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P&G Brings Thought Leaders in Digital Marketing to Annual Signal Conference

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Procter & Gamble has come a long way since making candles and soap at its inception nearly 180 years ago. Through repeated expansion and acquisition, the company now has a global presence, employing more than 110,000 and achieving annual sales close to $80 billion. In the age of unparalleled competition from stalwarts like Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive, and even CPG startups, how does one of the world’s most successful companies continue to innovate in the consumer packaged goods space? Their annual Signal conference may just have something to do with it.

Now in its fifth year, P&G executives launched Signal as a means of introducing their marketing & branding experts to industry thought leaders. This conference is open only to P&G employees and those who are lucky enough to snag an invitation; count the Brandery among the lucky few!

This year’s conference, entitled “Raising the Bar”, brought leaders from some of the decade’s hottest companies to P&G’s headquarters here in Cincinnati for a one-day, fast-paced master class in marketing and brand building.

Some of our favorite insights from the day:

“Technology is nothing without creativity.”
~ Mark Pritchard, P&G Chief Brand Officer

“Innovation is not top down, it’s bottom up. We must provide opportunities for young engineers to innovate.”
~ Daniel Zhang, The Alibaba Group Director and CEO

“We are experiencing a fourth industrial revolution. Every industry is being rewritten.”
~ Carolyn Everson, Facebook VP of Global Marketing Solutions

“Establish a relationship of openness when collaborating- encourage entire teams to work together.”
~ Julia Goldin, The Lego Group EVP/Global CMO

“Stop paying so much money for research! Get out there and do it yourself!”
~ Wendy Lea, Cintrifuse CEO

“The worst thing you can say is that we’re going to do things the way we always have.”
~ Steve Burke, NBC Universal CEO

Brandery P&G Fellows AdAdapted (2015) and ShopperBridge (2016) also took to the stage to share what their exclusive partnership with P&G has looked like over the past several months.

Want to see more from the event? Check out #SignalPG on Twitter. Thank you very much to P&G and to Stan Joosten for inviting the Brandery to be a part of this incredible day!

The P&G Fellowship: High-Potential Meets High-Powered

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One of the most interesting and unique aspects of The Brandery’s accelerator program is its focus on branding, design, and marketing. Leveraging the Cincinnati region’s marketing expertise has been a tremendous benefit to companies that have come through the accelerator, in many ways: access to world-class mentors, pro-bono work from some of the country’s leading branding agencies, and even the opportunity to partner with some of the area’s Fortune 500 companies (there are 10 of these Big Companies, or BigCos, as we call them). These partnerships are a great way for a startup to gain incredible traction and validation early in their development cycle, while building meaningful relationships with potential customers.

The Procter & Gamble Fellowship is one example of a partnership that The Brandery is able to provide to two high-potential startups that come through the accelerator. This program provides an incredibly unique opportunity for high-potential startups to advance their strategy and growth in a real-world environment. Past Brandery graduates who have been a part of this fellowship include Ahalogy, ChoreMonster, and AdAdapted.

“We’re thrilled about Procter & Gamble’s continued support of The Brandery and our startups,” Brandery Co-Founder Dave Knox said. “If you’re a startup looking to sell to marketers or work with CPG companies, there is not going to be a better opportunity to change the trajectory of your business.”

2015 Brandery members AdAdapted, a native advertising platform for mobile apps, participated in the fellowship last year, and launched their first pilot with P&G in December. Since then, they’ve brought a number of brands to their platform and are in the process of launching a second pilot. “With AdAdapted being in the AdTech industry, the ability to work directly with P&G was amazing,” Co-Founder Mike Pedersen had to say. “When it comes to advertising, they’re the gold standard. The fact that we were able to get mentorship and advice from people throughout the multiple areas of the organization was huge.”

If you’re a startup working in the area of Connected Products & Platforms, Brand Building & Commerce, and/or Big Data & Analytics, the Procter & Gamble Fellowship could be a great opportunity to grow your company even further. All Brandery applicants will be considered for the P&G Fellowship. Apply by April 29!