On January 26, 2016, Tenet Partners hosted a panel discussion with the New York American Marketing Association (NYAMA) at The Harvard Club of New York City. Titled “Building a Powerful Brand in the Age of Disruption”, the panel was moderated by Don Sexton, Professor of Marketing and Decisions, Risk, and Operations, Columbia University, and featured Jim Gregory, Chairman, Tenet Partners, Alexa Christon, Head of Media Innovation, GE, Brian Aronowitz, Chief Marketing Officer, Institute of Culinary Education, and Kevin Perlmutter, SVP, Chief Strategist, Man Made Music.
Below is an article excerpt written by Len Stein of Branding Magazine, where he highlights some of the event’s key themes.
No Brand is Safe in the Age of Disruption
By Len Stein
Published February 8, 2016
The American Marketing Association recently convened a diverse group of brand builders to address one of the most significant brand issues of the day – disruption and the threat it poses to established brands at New York’s Harvard Club. The panelists, whose members represented a global brand, GE, a firm that maps changes in the corporate brand ecosystem, Tenet Partners, a sonic branding firm, Man Made Music, and the Institute of Culinary Education, along with insights from moderator and Columbia University professor Don Sexton, eagerly joined in a conversation that ranged widely across contemporary branding issues.
Tenet’s Chairman, Jim Gregory (pictured here), set the course by telling the group of some 75 marketers, “Marketing is fundamentally shifting and we’re seeing the CMO job evolving to include P&L responsibility, oversight of cultural engagement internally, thinking about new product and service design, and seeking for new opportunities broadly across global markets. These are not easy challenges for marketers.”
A column theme, as related by Gregory, is the constant need to align the brand with the customer experience. “It’s very important to create alignment between your brand, the business process, corporate culture and the way you communicate to maximize the value of your brand.”
Sexton, who had recently attended a similar session where panelists offered four views of disruption, interjected, asking each panelist to offer their definition.
“Disruption is not about noise,” said Kevin Perlmutter, Chief Strategist of Man Made Music. “It’s actually about connecting in an emotional way with people, which is very hard to do as you have to think about how people make decisions when intercepting your communications.” He suggested that Tindr is a microcosm between the relationship between marketing and consumers. “It’s this tremendous amount of thoughtfully prepared content that’s vying for your attention and this high rate of rejection. As marketers we have to think of ways to get consumers’ attention before we’re rejected.”