Iconic and inclusive is the storyline for this year's FUSE conference. In keeping with the headline, but adding layers to this delicious dessert, we will focus our efforts here:

– Design is for people and innovation is for the corporation.

If deep empathy is central to excellence in design, then inclusive is always the essential intention of good design. Having empathy for the intended audience is parallel to design for the person. The corporation makes it iconic, while design makes something inclusive.

Let's apply the principles of design to an educational experience. Our secondary institutions are moving quickly to a place where students can design their own learning experience. If so inspired (perhaps by Steve Jobs) the software programmer can take a calligraphy class. Even better, the student of today and tomorrow may even find themselves fusing philosophy, design and software programming to emphasize the diversity of their interests.

Now, this is where FUSE steps into our world and makes a difference.

FUSE is a designed experience. While there may be exclusive brands, the knowledge shared is inclusive. While the brands may be common knowledge to many, the speakers have iconic stories to share. We, the audience, can craft our experience. We can design our education by picking the places we go and rooms where we stay. The only things you'll need are a full set of working senses, a brain and perhaps a writing utensil.

You'll have a tough time avoiding inspiration. If you have a brain, this is the liquid experience for which it is worthy of submerging. We send this out as our first challenge to the 500+ people at FUSE this year, can you attend and avoid inspiration? If you do, find us and we'll get you in a room that lights up your brain.

FUSE has been designed for us to hear the innovations behind the corporations we know well.

Capsule Brand Design
FUSE Muse
February 27, 2014 | Anthony Sperduti social links

lost in thought
with Anthony Sperduti

Co-Owner & Creative Director,
Partners & Spade

I'm inspired by Instagram and the community it's building and the people it's connecting strictly through Image.

To me, brilliant is going the farthest in the fewest steps.

When I'm having a creative block I call a good freelancer to help.

My favorite ad campaign is Alka Seltzer's campaign in the 70's (pop pop, fizz fizz....). They wanted to double sales, so they just increased the dosage to 2 tablets instead of one, and made a simple jingle reinforcing the idea of two.

The best advice I ever received is do what you love as soon as possible. Don't wait.

My dream collaborator is Rei Kawakubo.

A least once, everyone should start a small business. Understanding what all the pressures of a business are can make for being a stronger team member.

The most overused word in meetings today "digital." There is no difference anymore between online and offline – it's all part of culture.


photos
Find out more about Anthony's participation in FUSE 2014 arrow © 2014 IIR Holdings, LTD. All Rights Reserved.
Iconic & Inclusive. FUSE has a reputation of bringing attendees face to face with the most iconic leaders in design and brand strategy today.  We are excited to announce that for 2014, those iconic leaders include two of PepsiCo's very own: Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Indra Nooyi and SVP and Chief Design Officer, Mauro Porcini.

Come support your colleagues for this exclusive and groundbreaking session:

Why Design? Why Now?
Mauro Porcini, SVP, Chief Design Officer, PepsiCo, Inc.
Indra Nooyi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo, Inc.

In this groundbreaking session, PepsiCo's first-ever Chief Design Officer will ask his CEO, why design? In a candid conversation, they'll share stories of success and lessons learned in their journey to make PepsiCo a Design-First organization.

With One Collective Voice, FUSE is a forum for all to share stories, inspiration and best practices. This year, we welcome all to discover the incredible magic of FUSE. 

Download the brochure for details: http://bit.ly/1oXjZMf

Joining PepsiCo on the keynote stage for the most riveting, thought provoking speaker line up in FUSE history, is: 
  • Phil Duncan, Global Design Officer, Procter & Gamble
  • John Gerzema, Author, The Athena Doctrine
  • Tinker Hatfield, VP Creative Concepts, Nike
  • Doug Rushkoff, Author, Present Shock
  • Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador At Large, Barneys New York
  • David S. Moore, Vice President & Chief Brand Officer, Ethan Allen
  • Anthony Sperduti, Co-Owner & Creative Director, Partners & Spade
  • David Carson, Designer
  • Seung Chan (Slim) Lim, Designer & Researcher, Author Realizing Empathy
  • Mirko Ilic, Co-author with Steven Heller, Lettering Large

Download the full brochure here: http://bit.ly/1oXjZMf

Mention code FUSE14LI & Save 15% off the standard rate. Register today: http://bit.ly/1hbB5jX

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago this April!

Cheers,
The FUSE Team
@NextBigDesign
#FUSE14

nextbigdesignblog.iirusa.com
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Private Label Gets Personal

It’s All About Her (or Him)

We know that as consumers’ tastes, preferences and personal needs evolve, so must the brands and private labels that cater to them. In the grocery and beauty industry, it is clear that this involves getting to know your shopper’s personal health and dietary needs, and now more than ever, this also means understanding the key ingredients that should be explicitly excluded from the products they purchase. The shift towards a “me” culture has impacted the extent to which consumers expect their favorite brands to address their each and every need. For manufacturers and retailers alike, this means getting inside your target customers’ minds and offering products that will cater to them personally. As a private label brand or manufacturer, keep a pulse on your consumer and how her environment is shaping purchase patterns­—are your offering her what she wants this shopping trip and how will she know it when you do?

“Free from” Claims Are Becoming More Important

As a result of this cultural shift, we are seeing a difference in the way private label brands are addressing niche market needs. We have seen that brands now showcase key claims and “free from” statements in a more impactful way to help the shopper make purchase decisions as quickly as possible. Reaching the hyper aware and health conscious consumer is not only a space for national brands anymore—private label and national brand equivalents are reaching out to the same base and doing it well. Key players in the drug, mass, and grocery channels are recognizing that today’s consumer not only expects low prices for equivalent items from her private label or NBE, but she now expects them to deliver a unique product that meets all of her personal health needs and caters to trending “free-froms”. For example, a brand that knows how to play up the fact that its product is organic, free from parabens, or gluten free, will speak to this health conscious consumer more effectively than those that do not deliver these callouts on package. These benefits are no longer set aside as a luxury that is offered to national brands shoppers, but they are now also being implemented by a handful of forward-thinking private label retailers. Target recently introduced its private brand Simply Balanced, which is a product line targeted to its most health conscious consumers. Target guests are now offered a line of private label organics, naturals and simply well-balanced food choices that will support its own health plan and lifestyle. 2014 Private Label Store Brands Retailer of the Year, ALDI, has launched a similar concept with its Simply Nature brand, again showing the private label shopper that her favorite brands and retailers are taking a proactive approach to meeting her evolving needs.

Read more at http://www.thinkkaleidoscope.com/private-label-gets-personal
FUSE Muse
February 20, 2014 | Cheryl Swansonsocial links

lost in thought
with Cheryl Swanson

Partner, Managing Director, TONIQ LLC

I'm inspired by good TV. It is written well, acted well, and is often much better than movies. It also reflects our interests and reinforces that quality in any medium will be appreciated.

To me brilliant is 8 hours of sleep a night.

When I'm having a creative block I go out to eat or watch an episode of NCIS.

My favorite brand is Sharpie. There is nothing like the sensory feel, smell, sound of writing with a Sharpie.

My favorite color is black. Black is the new black in my closet.

Dream Project is redesigning the whole TSA experience at the airport...actually redesigning the whole experience of flight to make it more 21st Century.

A least once, everyone should ride a BIG roller coaster, gamble in Vegas, and swim in the ocean.

I'm looking for, but can't find someone who actually likes to do business development.

The most overused word in meetings today is "curated" and "Millennials."

The last stamp on my passport was Antigua.

photos
Find out more about her participation in FUSE 2014 arrow © 2014 IIR Holdings, LTD. All Rights Reserved.
Many business executives overlook importance of design in overall marketing performance, but truth is it can make or break your marketing campaign. While your company marketing may be what gets grabs people’s attention and gets them to take action, your web design will often decide whether or not they make the purchase.

At last year’s FUSE, Cliff Kuang, Design Editor at Fast Company and Founding Editor of its Co Design, discussed the biggest design story of the year and how design is having "a moment." 

Kuang distinguishes the current moment versus the moment we were experiencing about 15-20 years ago when a lot of people thought the breakthrough of design thinking was going to transform the way corporate decision-making happens. But, it didn’t quite happen like that…

Presently, design is not optional for most companies. “We are in a stage in the technology cycle where we are trying to figure out how to integrate and make the best of what’s already out there, as opposed to inventing wholesale like new technology new technology platforms,” he explained .

Now, we are at this very integration phase. When you are in an integration phase, you need to watch out for most is the user experience and the design of that experience, according to Kuang. For example, banking is in the midst of being disrupted by mobile experiences.

There are several examples that prove why design matters crucially to the ongoing success of a business.   Ultimately, a business can’t differentiate itself purely through technical innovation.

Kuang said, “In the end, where the rubber hits the road, is the design experience that people create.”

Check out the full interview below:


Cliff Kuang of Fast Company from IIR USA on Vimeo.

Uniting brand strategists and designers, along with trend hunters and culture curators, the 18th annual FUSE conference celebrates a collaborative approach to building more meaningful brands. We're curating stories about fusing strategy and design in all its' forms to ignite brand passion and growth. Provocative discussions will cover graphic design, industrial design, experience design, digital communications, interactive design & social media, brand strategy, trends, culture and more.

With One Collective Voice, FUSE becomes a forum for all to share stories, inspiration and best practices. This year, we present our most Iconic and Inclusive experience ever and welcome all to discover the magic of FUSE. To learn about FUSE 2014 click here:  http://bit.ly/1e4f8zU


About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.


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FUSE Muse
February 13, 2014 | Seung Chan (Slim) Limsocial links

lost in thought
with Seung Chan (Slim) Lim

Designer & Researcher,
Author, Realizing Empathy

When I'm having a creative block, I stand up, leave the work behind, and do something completely different, such as going to the gym.

Best advice I ever received is to leave behind what I had, in order to do something that scared me.

The best way to unwind after a long day is to give a loved one a kiss along with a sincere expression of gratitude.

I'm happiest when I let myself be happy.

At least once, everyone should take a semester long acting class.

I'm inspired by choice.

I wish I could share what I have experienced with everyone on the planet.

At the moment, I'm obsessed with realizing empathy.

Dream project is to design and build a whole new kind of hospital, one that is also a school.

My favorite brand is Seo Tai Ji.
photos
Find out more about his participation in FUSE 2014 arrow © 2014 IIR Holdings, LTD. All Rights Reserved.
We, at FUSE, want you feel special this Valentine’s Day! In the name of love, we are offering extended and exclusive $600 savings through Friday, February 14th.

Fall in love with FUSE.

Iconic AND Inclusive, FUSE unites top design leaders and brand executives to share stories about fusing strategy and design to ignite brand passion and growth.

FUSE celebrates a collaborative approach to building brands; one that marries design in all its forms, culture and strategy. Specifically, we will delve into graphic design, industrial design, digital design & social media, brand strategy, packaging, leadership, trends and culture.

FUSE 2014
April 7-9, 2014
Radisson Blu Aqua
Chicago, IL

Download the full program details and discover FUSE for yourself: http://bit.ly/1fYVFDq

Save $600 off the standard rate. Register today: http://bit.ly/1gq2NdR

This must attend experience inspires endless creativity, transformative thinking and meaningful action. So, add “Dinner with Valentine” and “Register for FUSE” to your calendar this Valentine’s Day.

See you in Chicago!

Cheers,
The FUSE Team
@NextBigDesign
#FUSE14
nextbigdesignblog.iirusa.com


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In their FIRST EVER on stage appearance together, this GROUNDBREAKING TEAM talks about the delicate and delightful of putting design first at PepsiCo, Inc.

Indra Nooyi,
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
PepsiCo, Inc.

Mauro Porcini,
SVP, Chief Design Officer,
PepsiCo, Inc.
Download the full agenda for details:

The only event to unite brand strategists and designers, the 18th annual FUSE event is the experience your peers trust to deliver it all. WELCOME.

DISCOVER FUSE.

FUSE 2014
April 7-9, 2014
Radisson Blu Aqua
Chicago, IL

UNITING CLOSE TO 500 LEADERS
In design & creative, brand strategy & marketing, trends & culture, insight & foresight.  A curious group of decision makers and influencers.

ICONIC & INCLUSIVE
Where industry legends convene with every day leaders to share provocative, inspirational tales and everyday lessons for the business of design and brands.

INSIGHT & STRATEGY
Take center stage as we seek to understand new consumer values, trends and behaviors

PARALLEL INDUSTRSIES
Are ripe with lessons and new ideas for your own brands. Consumer packaged goods, electronics, retail, media & entertainment, travel & hospitality, financial services, pharmaceutical, transportation and more unite at FUSE.

A MULTI -DISCIPLINARY EXPERIENCE

Experience design
Interactive design
Brand strategy
Packaging
Industrial design
Graphic & communications design

Download the full program details and discover FUSE for yourself: http://bit.ly/1fYwr8z

Mention code FUSE14LI & Save 15% off the standard rate. Register today: http://bit.ly/1bo9Yi0

Start your FUSE experience today.

Cheers,
The FUSE Team
@NextBigDesign

nextbigdesignblog.iirusa.com
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FUSE Muse
February 6, 2014 | Claire Mazursocial links

lost in thought
with Claire Mazur

Co-founder, Of a Kind

I'm inspired by Danny Meyer. He’s managed to scale his business while maintaining a really personal touch and high quality of customer service and product. I just finished reading Setting the Table, which is an amazing business book he wrote about hospitality. And I gave my parents The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook for their anniversary because it’s one of their favorite date spots. They’ve been loving the recipes and personal stories.

My favorite app is Proust. You create lists of things, rank them, and then send them to your friends to compare. Kind of like that game “Do, Marry, Dump.” It is therapeutic, hilarious, a great bonding tool, and addictive. In that order.

My favorite color: I love a pale, muted peach. Sort of the color of untanned leather. I remember right before we launched Of a Kind The Gentlewoman came out with its first issue. It was that perfect shade of salmon with Pheobe Philo on the cover and I was so obsessed with it. I tried really hard to get our web designer at the time to basically cover our whole website in it. I think he just obliged with a few buttons.

The very next thing on my to-do list is booking a hotel room in Vegas for a friend's wedding in March. I haven't been there since I was a kid so I'm pretty excited. I'm just so curious about whole experience.
photos
I'm looking for but can't find a good, reasonably priced sushi restaurant in Manhattan.

If I had a one year sabbatical, I would take classes in Photoshop, computer programming, art, and photography.

At the moment, I'm obsessed with Flat Vernacular's wallpaper designs.

As of now, I'm totally over cheeky sayings in unexpected fonts and/or places. Things like "Fuck Off" written in scripty old-English on a needlepoint pillow. The design world needs to come up with a new take on irony.

I'd define my personal style as casual and comfortable, these days. In 2012 my business partner, Erica and I tried our hands at fundraising, which meant lots of meetings with people in suits—and us donning our own (terrible and uncomfortable) versions of business casual. Ever since then I never take a jeans and flats day for granted.

The next stamp on my passport is Japan! I'm going to Tokyo for my honeymoon in May and I'm crazy excited (if a little intimidated by the planning part).
Find out more about Claire's participation in FUSE 2014 arrow © 2014 IIR Holdings, LTD. All Rights Reserved.
The world's most respected conference in the brand strategy and design community, FUSE explores design as a strategic asset in building better brands and more meaningful relationships with consumers. This must attend experience inspires endless creativity, transformative thinking and meaningful action.
April 7-9, 2014
Radisson Blu Aqua
Chicago, IL

See how FUSE tackles all aspects of design, brand strategy and insights:

Multi-Dimensional Design


Design Thinking and Innovation from IIR USA on Vimeo.
  • Universal Truths Behind the Handmade Design Revolution
  • Using Design Thinking to Solve Business Problems
  • Design at Target: Packaging Completes the Experience
  • Why Design? Why Now?
  • Protocepting: Ideas People Can See and Feel
  • Organizational Impact Through Design
  • Disruptive Packaging Technology
Brand Strategy


Brand Strategy from IIR USA on Vimeo.
  • Brand As A Strategic Decision Dynamic
  • Future Proof Your Digital Presence
  • The Building Blocks of A Successful Brand Narrative
  • Exploring Brands As Content Curators & Content Strategists
  • Passion x Purpose: Building a Lifestyle Brand
  • Holistic Brand Development
  • Launching Brands with a Startup Mindset
  • The Building Blocks of A Successful Brand Narrative
  • The Retail Brand Revolution

Building Cultures of Curiosity


What is Creativity? from IIR USA on Vimeo.
  • Consumer Led Design, No Peering into the Consumer Brain
  • The Power of Realizing Empathy
  • The Psychological Architecture of Meaning
  • How Gamification & Game Design is Shaping the Human Experience
  • Are You Prepared For the Hybri-Cultural NOW?
  • Decoding the Meaning of Design Finding the Truth in the Millennial Conversation
 As you can see, FUSE has it ALL.

Download the brochure for full agenda information: http://bit.ly/1b7LTvV

Mention code FUSE14BL & Save 15% off the standard rate. Register today: http://bit.ly/1b7LTvV

Experience FUSE for yourself!

Cheers,
The FUSE Team
@NextBigDesign
nextbigdesignblog.iirusa.com
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