BRITE Takeaways


I had a fantastic time at BRITE this year. As a student still finishing my undergraduate studies in marketing communications, it was an incredible experience to spend the past two days with CMOs and thought leaders in the industry. Many thanks to Francois for inviting me to blog the conference with Max Kalehoff, David Berkowitz, Tom Guarriello, Lois Kelly, Valeria Maltoni and Christine Whittemore. Although I felt quite unqualified to join this group of seasoned bloggers, I really loved it.

The conference engaged marketing professionals in rich discussion about the convergence of technology and media and its implications for modern business

After the CMO summit on Thursday, the main part of the conference began with Marty Homlish, Global Chief Marketing Officer, SAP, accepting the 2008 BRITE Jury Award for Big Thinker. Here were a few sound bites from his acceptance speech that struck me:

Marty said when SAP looked to “reposition the company after the promise of dot com,” the first step he and his colleagues took was to “stop everything we did…Everything was disconnected.” Marty and his colleagues knew, “this thing called the internet is actually pretty powerful… it requires that you have one truth, that you exceed expectations… Our big idea was: tell the truth… be proud of the heritage and make it very clear what value you bring to the customer.”

He went on to say that great businesses and marketers have a clear sense of how to connect product, brand and experience, to “move a product story to a brand story and a brand story to an experience story.”

I loved Marty’s speech because I think he touched on a key opportunity often missed by us as we move from one shiny new technology to another; The Web and new media is advancing our communication but at its core, it allows us to get back to basic pursuits of human and honest connection.

Other sound bites and concepts that struck me during the day were:

“Brand is the consumer’s view of the product…By having a mutual respect, you can create the brand way before people get to the shop to buy it…Brand is a place you prefer to be… if Nike was a country, a lot of people would move there…Find out what’s important to people and build that place.” Mike Hemignway, Global Managing Director, Ogilvy

We have “more opportunity to make consumption part of a community and public rather than private.” Paul Ingram, Kravis Professor of Business, Columbia

We have an opportunity to cut through the noise and flash and create “simple, relevant experiences.” Banz Ledi, Founder and General Manageer of Spotme.

The future is already here; It’s just not evenly distributed…” and “…Dove should take an ad out in a fashion magazine like Vogue and say, “this magazine is a lie.” Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist

“Marketing as we knew it at P&G was obsolete. We needed to think expansively about innovation. After five years, innovative ideas are obsolete.” Mark Peterson, Director of External Business Development at P&G. Mark went on to discuss a key and radical opportunity to “cooperate with competitors” to serve consumer needs and drive innovation.

Paal Smith-Meyer, head of the New Business Group at LEGO, described a new model for customer co-creation of products. He said LEGO’s development model went from “LEGO developed & LEGO published, to LEGO co-developed with customers & LEGO published, to User developed & LEGO published and finally to a model of “user enterprise & LEGO partnership.”

Cisco has created an internal wiki called I-Zone to drive “venture capital- like growth and business development.” David Hsieh, Senior Director, Solutinos Markting for Cisco Systems’ Emerging Technologies Group

Hsieh and the “Open Source Models of Innovation” session panelists described the need for the development of a program that incentivizes internal innovation.

I recorded the rest of the key sound bites that struck me on my Twitter feed here.

During the second day of the conference, I used my new Flip Video to record two really great sessions. The audio and video quality isn’t great because of my seat in the audience and my camera skills, but there is rich discussion here I’d recommend you watch.

The first is a session on, “Building Brands in Interactive Media: Engagement and ROI in Gaming, Mobile, and the Web” with Microsoft Massive’s Carol Koh Evans, Quattro Wireless’s Jeremy Arnon, Molecular’s Yuval Zukerman and moderator, Bernd H. Schmitt.

The second session focuses on “TV 2.0, Online Video, and the Future of User-Generated Content” with Pulver Media, Pulver TV and VON’s Jeff Pulver,’s Aaron Cohen,’s Steve Rosenbaum,’s Stephen Voltz and moderator Yaron Samid.

There were so many ideas buzzing around the sessions at BRITE. I tried to capture most key parts of the discussion but I’d recommend checking out the other bloggers’ BRITE posts for a full perspective.

You can also check out the BRITE Flickr group here.


8 Responses to “BRITE Takeaways”

  1. Amanda,

    We did not get a chance to talk. I am glad you had the opportunity to attend and share this wonderful recap of the second day. From the way Marty Homlish was talking he seems to be working with someone who understands stories that work. I am doing a complete rewrite and reeducation in that direction myself.

    SAP has had its problems in the recent past, no doubt the rework will bear fruit.

  2. Hi Amanda – it was great to see you again at the Brite conference. I am happy you enjoyed it. I had a great time myself…there were some really good stories at that conference.

  3. Amanda, I noticed you with the flip and loved that you were using it. I love your summary and regret not having spent more time with you.

  4. Great writeup! It was a blast to finally meet in person. Hopefully we’ll get to talk more at the next one.

  5. Good info. and read. Will be back soon to read more of your information.

  6. hey you might like this, look what this person did with her legos, Legos knows no creative bounds!

  7. Thanks for ur information. Nice to meet you. :)

  8. @Valerie, Francois, C.B and David It was awesome to meet you and connect offline with you at BRITE! I felt really fortunate to be included in the group of bloggers with you!

    @Dean, Katie and Bimaconcept Thank you for checking out my take-aways. Katie, that LEGO site is so cool! Thanks for linking so I could check it out.

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