Brand Management: Rocket Fuel for Content Management



April 23rd, 2015
Silicon Valley Brand Forum at Atmel

Brand Strategy:
The Rocket Fuel for Content Marketing

Audience shot2


Atmel in San Jose hosted the latest brand forum, where leaders in brand and content marketing came together to discuss best practices in aligning brand strategy with content marketing strategy.

Download a summary of the event here.

Sander Arts, Vice President of Marketing at Atmel, opened the event with a talk about how they approach content strategy at Atmel.

farnsworth_presentingSteve Farnsworth, Silicon Valley Brand  Forum Director and CEO of Steveology, followed with a presentation sharing some amazing statistics about content marketing that emphasized the importance of gaining a deep understanding of your customers and providing them with content they can use.

View Steve’s presentation here.

JonathanBob O’Brien, Assoc. Director, Verbal Identity at Interbrand and Jonathan Redman, Senior Director of Client Services at Interbrand
gave a case study presentation showing how they approach aligning a content strategy with the brand foundation with clients at Interbrand. They showed examples of their work with American Express and NBC Universal.

Bobkand Panel

Bob Kennedy moderated a panel of experts as they shared their perspectives on creating a content strategy that aligns well with the brand.

The panelists included Sander Arts from Atmel, Margot Merrill Fernandez from Facebook, Karl Isaac from Adobe and Bob O’brien from Interbrand.

A detailed summary of the event can be dowloaded here.




David Aaker Shares His Long-Term Plan to Give Branding a Seat at the Executive Table

By Samantha Lien
Santa Clara University

I attended the Silicon Valley Brand Forum at NetApp in October, 2014, and I was particularly impressed by the opening presentation. For brand guru David Aaker, it’s all about the big picture. It’s about how branding can transform the way we do business.

Sharing six branding mantras from his book, Aaker on Branding, 20 Principles that Drive Success, Aaker underscored the power of branding to re-imagine current and long-term company success. Aaker Title Slide

Two of his main principles included having a “brand vision” for the company as well as “silo coordination” to allow branding to have impact beyond the marketing sector.

Brand Vision

Aaker first introduced the concept of brand vision with a quote from Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up somewhere else”. He most certainly has a point. It’s time to take a step back and ask, “Where do you want your brand to go in the next 10-20 years? How do you want people to think about it?”

This means creating a mission statement for your brand that is multidimensional and aspirational. Aaker gave the example of the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas Business School, whose overall mission is to “develop leaders that redefine how we do business.”

Brand vision, Aaker maintains, needs to encompass a higher purpose, which means framing the brand with the big picture in mind. It’s not just about you and your company’s profit. Haas wants to develop the best business leaders for tomorrow; Apple wants to build great products for the everyday consumer. A company needs to work toward having a positive influence on the world.

Silo Coordination

The other main principle that addresses the need for big picture branding is silo coordination, something that often goes against the grain of corporate America. Branding may fall under the marketing umbrella, but it is ultimately a tool to be used by all components of a company. It can direct engineers to develop new products, it can help advertisers brainstorm, and it can inspire employees to think big about the company as a whole.

Instead of isolating silos, Aaker says its time cooperate and communicate to best serve the brand’s vision through all aspects of the company.

Branding has the power to transform the way we do business externally and internally. It’s just a matter of showing how branding can pay off now and in the future.

Aaker and a Seasoned Panel Share Ideas at the Fall 2014 Forum

David Aaker Shares the Six Essential

Big Ideas for Building and Growing a Brand

Aaker Title Slide

Jennie GrimesOur event opened with a talk from Jennie Grimes, Vice President of Global Brand and Demand Generation for NetApp, who shared the NetApp perspective on integrating technology and brand strategy.


David Aaker, the Vice-Chairman of Prophet Brand Strategy and Professor Emeritus of Marketing Strategy at the Berkeley-Haas School of Business followed with our keynote presentation. Aaker presented six key ideas that every company needs to focus on to successfully build a brand. These ideas ideas were a consolidation of the ideas described in his latest book, Aaker on Branding: 20 Principles that Drive Success.
The 6 big ideas presented were:
  1. Brand as an Asset
  2. Brand Vision
  3. Subcategory Competition
  4. Brand Differentiators
  5. Customer Sweet Spots
  6. Silo Coordination
Each big ideas was filled with examples of companies who effectively put the ideas into practice, and a few who don’t.
The second half of the morning was a panel discussion with brand experts sharing their insights into the challenge of getting technology companies to integrate technology innovation with brand strategy.



Dave Aaker joined Kelly Hampton from HP, Mike Sanchez from Cisco and Emily Miller from NetApp answering questions like:

How does your organization define “innovation”, and is it part of the company’s values and culture?

In an age where the average tenure of a CMO is about 18 months, how do you  get execs to commit to long-term brand building programs?

Some of the most interesting questions, though came from our audience, who challenged and dug deeper into many of the questions. Join us in the spring for our next Silicon Valley Brand Forum.

Discussing the Visual Brand at Wells Fargo


Brian Still talks about the Wells Fargo visual identity.

Brian Still talks about the Wells Fargo visual identity.

Hizam Haron offers a perspective on the visual brand at McKesson

Hizam Haron offers a perspective on the visual brand at McKesson

Brendan Murphy, Lippincott, compares the Gap's and Starbucks' visual brands

Brendan Murphy, Lippincott, compares the Gap’s and Starbucks’ visual brands.

[Read more…]

The Visual Brand



J O I N  U S

at Wells Fargo in San Francisco for the

Spring Silicon Valley Brand Forum

Wells Fargo Learning Center

333 Market Street

San Francisco, CA 94108

APRIL 9, 2014

8:30am to 11am

Spend a morning interacting with brand leaders with strong visual brands in a panel discussion as they talk about infusing visual imagery into every part of their organization to create a unique and engaging experience for their customers at every touch point.


F I N D  O U T:

How companies define and communicate their visual brand beyond logo usage, colors and typefaces. You’ll learn how visual brands are defined as a specific attitude.

How to sell the value of a well-managed

visual brand to executives.

New trends in visual brand assets and how

to manage them.

Best practices and pitfalls in developing a

visual brand strategy.



Brian Still

Vice President, Brand Identity & Execution, Wells Fargo

P A N E L  M O D E R A T O R

Marty Brandt

Partner, TrueBrand


Brendán Murphy

Senior Partner in Design, Lippincott New York

Kurt Munger

Creative Director, Interbrand San Francisco

Matthias Mencke

Group Creative Director, Siegel+Gale

Hizam Haron
Senior Manager, Visual Identity, McKesson​
Christine Arthur
Brand Program Manager, Wells Fargo

Brian Still

Marty Brandt

Brendán Murphy

Kurt Munger

Matthias Mencke

Hizam Haron

Christine Arthur

Christine Arthur

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Copyright © 2014 Silicon Valley Brand Forum. All rights reserved.

Talking Content Strategy with the Experts

The Fall Silicon Valley Brand Forum

at Google

Aligning Content Strategy

with Brand Strategy

October 22, 2013

Thomas Ranese of Google Brand Studios

Ben Tomkins and Bill Calder – Intel Free Press

Steve Farnsworth, panel moderator and
Erin Robbins O’Brien of GinzaMetrics

Panelists Matt Cohen of OneSpot, Jon Miller
from Marketo and Craig Rosenberg of TOPO









Our recent event at Google was a full morning of experts sharing insights on content strategy and how companies are aligning it with brand strategies.

Thomas Ranese, Director of Google Brand Studios, began the event by sharing their view of content at Google, sharing examples of interactive content, user generated content, and creator generated content.

We have extracted highlights from video of the event, captured by our friends at School of Thought*,  and we have posted links to some of them below. We will add more highlights throughout November. Check out the clips of Thomas Ranese, as well as Ben Tomkins and Bill Calder from Intel Free Press, and our panelists sharing their insights on content strategy, including Erin Robbins O’Brien of GinzaMetrics, Jon Miller from Marketo, Matt Cohen from OneSpot and Craig Rosenberg from TOPO and

Silicon Valley Brand Forum at Google Video Highlights:

Thomas Ranese: Google and Brand

Thomas Ranese: Content Management

Thomas Ranese: Google Doodles

Bill Calder: Defining Brand Journalism

Ben Tomkins: Intel Free Press as a Valued Source of Content

Bill Calder: Crossing the Line in the Sand in Brand Journalism

Ben Tomkins: Crossing the Line in the Sand in Brand Journalism

Steve Farnsworth: Little Known Fact about Content Marketing

Jon Miller: Gated and Non-gated Content

Erin Robbins O’Brien: Strategies for Creating Good Content

Craig Rosenberg: More Ways to Ensure Content Provides Value



Host Sponsor:                             Premier Sponsor:                      Associate Sponsors:


Silicon Valley Brand Forum at Cisco May 14th 2013

Building Brands through Storytelling

Nancy Duarte, Jason Baer, Lou Hoffman and Art Kilinski shared insights and observations with a packed house at Cisco at the Silicon Valley Brand Forum. Nancy Duarte of Duarte Design opened the event with a captivating presentation that covered a wide range of perspectives on storytelling from why it’s necessary to how to do it effectively, including slides of her visual mapping of famous speeches to illustrate measurable elements of storytelling.

Jason Baer from Siegel and Gale moderated the panel discussion. Lou Hoffman offered his insights into the challenges Silicon Valley companies have had using storytelling effectively based on his two decades of experience running a PR agency in the valley. Art Kilinski offered his views on the visual aspect of storytelling and Nancy shared more real client experiences to illustrate her points in the discussion. The audience was fully engaged in the discussion as always, offering questions that reflected the wide range  of marketers that attend the forums.

Although Nancy’s slides from the event are not available, you can see a lot of the content from her presentation in her TEDTalk. Set aside 20 minutes and watch the whole thing.

Silicon Valley Brand Forum, Spring 2013


Once Upon                     a Brand


May 14, 2013

8:30am to Noon PDT


Cisco Blg. 9

260 E. Tasman Drive

San Jose, CA 

How brand storytelling creates relevancy, engagement and action for customers

The growth of social media has spawned numerous discussions about how to manage content how to get customers engaged with brands. Storytelling has proven to be the most effective way to get customers to relate to, believe in and interact with a brand.

We’ll define storytelling as it relates to brand building and explore the kinds of stories brands need to tell, from explaining who the corporate brand is to giving relevance to a new product or solution. We’ll also discuss the elements of an effective story and keys to delivering a story, both for companies and individuals.

The morning will begin with a presentation from renowned author and  communication expert, Nancy Duarte, who has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Wired, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times and on CNN. Her firm, Duarte, Inc., is the global leader behind some of the most influential visual messages in business and culture. Resonate, her latest book, spent nearly a year on Amazon’s top 100 business book bestsellers list.

You’ll also hear and interact with a panel of influential branding professionals in a spirited discussion on how their companies are using storytelling to build the brand. The panel will include Nancy Duarte, Lou Hoffman, CEO of The Hoffman Agency, a global PR firm,  Art Kilinski, Creative Director at Cisco and Thomase Ranese, Senior Director of Global Marketing Communications at Google. Jason Baer, Group Director, Content at Siegel + Gale, will moderate the panel discussion.



Presenter and Panelist
Nancy Duarte, CEO

Duarte Design

Panel Moderator
Jason Baer

Group Director, Content


Art Kilinski

Creative Director

Cisco Systems


Lou Hoffman, CEO

The Hoffman Agency


Thomas Ranese

Senior Director

Global Marketing Comm.






Silicon Valley Brand Forum Fall 2012 – Measuring Brands in the New Age

Our Most Recent Event:

Measuring Brands in the New Age

Hosted by

The event began with a presentation from Ted Sapountzis in which he shared some of the ways Next Principles has helped clients measure brand in the social media world. He began by talking about the amazing adoption of social media in B2B business and how companies have not managed to take advantage of the opportunities this has created. Ted showed how they have helped a sports equipment company in South America, Marathon, and EMC in North America engage with their customers through social media channels.

The panel discussion that followed was very insightful, as the seasoned marketers talked about balancing the exciting opportunities that have developed in brand measurement in social media with traditional brand practices.






Wading through the sea of new measurement tools

Long, long ago brand measurement was not so complex. You ran focus groups and did surveys to gather information, and you then determined how much brand awareness, preference and loyalty you had in the market.

Now that marketing has truly become a conversation we’re measuring things like share of voice, engagement, platform reach, brand sentiment, and numerous aspects of brand interactions. It’s both exciting and intimidating to wade through all of the options for monitoring the strength of your brand in social and mobile media. Some people get so enamored with the new tools that they forget the basics of brand measurement, and others are waiting for “this social media fad to pass.”

Our panel at SAP on November 8 should provide a lot of insight into the challenges brand measurement in this environment. They are all experienced enough to have a deep understanding of the core elements of brand measurement, the unchanging aspects, while providing a strategy for embracing the new tools available to  get a deeper understanding of how customers see your brand.