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Top 20 Speaker Quotes from Brand Forum 2016

By Nicole Stirling , Friday, February 26, 2016
For marketers, simply finding the time to sit at their desks for an hour, unhindered, to keep up to date with the latest best practice advice, can be tough (Digital Survivor webinar, anyone?).

This year’s Brand Forum spanned two full days but, boy, was it worth it! A schedule jam-packed with some seriously impressive brands and job titles more than delivered on its promise to inspire, engage and educate attendees. As a gold event sponsor, we were absolutely thrilled to be a part of it! 

If you were unable to make it this year, or simply fancy a refresher on some of the key highlights, here’s Sitecore’s 20 favourite speaker quotes from Brand Forum 2016:

 

BrandForum Airbnb

“As marketers, we can make a huge difference to the world if, sometimes, we put our values ahead of our sales”.

(On Airbnb’s #mankind campaign)
- Jonathan Mildenhall, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Airbnb 


“What is the customer trying to get done? If they’re buying drill bits, their end goal isn’t to buy a drill bit… it’s to drill a neat hole in their wall. The question isn’t how can I sell more drill bits; it’s how can I help the customer to drill neater holes, more easily”.
- Chris Stubbs, Manager of Brand and Innovation, Virgin Australia

“People change all the time- they change opinions, tastes, behaviours, locations and they change jobs. Brand strategies need to be adaptive to ensure their messaging is always relevant to the customer at every moment of interaction”.
- David Redhill, Chief Marketing Officer, Deloitte

“Our product is effectively just pieces of plastic- so our job is to sell the value of the opportunities it can offer, both children and adults, to build, learn and create”
- Conny Kalcher, Vice President – Marketing and Consumer Experience, The LEGO Group

“In our industry, we talk about ‘Blockbuster syndrome’. The temptation can be to aim to host the next blockbuster exhibition – but how do you follow a blockbuster? The danger is that you end up chasing controversy, pop culture and subjects that don’t have any relevance to your brand value. Some of the best museums in the work have built their most popular exhibits outwards from their core collections… that way they ensure they never lose their integrity”.
- Liz Ann Macgregor OBE, Director, Museum of Contemporary Art

Brand Forum Sitecore

“Experience is utterly crucial to the brand. When you’ve successfully removed the friction points for customers, they’ll subconsciously stay loyal to your brand- because they’ll associate it with ease, reliability and trust.”

- Jack Loo, Business Development, Sitecore


“Sometimes as a marketer, no matter how much you think you know about your audience, you simply can’t pre-empt how the real world will accept your marketing campaigns.”
(On the failure of Airbnb's Cuba campaign digital content; instead, photos of Airbnb's full-page print ads for the same campaign went viral).
- Jonathan Mildenhall, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Airbnb

“Focus on being creative- and the sales will come”.
- Johannes Torpe, Former Creative Director, Bang and Olufsen

“It’s not just about the message- it’s about where that message shows up: content AND context”
(On Airbnb's Is Mankind? campaign)
- Jonathan Mildenhall, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Airbnb

“Only by knowing what we don’t do well, can we improve on the experience.”
(On the importance of Net Promoter Scores). 
- Conny Kalcher, Vice President – Marketing and Consumer Experience, The LEGO Group

Brand Forum ANZ

“To market at the speed of culture, you need to be clear on your purpose. Brands that are clear on this can deliver new initiatives quickly because they understand why they are doing it and how it aligns with their brand values”.

(On ANZ’s #equalfuture campaign)
- Carolyn Bendall, Head of Marketing, ANZ 


“There are many customer problems you can solve- but is the problem you choose to solve the most relevant? Does it really help to change customer behaviour?”
- Chris Stubbs, Manager of Brand and Innovation, Virgin Australia 

“Understanding your consumer segmentation is extremely important. For example, our research showed that the LGBT community travels more than their heterosexual counterparts. Knowing that enabled us to think about their needs and interests, which led to the Host with Pride campaign in Australia”. 
- Jonathan Mildenhall, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Airbnb 

“The purpose of the brand changes very rarely. The stories you tell, to bring your narrative to life, needs to be fresh and evolve- but the purpose should remain solid”.
- Ed Smith, Executive Director – Sales and Marketing, Foxtel

“In Australia, there seems to be an almost intentional blind-eye turned away from what’s working well in the rest of the English-speaking world… a determination for businesses to ignore the data and work it out for themselves. Why?? My advice to you is to stop this culture and become more open to the opportunity to learn from those who have succeeded before you”.
- Mitchel Harad, Chief Marketing Officer, Society One

Brand Forum T2

“Our aim has always been to be different: our competitors are either going in a different direction or following us… but they’re never the same as us”. 

- Maryanne Shearer, Co-founder, T2 Tea 


“Mistakes are ok- as long as I protect the humanity of my community”. - Jonathan Mildenhall, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Airbnb
“We didn’t view digital technology as a chance to cut our people costs; instead, we saw it as an opportunity to redeploy our staff into proactive customer service roles. We now have mobile staff who are responsible for seeking out customers in distress at airports (for example mothers with children or people who look a little lost) and helping them”.
- Chris Stubbs, Manager of Brand and Innovation, Virgin Australia

“We’re seeing a ‘return to the real’ – adolescents visiting our museums want to touch, feel and learn how to paint. I think the next challenge for brands will be how they can incorporate the ‘real’ experiences back into their brands, alongside the digital”
- Liz Ann Macgregor OBE, Director, Museum of Contemporary Art

“Lean into your ‘uncomfortable truth’ to uncover why the reward is worth the risk”
(On Airbnb’s Never a Stranger campaign)
- Jonathan Mildenhall, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Airbnb


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