Inc.’s Creative Director, “Always start by defining the problem you need to solve. Once you’ve identified that, then you can figure out how best to address it.

True innovators get their hands dirty.

Innovation ain’t pretty,” said Peter Lefebvre, Creative Director of Leo Burnett. “If you don’t have the right tools, then make them up.

As marketers, we have to get used to being vulnerable, which is only natural when you’re deeply invested in your craft. This of course means taking greater risks, but that opens to door to greater rewards. New ideas don’t come easy, and it’s never a straight shot to uncover them. It takes dedication to do things differently, but those who do it right win hearts and minds.

People remember what you do long after they forget what you’ve said,” said Peter.

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