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Vice President of Global Brand Marketing at Nike Davide Grasso Gives the Keynote
Vice President of Global Brand Marketing at Nike Davide Grasso Gives the Keynote

Last month, the Jacobs Center was filled with students, alumni, faculty and representatives from the country’s leading marketing companies. It was the second day of the 2013 Kellogg Marketing Conference, which featured the theme “The New Golden Age: Informed, Engaged & On-the-Go.”

The day brought on endless conversations around how brands attract, interact and maintain engagement with their consumers in today’s technology-filled world. Davide Grasso, vice president of Global Brand Marketing at Nike, kicked-off the morning with a keynote that focused on four important points:

  1. Know why consumers care about your brand or product
  2. Stay focused on consumer behavior and not the noise of technological advancements
  3. Take risks
  4. Continuously stay connected with your consumers and team members.

Following Mr. Grasso’s talk, I attended my first panel, titled “Same Brand, New Audience.” During the panel, representatives from Kraft, Coach, IBM and Translation discussed how their brands and clients have stayed on the cusp of culture. John Greene, chief strategy officer at Translation, spoke about the importance of knowing a brand’s boundaries; he stressed that brands today, more than ever, need to focus on their brand truth, and instead of chasing consumers, brands need to understand how to translate that truth to fit in today’s culture.

The second panel I attended was “Adventuring Outside the Traditional Customer Experience.” Representatives from Warby Parker and Trunk Club discussed how their brands broke through to consumers by offering untraditional business models. Warby Parker, for example, discussed their unique home try-on program, where they will mail you five pairs of glasses to try-on. Rich Lesperance, senior director of Digital Wallet & Rewards at Walgreens, also talked about the revenue differences between consumers who utilize multiple channels versus those who utilize one channel.

The day ended with another keynote, this one by Unilever’s Gina Boswell. Ms. Boswell highlighted the company’s vision to promote sustainable living across all of their brands and introduced Axe Apollo, the deodorant brand’s unique campaign that will send 22 fans to outer space!

Gina Boswell of Unilever at the Kellogg Marketing Conference
Gina Boswell of Unilever Speaks to Students

Overall, the 2013 Marketing Conference enlightened Kellogg students with some of the key challenges that marketers face today and connected them to representatives from some of the world’s top marketing companies and brands.