The OnBrand ’17 conference

The 12th of October Europe’s leading branding conference OnBrand, powered by Bynder, a leading digital file management platform, was held in an old sugar factory just outside of Amsterdam. It was great to be among the 2000 marketing professionals from across the globe, gathered in Amsterdam to share strategies, best practices and valuable insights.

OnBrand empowers marketing and branding professionals willing to go beyond the boundaries of what’s expected and push their brand into new frontiers. This year’s conference was a one-of-a-kind experience full of creativity, inspiration and innovation; providing insight to shape the future of the industry.

Among the 100 brands that made the Best Global Brands list, it was empowering to see that seven out of the top ten were technology brands: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Samsung and Facebook.

OnBrand

It was not a hard decision attending OnBrand ’17. A few of my reasons being:

  • The chance to connect with 2,000 international marketing professionals and learn from the industry’s best and brightest speakers (think Google and NASA)

  • Discovering how the world’s favorite brands are dealing with the opportunities and challenges of marketing in the digital age.

  • Four stages and an incredibly diverse agenda that I could tailor to my interests and role.

  • Networking opportunities with speakers and attendees for new business opportunities, mini-brainstorming sessions and making new connections.

It’s hard to pick favorites when there were so many inspiring speakers, but I managed to narrow them down to four that really made an impression on me:

KLM ‘customer first’
KLM recently announced that customers now also are able to receive their flight info via WhatsApp, next to Messenger, Twitter and WeChat. You might wonder why all these different channels, but it actually is a great way to reach every corner of the world with the platform they use the most! It was inspiring to hear more on KLM’s belief in the combination of human and technology to provide a timely, correct and personal conversation.

A good example of human vs. tech is BB (BlueBot) the most recent addition to the KLM team! KLM is well known for its personal approach. On social media, I have learned that they offer 24/7 service with a team of 250 human agents, handling more than 16,000 cases a week. As an end user myself, it’s easy to say that customers require a speedy response. KLM therefore has been experimenting with Artificial Intelligence to support their agents to provide a personal, timely and correct answer. With BB, KLM is taking the next step in its social media strategy, offering personal service through technology, supported by human agents when needed. So those of you who’re wondering how you can implement AI to improve your business, this is a great example!

HEMA ‘The “Supernormaal” global brand’
HEMA is one of Holland’s coolest brands. Adriana Hoppenbrouwer, HEMA’s director of customer & digital, took us through the brand’s design-thinking approach and why the Dutch power brand continues to prosper in changing times. HEMA is known for their bold approach. Their decision to remove ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ labels on their children’s clothing, the pride campaign they promoted (tompouce & tompouce, rookworst & rookworst) sometimes lead to controversy. I personally really enjoyed hearing how HEMA fans are the ones answering negative feedback on HEMA’s social media channels. Shows how powerful a loyal customer base can be.

Brands, technology and people: Lessons from Best Global Brands 2017
Interbrand’s CEO Jez Frampton, let us take a deeper look at the anatomy of a successful brand in 2017. Among the 100 brands that made the Best Global Brands list, it was empowering to see that seven out of the top ten were technology brands: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Samsung and Facebook. On top of that the newest addition to the list this year was Netflix, showing technology brands are capturing the hearts of customers around the globe.

Workshop: Teaching non-coders to use AI. in growth and marketing
Europe’s 1st Growth Hacking Academy GrowthTribe has spent the last year teaching non-coders to use machine learning for marketing and growth. As someone who has also worked in e-commerce in the past, it was interesting to hear how e-commerce companies have started using AI to place their product orders based on shopping predictions for the following months.

OnBrand

We still have a lot to learn about the applications of AI for marketing and growth, and turn it into a competitive advantage.

It was truly inspiring to discover how the world’s favorite brands are dealing with the opportunities and challenges of branding in the digital age. Thank you OnBrand!

Want to read more about the conferences we attend at Clay? Check out Christian’s take on Digital Innovation Day 2017!,

Or better yet, looking to enrich your own product and business? Get in touch to learn more about how we can integrate smart locks into your business!