FUSE Miami. Palm trees. Blue water. Sunshine. What can you say except, “South Beach Bringin’ the Heat, Welcome to Miami, Bienvenidos a Miami.” With Will Smith’s song bouncing in my head, this year’s conference was off to a good start. Focused on immersing attendees into brand experiences, offering interesting insights along with new perspectives and featuring a variety of brand, strategy and design innovators, influencers and icons, it certainly delivered.
The icon was lifestyle legend, and lifelong entrepreneur, Martha Stewart. She was witty, insightful and delightfully opinionated. She shared insights about her branded products (which can be found in 70 million households). From my perspective she was a trailblazer in creating the omni-channel experience, connecting with consumers in-store, online and through various channels (magazines, TV shows, books, etc.). Monthly, the brand reaches 100 million consumers across all media and merchandising platforms. This is no small feat as her brand has remained relevant during our current age of disruption.
The conference offered over 35 keynote speakers and track sessions exploring the dynamic intersection of design and brand strategy. With so many informative and entertaining presentations, one that stood out was given by Vince Voron, who is innovating and revitalizing Dolby. Yes, Dolby. That 1970’s Dolby Stereo featuring movie surround sound. Remember how it elevated the first Star Wars to become an event? Dolby is truly reinventing the brand and the experience that it delivers today. The iconic “double D” is now used on some of the most advanced technical products. Products that reflect innovation for the home, office, cinema and mobile creating immersive and sensory experiences.
Many international brand conferences feature some of the best influencers. People who market and sell for a living, through the use of powerful imagery, inspiring words and unique perspectives. Brian Robinson, Global Head of Creative, Design & Development at Dreamworks shared his personal tale of always finishing second. He explained how resiliency fuels courage, courage breaks the boundaries of imagination and unbridled imagination is at the heart of innovation. Brian was a dynamic presenter, sharing his journey which only gave him more drive. His talent and persistence took him to Target and JCPenney where he was instrumental in some of the most memorable and successful marketing and brand launches over the last decade. But, most recently, he was instrumental in the brand re-launch of Trolls, the movie, licensing, merchandising and building of a global franchise for the Trolls brand. Brian was simply a fantastic and fascinating speaker with a relatable message.
There was so much good content that I wished I could have been in more than one place at once but unfortunately that was not possible. I have to admit that I found the whole FUSE Miami conference experience amazing. My key takeaway: how important it is to partner with an experienced brand agency who can deliver right and left brain thought leadership, and offers intelligent branding combined with innovative creativity. This plan charts a course for long-term success. And enables you to stay ahead of the competition by staying in close touch with your customers and therefore, remaining relevant during this age of disruption.