Get into the minds of the people ushering the new era of brand. 

Each month, we sit down with creatives and brand leaders who share with us their passion, dreams, hobbies, business goals, advice, personal style, tools of trade, proudest moments, last stamp on their passports, and more!

Inside our FUSE MUSE Fall 2016 Edition eBook, you will find inspirational pearls of wisdom from design and brand leaders including:

·         Thomas Thurston, WR HAMBRECHT VENTURES
·         Mauro Porcini, PEPSICO
·         Judith VanVliet, COLOR MARKETING GROUP
·         Vicki Young, NALLA DESIGN
·         Melissa Steach, HERMAN MILLER
·         Vikram Bawa, MCCAIN FOODS

Download the eBook here:

Happy reading!

Also, next month join your peers and uncover the power and impact design can have on your brand and business. Don’t miss our upcoming FUSE London Conference taking place November 30-December 2, 2016 in London, England. Buy tickets here:

The FUSE Team

October's color alert is Redlicious, a sumptuous, appetizing red that suggests a forbidden fruit, full of temptation and sultriness. Its depth lures you in and takes hold of your visual sense, and conjures the senses of smell and taste. It is a smoldering fire, candy apple, and sensuous lip, all rolled into one.  

By: Sophie Corfan, Stylus Life Editor

As the world turns its attention to the upcoming U.S. election, prominent brands and figures across the creative industries have been jumping on the political bandwagon over the past few weeks. Brands are increasingly using campaigns to get behind social causes – from LGBTQI pride to female empowerment – gaining traction and respect among politicised consumers.

Remaining neutral while pushing politics, both Snapchat and Doritos have been encouraging their audiences to “Rock the Vote” recently – coinciding with the USA’s National Voter Registration Day (27th September). Snapchat’s initiative reminds users of the importance of voting through its infamous bite-sized videos, before directing them straight to the voter registration website. Meanwhile, Doritos vending machines on college campuses playfully point out that if you’re not registered to vote, you don’t get a choice – giving only tasteless chips to unregistered voters.

Brexit – and the subsequent political turbulence – continues to fill the news in the UK, and this week, a number of designers united over the Brexit Design Manifesto. The document, spearheaded by Max Fraser and Dezeen founder Marcus Fairs, lays out opportunities and challenges for the British design industry in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Signed by an array of design influencers, the manifesto demonstrates how industry leaders are taking the initiative to ensure the stability of their own future.

Fashion brands are also aligning themselves with the causes their customers care about. The Kooples announced that fur would no longer feature in any of its future collections. The decision has been prompted by a PETA campaign and petition signed by 60,000 people, demonstrating a willingness to listen to its audience and adapt accordingly. Monki’s feminist Monkifesto uses humour to attune directly with the core concerns of its young female consumers. The campaign’s catchy slogans –tackling periods, sexuality, cyber-bullying and more – will appear across a capsule collection over the coming months.  

As political and social issues infiltrate so much of the current conversation, it’s no surprise that consumers are expecting brands and influencers to join in – with 74% of US consumers appreciating companies being clear on what they stand for (The Futures Company, 2015). And with value-driven Gen Z and millennial consumers considering their beliefs key to their identity ­– and keen to spend accordingly – this trend is only set to accelerate.

Brought to you by Stylus Life, creativity and innovation news from around the web.

Neuroscience has been tapped to help brands understand consumer purchasing decisions for several years now, with methods from healthcare and academia such as EEG and biometrics applied to study the motivations of consumers. Marketing insights company Nielsen, for example, even has a branch devoted to neuroscience called Consumer Neuroscience headed by Harvard Medical School neuroscientist Dr. Carl Marci. But what have market researchers actually learned from all these efforts that can help brands?

Some very interesting research results have come from a Baylor College of Medicine study. A team of neuroscientists presented 40 subjects with vignettes of actions taken by both humans and corporations to monitor brain scans of their responses. This research originally stemmed from the inquiries into the legal implication of “corporate personhood” and fact that the American legal system has extended the rights of individuals to corporations and held corporations, as a collective unit, liable. Funding for this work came from the “Initiative on Neuroscience and the Law”.

Our Brains Use Different Areas to Process People and Objects

The study went like this: The vignettes given to the participants showed actions that were positive and pro-social such as donating money, neutral such as purchasing office equipment, or anti-social such as law breaking. There was also a control of vignettes about inanimate objects such as fruit or an ironing board. Baylor College’s website reported: ”When participants made judgments about people, specific areas of the brain involved in social reasoning became active. In contrast, when participants reasoned about an object, activity in these areas was diminished.” 

The Human Brain Experiences Corporations as People

The study found that people essentially used similar parts of the brain to understand corporate and human behavior. This study which originally had to do with law has applications to how consumers relate to brands – if they’re using similar parts of the brain to understand corporate and individual human behavior, they’re essentially equating brands with people! You can read the entire paper “Are Corporations People Too?” written by Mark Plitt, Ricky R. Savjani and David M. Eagleman here.

Companies Need to Work on Reputation, Loyalty and Trust

This study gives some radical insight into how people view brands; one author of the study, David Eagleman, says it tells us that companies need to work on reputation, loyalty and trust. We’re excited to say that Eagleman, host of PBS’ The Brain and NYT best selling author will be at The Market Research Event this October. Eagleman’s talk is called: “Emotion, Motivation, and Reputation: What Matters to the Mind of the Consumer.” 
We are excited to announce that FUSE 2017 will take place in Miami on April 4-6th. As we begin to layout the program and select speakers, we want to ensure we are meeting your current needs. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey below and share your thoughts on what you want to learn and experience, and who you want to hear from and meet at FUSE 2017.

As a thank you for your feedback, you'll receive a 20% discount off the 2017 FUSE Miami event.

Win a Free Pass to FUSE 2017: In addition to the 20% discount- If you choose to share your contact details at the end of the survey, you will be entered to win a complimentary pass to FUSE 2017. 
Please complete survey by Sept 15th to be entered to win. You can view the survey here:

Interested in Speaking at FUSE 2017?

Are you a brand/client side company? If you are interested in participating as a 2017 speaker please email the event producer Romina with your topic and contact details at . Please submit no later than Sept 28th.

Are you a vendor/ solution provider/ consultant? If you are interested in speaking or hosting one of the various networking events please reach out to Liz Hinkis to find out more. She can be reached at . Please note that vendor participation on the FUSE program is a part of paying sponsorship ONLY. Liz can provide further details on what those costs will be.

Thank you for sharing your feedback and I look forward to seeing you in Miami next April!


The FUSE Team
We are starting a "Color of the Month" series featuring Color Marketing Group's monthly Color Alerts on our blog. 

September's color alert is Golden "Maíz," which is a substance for life, glowing, abundant, and fulfilling. This hue resonates with history, and the future, as this color can embrace everything from food to precious metals. As a color of sustenance and wealth, warmth and health, it is a leading design hue for 2016 with the ability to change its look with materials and finishes. 

Get ready….FUSE is coming to London!

Join us for FUSE London, 30 November - 2 December, 2016 at the InterContinental London - The O2, to learn how toempower design to fuel brand impact.

Brand strategy and creative leaders from across the globe will unite to make their case for why design must be infused into every element of your organisation. Be sure not to miss a thing.

Download the brochure now:

Book your tickets today and Save £400. Plus, use exclusive Blog discount code FUSELONDONBL for an additional £100 off. Hurry this offer is only available until 9 September! Buy tickets here:

We hope to see you in London this fall!

The FUSE Team
Friday, August 26th | Judith VanVliet social links

lost in thought
with Judith VanVliet

Vice President, Communications & Public Relations, Color Marketing Group

I'm inspired by: Graffiti, tags, street art. I find the use of color & creativity on the streets, but also in art galleries and museums truly inspiring. And then, there is the old "people watching."
To me, brilliant is: How Pokémon Go has completely turned our worlds upside down in a single day. It shows how much we need to escape from reality and our need to play, even as adults.
My favorite app: It may be old school maybe but it is definitely Instagram. Still not a great fan of Snapchat but getting there.
When I'm having a creative block: I get out of the office and walk/jog, and train rides also give me time to daydream and here, most new ideas start.
My favorite brand: I do not have one favorite brand but my favorite shop at now is the concept store M Collective in Milan - great mix of brands for the modern male and female fashion.
My favorite color: As Color Designer I do not have a favorite color as I fall in love with new colors almost daily. It sounds weird, but when you are surrounded by 40.000 colors each day at the office and new ones coming in weekly, you'd understand. My current favorite is a purplish light blue.
My dream project: I am a big dreamer but at now it would be to present our color trends on true objects during Salone del Mobile in Milan.
The best advice I ever received: Be true to yourself. It is hard in today's world, but keep reminding myself.
The very next thing on my to-do list: Prepare my homework presentation for the ColorForward 2018 consumer color directions.
My dream collaborator: I am personally a big fan of Céline hand bags & their colors, so one day working with Phoebe Philo or even meeting her would be a true dream come true.
At least once, everyone should: Work and live in a different country. An experience that changes you for life & vision. Don't get stuck in one moment, one life, one country, one job. Change is hard but often for the better.
The best way to unwind after a long day: A glass of great red wine accompanied by amazing food
If I had a one year sabbatical, I would: travel a lot for work, but I never see much of the beautiful countries that I visit, so I'd travel the world! Learn a new language. I speak five, but would love to learn more!
The most overused word in meetings today: Disruptive innovation.
At the moment, I'm obsessed with: Avocado's, specifically guacamole after my business trip in Mexico.
As of now, I'm totally over: The current media. It's all negative, political situations, economic downturn, terrorism, it feels like propaganda so I have stopped checking the news or TV on a regular basis.
I'd define my personal style as: Comfortable yet stylish & with a smile.
My tools of the trade are: My enthusiasm and passion. I am a do-er and very action minded.
The biggest thing that has changed since I started in the industry: Everyone seems to be in color and color forecasting.
I'm happiest when: Having a great dinner with my beloved friends & family. I am a social animal & a foodie.
I wish I could: Fly back in time and visit a Janis Joplin concert.
I'm proud that: I got elected as Vice President on the EC board of CMG.
My playlist is: Anything from Janis Joplin to Miles David, Johnny Cash to Depeche Mode, depending on my mood. Music truly saves lives.
You can usually find me: Hiding in the bathroom when I need time for myself.
The last stamp on my passport: Colombia
The next stamp on my passport: Brazil
When I look back on my career: I never would have thought five years ago I'd be in this position. Seven years ago I turned around my life, quit my job, sold my house and moved from the Netherlands to Italy to start over. Leaving the world of colors was hard and I never thought I'd return, but here I am!
I still hope to: Ambition is a bitch, I want to grow and learn more and inspire more brands and companies to use the correct color for their designs and products.
Find out more about his participation in FUSE arrow © 2016 IIR Holdings, LTD. All Rights Reserved.
How can you ensure your design connects with future consumers?

Trends are ever changing and it seems almost impossible to keep up, how can you stay ahead of the trends and design for what’s next? To remain on the cutting edge it is essential to identify key trends that will allow you to create designs that motivate, inspire and drive your business forward.  At Foresight & Trends you will receive the inspiration, insight, tools and processes necessary that will ensure future growth and success. 

Download the Agenda to Gain Insights Into Emerging Trends:

Here are a few sessions we thought you would be interested in:

·         Using Storytelling and Design to Build Iconic Brands - Vince Voron,Vice President, Executive Creative Director, Global Brand Content Marketing, Dolby
·         Designing for Indulgence - Emily Empel,Head of Futures, Idea Couture
·         Evolving Celebrations—Getting to the Heart of the Consumer - Carol Miller, VP of Corporate Innovation, American Greetings
·         The New Premium - Mike Milley, Director of Creative Consulting, BMW Group Designworks
·         Designing for Liquid Lives - Dr. Antonia Ward, Global Head of Advisory, Stylus

Book your tickets today and save $100. Plus, use exclusive Blog discount code FT16BL for an additional $100 off. That’s a total of $200! Book your tickets today:

See you in Miami!

The Foresight & Trends Team

Most Popular