2021 Predictions

August 28, 2020
You’re seeing a meteoric rise of influencers, and I attribute some of that to the fact we haven’t been able to go shopping with friends. We often say that friends and family are the biggest influencers on a purchase. If I can’t go shopping with my best friend in California, where is that influence coming from? It’s likely going to come from those content producers that are entertaining, engaging and really building a relationship with you. I think influencers carry a strong sense of authenticity to their followers. They’re really careful about who they partner with. They feel their personal brand is on the line. And it’s as much a compliment to be chosen by them as it is for you to have a partnership with them.

Heading

Shenan Reed
SVP, Head of Media, L'Oreal
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Previous Quote's of the Day

Kathleen Braine
Senior Director of Brand Marketing, BABE Wine, Anheuser-Busch InBev
It is really important, especially when you are a consumer good and a lot of your brand is based in these emotional moments that are relevant in the world today, to really be tapped into that culture and to be able to react to it. You can have the best social listening in the world but if you are not able to react to it immediately then why are you listening? We really think especially at BABE we have our finger on the pulse of what our consumers are talking about and then we try to look for what that human insight is and look for where our brand can authentically play. It is not enough to just comment on things. If you are trying to talk to everyone, you are talking to no one, so how do you join cultural moments and really think about what is happening in the world and still be a human and be authentic to that brand and to who your consumer is. It’s a delicate balance.

It is really important, especially when you are a consumer good and a lot of your brand is based in these emotional moments that are relevant in the world today, to really be tapped into that culture and to be able to react to it. You can have the best social listening in the world but if you are not able to react to it immediately then why are you listening? We really think especially at BABE we have our finger on the pulse of what our consumers are talking about and then we try to look for what that human insight is and look for where our brand can authentically play. It is not enough to just comment on things. If you are trying to talk to everyone, you are talking to no one, so how do you join cultural moments and really think about what is happening in the world and still be a human and be authentic to that brand and to who your consumer is. It’s a delicate balance.

Amanda Goetz
VP Marketing, The Knot Worldwide
Being open minded from a content perspective is a huge pillar for us. Our core focus is that we believe anyone should marry who they want, when they want, and if they want - the if is actually really important because we care a lot about the marriage more than just the wedding. We {as a society} have to remind ourselves that all of the time, it’s not about spending a lot of money on one given day. it’s about two humans coming together, and how we can use our product and platform to prepare people for that, and that’s talking about relationship health, how to love yourself, what it means to go to therapy - normalizing those aspects and talking through what it’s like to experience it. Also, celebrating second weddings - it’s important to show that there is no right or wrong way to live your life and we are here to support everyone. We are a brand that stands for acceptance, helping people feel good about living their life; however they choose to define it.

Being open minded from a content perspective is a huge pillar for us. Our core focus is that we believe anyone should marry who they want, when they want, and if they want - the if is actually really important because we care a lot about the marriage more than just the wedding. We {as a society} have to remind ourselves that all of the time, it’s not about spending a lot of money on one given day. it’s about two humans coming together, and how we can use our product and platform to prepare people for that, and that’s talking about relationship health, how to love yourself, what it means to go to therapy - normalizing those aspects and talking through what it’s like to experience it. Also, celebrating second weddings - it’s important to show that there is no right or wrong way to live your life and we are here to support everyone. We are a brand that stands for acceptance, helping people feel good about living their life; however they choose to define it.

Ishita Ahmed
Director of Loyalty, CRM, and Personalization, Taco Bell
I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of the launch of Taco Bell’s loyalty program - a program that has been in the works for a couple of years. It had to go through a lot of different levels of approvals to make this happen, and believe it or not, the pandemic actually delayed the launch. Something I noticed when I joined Taco Bell was the ability of speed to customers. With the pandemic, Taco Bell did a really great job of reacting to the customer and meeting them where they needed to be. With the safety precautions, ordering ahead in the app and all of the different technical pieces took priority to the loyalty program. We had to put the customer first and make sure the customer knows that we’re on the same road of concern with safety that they are.

I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of the launch of Taco Bell’s loyalty program - a program that has been in the works for a couple of years. It had to go through a lot of different levels of approvals to make this happen, and believe it or not, the pandemic actually delayed the launch. Something I noticed when I joined Taco Bell was the ability of speed to customers. With the pandemic, Taco Bell did a really great job of reacting to the customer and meeting them where they needed to be. With the safety precautions, ordering ahead in the app and all of the different technical pieces took priority to the loyalty program. We had to put the customer first and make sure the customer knows that we’re on the same road of concern with safety that they are.

Gilbertson Cuffy
Brand Marketing Director, PepsiCo
I think it's important to recognize that we do benefit from culture. It’s the reason why brands want to get involved in cultural conversations - especially today with impressions, likes, news recaps, essentially the roundups. If everyone is talking about the Grammys or the Super Bowl - and you’re taking part in those big moments, hopefully, you’re a part of the broad conversation that is attached to it, which could lead to brand affinity, then sales. Brands need to go beyond participating in culture - what are you adding in value? There is something called a culture vulture and consumers are really good at sussing that out. It’s up to us as brands to recognize that whatever audience we’re targeting at that moment, you are actually adding to the moment instead of taking from it.

I think it's important to recognize that we do benefit from culture. It’s the reason why brands want to get involved in cultural conversations - especially today with impressions, likes, news recaps, essentially the roundups. If everyone is talking about the Grammys or the Super Bowl - and you’re taking part in those big moments, hopefully, you’re a part of the broad conversation that is attached to it, which could lead to brand affinity, then sales. Brands need to go beyond participating in culture - what are you adding in value? There is something called a culture vulture and consumers are really good at sussing that out. It’s up to us as brands to recognize that whatever audience we’re targeting at that moment, you are actually adding to the moment instead of taking from it.

Scott Donaton
Head of Creative, Hulu
There are three primary things that my team does. We work on the Hulu brand, the Hulu content strategy and we work with Hulu’s advertising partners to help them do things beyond the traditional advertising units. In all of those cases, when it comes to my internal teammates, I don’t want them to think of us as an in-house agency because the danger is that your co-workers begin to treat you as a vendor. The people that we work with are not our clients - we are their partners and teammates. When we work with outside agencies, which we always will because we want to become navel-gazers and there are certain capabilities and resources that we don’t have in-house, we don’t want to be seen as a competitor to them - but instead as a collaborator. When we work with our advertising and brand partners, we don’t want their agencies to think of it as us trying to take their role. I think of us as an in-house creative studio, but I don’t think of us as an agency.

There are three primary things that my team does. We work on the Hulu brand, the Hulu content strategy and we work with Hulu’s advertising partners to help them do things beyond the traditional advertising units. In all of those cases, when it comes to my internal teammates, I don’t want them to think of us as an in-house agency because the danger is that your co-workers begin to treat you as a vendor. The people that we work with are not our clients - we are their partners and teammates. When we work with outside agencies, which we always will because we want to become navel-gazers and there are certain capabilities and resources that we don’t have in-house, we don’t want to be seen as a competitor to them - but instead as a collaborator. When we work with our advertising and brand partners, we don’t want their agencies to think of it as us trying to take their role. I think of us as an in-house creative studio, but I don’t think of us as an agency.

Shenan Reed
SVP, Head of Media, L'Oreal
Doug Palladini
Global Brand President, Vans
Vans is an inclusive brand by nature. Ubiquity is not our objective. We had to live up to our commitment in saying Black Lives Matter. A lot of people come on our site to criticize our Black Lives Matter stance, and they say “All lives matter. I'm throwing my vans in the trash.” And what we’re saying is, that’s ok. We think if you can’t get your head around Black Lives Matter, then maybe Vans isn’t the brand for you. It can be really hard for brands to have that fortitude to let people go. Again, in our mind, it’s quality over quantity of our fans....Posting about Black Lives Matter is easy. The harder thing to do is consistent and ongoing actions by our brand until anti-racist actions are done and we no longer have a system that breeds bigotry, hate and racism in this country.

Vans is an inclusive brand by nature. Ubiquity is not our objective. We had to live up to our commitment in saying Black Lives Matter. A lot of people come on our site to criticize our Black Lives Matter stance, and they say “All lives matter. I'm throwing my vans in the trash.” And what we’re saying is, that’s ok. We think if you can’t get your head around Black Lives Matter, then maybe Vans isn’t the brand for you. It can be really hard for brands to have that fortitude to let people go. Again, in our mind, it’s quality over quantity of our fans....Posting about Black Lives Matter is easy. The harder thing to do is consistent and ongoing actions by our brand until anti-racist actions are done and we no longer have a system that breeds bigotry, hate and racism in this country.

Heather Hinkel
Senior Director, Brand Strategy, Minnesota Twins
Natalie Bowman
Managing Director, Marketing and Advertising, Alaska Airlines
During Covid, our role was very focused on communicating to ease people’s minds. For people traveling, we wanted them to understand that the air on an aircraft is safer than in your office building. But we were not actively promoting travel, we were trying to be very cautious and not encourage people to do something that they’re not ready for. Now we’re hoping we’re getting closer to a place where we can start actively promoting travel. I have a revenue target that I know I have to hit with a combination of promos, performance media and driving storytelling on our owned channels. Four years ago, marketing looked like picking menu items and not contributing to revenue performance, so to be in this position I’m really excited and a little nervous.

During Covid, our role was very focused on communicating to ease people’s minds. For people traveling, we wanted them to understand that the air on an aircraft is safer than in your office building. But we were not actively promoting travel, we were trying to be very cautious and not encourage people to do something that they’re not ready for. Now we’re hoping we’re getting closer to a place where we can start actively promoting travel. I have a revenue target that I know I have to hit with a combination of promos, performance media and driving storytelling on our owned channels. Four years ago, marketing looked like picking menu items and not contributing to revenue performance, so to be in this position I’m really excited and a little nervous.

Gabriela McCoy
Director, Strategic Insights and Analytics, Bacardi
Chris Hollander
Chief Marketing Officer, Panera Bread
Elizabeth Rutledge
Chief Marketing Officer, American Express
This crisis certainly has reminded me how important shared experiences are and I truly believe they’re going to come back. Right now we have to reimagine them. We have to figure out where our customers are and what their needs are, whether it’s thinking about virtual conferences or live experiences that follow social distancing principles. We’re actually executing and testing on those ideas as we speak. Whether it's live streaming theater productions, holding virtual office hours or events for our business customers who need so much help, we've had to think differently. I think you'll see some of these shifts continuing even as the shelter in place restrictions are being lifted across the globe. You have to adapt, and that's what we're doing.

This crisis certainly has reminded me how important shared experiences are and I truly believe they’re going to come back. Right now we have to reimagine them. We have to figure out where our customers are and what their needs are, whether it’s thinking about virtual conferences or live experiences that follow social distancing principles. We’re actually executing and testing on those ideas as we speak. Whether it's live streaming theater productions, holding virtual office hours or events for our business customers who need so much help, we've had to think differently. I think you'll see some of these shifts continuing even as the shelter in place restrictions are being lifted across the globe. You have to adapt, and that's what we're doing.

Kimberly Evans Paige
EVP, Chief Marketing Officer, BET Networks & Live Events, ViacomCBS
What we’re seeing now is other networks generating black content or content geared towards African Americans, but they can’t do just that. They too have to show up differently. We like to say ‘You can’t have our rhythm without our blues.’. When things happen we know we have to stand up. We often feel like if BET doesn’t stand up, who will? Even when the pandemic first broke out, none of it was a surprise to us. Literally in a weekend, we knew the severity and impact it was gonna have on our community. It wasn’t like ‘Let’s go report on it.’ It was, ‘Let’s go do something’. And that is BET - it has such an understanding and connection to the community. It never pauses to stand back. It says, ‘We’ve now gotta be at the frontline and help change outcomes.

What we’re seeing now is other networks generating black content or content geared towards African Americans, but they can’t do just that. They too have to show up differently. We like to say ‘You can’t have our rhythm without our blues.’. When things happen we know we have to stand up. We often feel like if BET doesn’t stand up, who will? Even when the pandemic first broke out, none of it was a surprise to us. Literally in a weekend, we knew the severity and impact it was gonna have on our community. It wasn’t like ‘Let’s go report on it.’ It was, ‘Let’s go do something’. And that is BET - it has such an understanding and connection to the community. It never pauses to stand back. It says, ‘We’ve now gotta be at the frontline and help change outcomes.

Esi Eggleston Bracey
EVP & COO NA Beauty and Personal Care, Unilever
I vividly remember early on in my career attending a diversity training session where a woman explained to me, ‘When you go into an environment that’s not diverse, you adapt to survive.’ And I had this ‘Aha!’moment like, ‘Oh my God, that’s exactly what I’m doing.’ It was out of that I decided to do something different. If I’m a champion of diversity, I have to put my money where my mouth is, even if it’s uncomfortable.’ I took the perm out of my hair, I started talking about my manicures and being a person of color who was young and female. And from that I was able to make an impact and get more promotions and have a personal experience where I learned that it really does matter when you bring your whole self to the workplace.

I vividly remember early on in my career attending a diversity training session where a woman explained to me, ‘When you go into an environment that’s not diverse, you adapt to survive.’ And I had this ‘Aha!’moment like, ‘Oh my God, that’s exactly what I’m doing.’ It was out of that I decided to do something different. If I’m a champion of diversity, I have to put my money where my mouth is, even if it’s uncomfortable.’ I took the perm out of my hair, I started talking about my manicures and being a person of color who was young and female. And from that I was able to make an impact and get more promotions and have a personal experience where I learned that it really does matter when you bring your whole self to the workplace.

Previous Quote's of the Week

It is really important, especially when you are a consumer good and a lot of your brand is based in these emotional moments that are relevant in the world today, to really be tapped into that culture and to be able to react to it. You can have the best social listening in the world but if you are not able to react to it immediately then why are you listening? We really think especially at BABE we have our finger on the pulse of what our consumers are talking about and then we try to look for what that human insight is and look for where our brand can authentically play. It is not enough to just comment on things. If you are trying to talk to everyone, you are talking to no one, so how do you join cultural moments and really think about what is happening in the world and still be a human and be authentic to that brand and to who your consumer is. It’s a delicate balance.

It is really important, especially when you are a consumer good and a lot of your brand is based in these emotional moments that are relevant in the world today, to really be tapped into that culture and to be able to react to it. You can have the best social listening in the world but if you are not able to react to it immediately then why are you listening? We really think especially at BABE we have our finger on the pulse of what our consumers are talking about and then we try to look for what that human insight is and look for where our brand can authentically play. It is not enough to just comment on things. If you are trying to talk to everyone, you are talking to no one, so how do you join cultural moments and really think about what is happening in the world and still be a human and be authentic to that brand and to who your consumer is. It’s a delicate balance.

Kathleen Braine
Senior Director of Brand Marketing, BABE Wine, Anheuser-Busch InBev
Being open minded from a content perspective is a huge pillar for us. Our core focus is that we believe anyone should marry who they want, when they want, and if they want - the if is actually really important because we care a lot about the marriage more than just the wedding. We {as a society} have to remind ourselves that all of the time, it’s not about spending a lot of money on one given day. it’s about two humans coming together, and how we can use our product and platform to prepare people for that, and that’s talking about relationship health, how to love yourself, what it means to go to therapy - normalizing those aspects and talking through what it’s like to experience it. Also, celebrating second weddings - it’s important to show that there is no right or wrong way to live your life and we are here to support everyone. We are a brand that stands for acceptance, helping people feel good about living their life; however they choose to define it.

Being open minded from a content perspective is a huge pillar for us. Our core focus is that we believe anyone should marry who they want, when they want, and if they want - the if is actually really important because we care a lot about the marriage more than just the wedding. We {as a society} have to remind ourselves that all of the time, it’s not about spending a lot of money on one given day. it’s about two humans coming together, and how we can use our product and platform to prepare people for that, and that’s talking about relationship health, how to love yourself, what it means to go to therapy - normalizing those aspects and talking through what it’s like to experience it. Also, celebrating second weddings - it’s important to show that there is no right or wrong way to live your life and we are here to support everyone. We are a brand that stands for acceptance, helping people feel good about living their life; however they choose to define it.

Amanda Goetz
VP Marketing, The Knot Worldwide
I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of the launch of Taco Bell’s loyalty program - a program that has been in the works for a couple of years. It had to go through a lot of different levels of approvals to make this happen, and believe it or not, the pandemic actually delayed the launch. Something I noticed when I joined Taco Bell was the ability of speed to customers. With the pandemic, Taco Bell did a really great job of reacting to the customer and meeting them where they needed to be. With the safety precautions, ordering ahead in the app and all of the different technical pieces took priority to the loyalty program. We had to put the customer first and make sure the customer knows that we’re on the same road of concern with safety that they are.

I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of the launch of Taco Bell’s loyalty program - a program that has been in the works for a couple of years. It had to go through a lot of different levels of approvals to make this happen, and believe it or not, the pandemic actually delayed the launch. Something I noticed when I joined Taco Bell was the ability of speed to customers. With the pandemic, Taco Bell did a really great job of reacting to the customer and meeting them where they needed to be. With the safety precautions, ordering ahead in the app and all of the different technical pieces took priority to the loyalty program. We had to put the customer first and make sure the customer knows that we’re on the same road of concern with safety that they are.

Ishita Ahmed
Director of Loyalty, CRM, and Personalization, Taco Bell
I think it's important to recognize that we do benefit from culture. It’s the reason why brands want to get involved in cultural conversations - especially today with impressions, likes, news recaps, essentially the roundups. If everyone is talking about the Grammys or the Super Bowl - and you’re taking part in those big moments, hopefully, you’re a part of the broad conversation that is attached to it, which could lead to brand affinity, then sales. Brands need to go beyond participating in culture - what are you adding in value? There is something called a culture vulture and consumers are really good at sussing that out. It’s up to us as brands to recognize that whatever audience we’re targeting at that moment, you are actually adding to the moment instead of taking from it.

I think it's important to recognize that we do benefit from culture. It’s the reason why brands want to get involved in cultural conversations - especially today with impressions, likes, news recaps, essentially the roundups. If everyone is talking about the Grammys or the Super Bowl - and you’re taking part in those big moments, hopefully, you’re a part of the broad conversation that is attached to it, which could lead to brand affinity, then sales. Brands need to go beyond participating in culture - what are you adding in value? There is something called a culture vulture and consumers are really good at sussing that out. It’s up to us as brands to recognize that whatever audience we’re targeting at that moment, you are actually adding to the moment instead of taking from it.

Gilbertson Cuffy
Brand Marketing Director, PepsiCo
There are three primary things that my team does. We work on the Hulu brand, the Hulu content strategy and we work with Hulu’s advertising partners to help them do things beyond the traditional advertising units. In all of those cases, when it comes to my internal teammates, I don’t want them to think of us as an in-house agency because the danger is that your co-workers begin to treat you as a vendor. The people that we work with are not our clients - we are their partners and teammates. When we work with outside agencies, which we always will because we want to become navel-gazers and there are certain capabilities and resources that we don’t have in-house, we don’t want to be seen as a competitor to them - but instead as a collaborator. When we work with our advertising and brand partners, we don’t want their agencies to think of it as us trying to take their role. I think of us as an in-house creative studio, but I don’t think of us as an agency.

There are three primary things that my team does. We work on the Hulu brand, the Hulu content strategy and we work with Hulu’s advertising partners to help them do things beyond the traditional advertising units. In all of those cases, when it comes to my internal teammates, I don’t want them to think of us as an in-house agency because the danger is that your co-workers begin to treat you as a vendor. The people that we work with are not our clients - we are their partners and teammates. When we work with outside agencies, which we always will because we want to become navel-gazers and there are certain capabilities and resources that we don’t have in-house, we don’t want to be seen as a competitor to them - but instead as a collaborator. When we work with our advertising and brand partners, we don’t want their agencies to think of it as us trying to take their role. I think of us as an in-house creative studio, but I don’t think of us as an agency.

Scott Donaton
Head of Creative, Hulu
You’re seeing a meteoric rise of influencers, and I attribute some of that to the fact we haven’t been able to go shopping with friends. We often say that friends and family are the biggest influencers on a purchase. If I can’t go shopping with my best friend in California, where is that influence coming from? It’s likely going to come from those content producers that are entertaining, engaging and really building a relationship with you. I think influencers carry a strong sense of authenticity to their followers. They’re really careful about who they partner with. They feel their personal brand is on the line. And it’s as much a compliment to be chosen by them as it is for you to have a partnership with them.

You’re seeing a meteoric rise of influencers, and I attribute some of that to the fact we haven’t been able to go shopping with friends. We often say that friends and family are the biggest influencers on a purchase. If I can’t go shopping with my best friend in California, where is that influence coming from? It’s likely going to come from those content producers that are entertaining, engaging and really building a relationship with you. I think influencers carry a strong sense of authenticity to their followers. They’re really careful about who they partner with. They feel their personal brand is on the line. And it’s as much a compliment to be chosen by them as it is for you to have a partnership with them.

Shenan Reed
SVP, Head of Media, L'Oreal
Vans is an inclusive brand by nature. Ubiquity is not our objective. We had to live up to our commitment in saying Black Lives Matter. A lot of people come on our site to criticize our Black Lives Matter stance, and they say “All lives matter. I'm throwing my vans in the trash.” And what we’re saying is, that’s ok. We think if you can’t get your head around Black Lives Matter, then maybe Vans isn’t the brand for you. It can be really hard for brands to have that fortitude to let people go. Again, in our mind, it’s quality over quantity of our fans....Posting about Black Lives Matter is easy. The harder thing to do is consistent and ongoing actions by our brand until anti-racist actions are done and we no longer have a system that breeds bigotry, hate and racism in this country.

Vans is an inclusive brand by nature. Ubiquity is not our objective. We had to live up to our commitment in saying Black Lives Matter. A lot of people come on our site to criticize our Black Lives Matter stance, and they say “All lives matter. I'm throwing my vans in the trash.” And what we’re saying is, that’s ok. We think if you can’t get your head around Black Lives Matter, then maybe Vans isn’t the brand for you. It can be really hard for brands to have that fortitude to let people go. Again, in our mind, it’s quality over quantity of our fans....Posting about Black Lives Matter is easy. The harder thing to do is consistent and ongoing actions by our brand until anti-racist actions are done and we no longer have a system that breeds bigotry, hate and racism in this country.

Doug Palladini
Global Brand President, Vans
My first seven months at the Twins, I was focusing not so much on the sport but concentrating on the brand itself. The biggest learning curve for me is there's two different entities: there’s the brand and then there’s the sport. When it comes to the actual sport of baseball, there's nothing I can really change. I'm not on the field or on the coaching staff so I spent a lot of time learning the brand - learning how the organization works and where the opportunities were. The world is changing so fast in terms of entertainment and even though we are a sports team, we’re an entertainment brand as well. If we start to think of ourselves as an entertainment brand over a sports team, our runway is extremely strong.

My first seven months at the Twins, I was focusing not so much on the sport but concentrating on the brand itself. The biggest learning curve for me is there's two different entities: there’s the brand and then there’s the sport. When it comes to the actual sport of baseball, there's nothing I can really change. I'm not on the field or on the coaching staff so I spent a lot of time learning the brand - learning how the organization works and where the opportunities were. The world is changing so fast in terms of entertainment and even though we are a sports team, we’re an entertainment brand as well. If we start to think of ourselves as an entertainment brand over a sports team, our runway is extremely strong.

Heather Hinkel
Senior Director, Brand Strategy, Minnesota Twins
During Covid, our role was very focused on communicating to ease people’s minds. For people traveling, we wanted them to understand that the air on an aircraft is safer than in your office building. But we were not actively promoting travel, we were trying to be very cautious and not encourage people to do something that they’re not ready for. Now we’re hoping we’re getting closer to a place where we can start actively promoting travel. I have a revenue target that I know I have to hit with a combination of promos, performance media and driving storytelling on our owned channels. Four years ago, marketing looked like picking menu items and not contributing to revenue performance, so to be in this position I’m really excited and a little nervous.

During Covid, our role was very focused on communicating to ease people’s minds. For people traveling, we wanted them to understand that the air on an aircraft is safer than in your office building. But we were not actively promoting travel, we were trying to be very cautious and not encourage people to do something that they’re not ready for. Now we’re hoping we’re getting closer to a place where we can start actively promoting travel. I have a revenue target that I know I have to hit with a combination of promos, performance media and driving storytelling on our owned channels. Four years ago, marketing looked like picking menu items and not contributing to revenue performance, so to be in this position I’m really excited and a little nervous.

Natalie Bowman
Managing Director, Marketing and Advertising, Alaska Airlines
I like to say, it’s not the new normal, it’s now the normal. Thinking about the new now, the biggest change for us is how people are purchasing our brand. Spirits was one of the last products to join eCommerce, and Covid forced us to speed this up. What we were seeing in one week we are now seeing in one day. What we had planned to do in two years we are now doing in two weeks. Covid is pushing us. Within a week, we created a platform for bartenders to make money and share our brand. Our brand is built at the bar. Every day at 5pm we had a bartender make a new drink. Every dollar that went on this platform went straight to the bartender. To think the agility that it took to do this in a week of shutdown was amazing.

I like to say, it’s not the new normal, it’s now the normal. Thinking about the new now, the biggest change for us is how people are purchasing our brand. Spirits was one of the last products to join eCommerce, and Covid forced us to speed this up. What we were seeing in one week we are now seeing in one day. What we had planned to do in two years we are now doing in two weeks. Covid is pushing us. Within a week, we created a platform for bartenders to make money and share our brand. Our brand is built at the bar. Every day at 5pm we had a bartender make a new drink. Every dollar that went on this platform went straight to the bartender. To think the agility that it took to do this in a week of shutdown was amazing.

Gabriela McCoy
Director, Strategic Insights and Analytics, Bacardi
In challenging times, the most important thing for a company to do is go back to your mission and let that lead your North star. We want to make sure that everyone has access to good eating. We think good eating brings out the best in all of us, and it’s more than just the food you eat: It’s how you eat it, where you eat it, what you know about the food and where it comes from. In Panera’s case, we say ‘Leave feeling better than you came in,’ and that implies a dining-in experience. Now, if we want to make good eating available for all, it’s about making it available safely and stress free. We’re doubling down on what that means in a pandemic, and a lot of our actions have stemmed directly from that belief.

In challenging times, the most important thing for a company to do is go back to your mission and let that lead your North star. We want to make sure that everyone has access to good eating. We think good eating brings out the best in all of us, and it’s more than just the food you eat: It’s how you eat it, where you eat it, what you know about the food and where it comes from. In Panera’s case, we say ‘Leave feeling better than you came in,’ and that implies a dining-in experience. Now, if we want to make good eating available for all, it’s about making it available safely and stress free. We’re doubling down on what that means in a pandemic, and a lot of our actions have stemmed directly from that belief.

Chris Hollander
Chief Marketing Officer, Panera Bread
This crisis certainly has reminded me how important shared experiences are and I truly believe they’re going to come back. Right now we have to reimagine them. We have to figure out where our customers are and what their needs are, whether it’s thinking about virtual conferences or live experiences that follow social distancing principles. We’re actually executing and testing on those ideas as we speak. Whether it's live streaming theater productions, holding virtual office hours or events for our business customers who need so much help, we've had to think differently. I think you'll see some of these shifts continuing even as the shelter in place restrictions are being lifted across the globe. You have to adapt, and that's what we're doing.

This crisis certainly has reminded me how important shared experiences are and I truly believe they’re going to come back. Right now we have to reimagine them. We have to figure out where our customers are and what their needs are, whether it’s thinking about virtual conferences or live experiences that follow social distancing principles. We’re actually executing and testing on those ideas as we speak. Whether it's live streaming theater productions, holding virtual office hours or events for our business customers who need so much help, we've had to think differently. I think you'll see some of these shifts continuing even as the shelter in place restrictions are being lifted across the globe. You have to adapt, and that's what we're doing.

Elizabeth Rutledge
Chief Marketing Officer, American Express
What we’re seeing now is other networks generating black content or content geared towards African Americans, but they can’t do just that. They too have to show up differently. We like to say ‘You can’t have our rhythm without our blues.’. When things happen we know we have to stand up. We often feel like if BET doesn’t stand up, who will? Even when the pandemic first broke out, none of it was a surprise to us. Literally in a weekend, we knew the severity and impact it was gonna have on our community. It wasn’t like ‘Let’s go report on it.’ It was, ‘Let’s go do something’. And that is BET - it has such an understanding and connection to the community. It never pauses to stand back. It says, ‘We’ve now gotta be at the frontline and help change outcomes.

What we’re seeing now is other networks generating black content or content geared towards African Americans, but they can’t do just that. They too have to show up differently. We like to say ‘You can’t have our rhythm without our blues.’. When things happen we know we have to stand up. We often feel like if BET doesn’t stand up, who will? Even when the pandemic first broke out, none of it was a surprise to us. Literally in a weekend, we knew the severity and impact it was gonna have on our community. It wasn’t like ‘Let’s go report on it.’ It was, ‘Let’s go do something’. And that is BET - it has such an understanding and connection to the community. It never pauses to stand back. It says, ‘We’ve now gotta be at the frontline and help change outcomes.

Kimberly Evans Paige
EVP, Chief Marketing Officer, BET Networks & Live Events, ViacomCBS
I vividly remember early on in my career attending a diversity training session where a woman explained to me, ‘When you go into an environment that’s not diverse, you adapt to survive.’ And I had this ‘Aha!’moment like, ‘Oh my God, that’s exactly what I’m doing.’ It was out of that I decided to do something different. If I’m a champion of diversity, I have to put my money where my mouth is, even if it’s uncomfortable.’ I took the perm out of my hair, I started talking about my manicures and being a person of color who was young and female. And from that I was able to make an impact and get more promotions and have a personal experience where I learned that it really does matter when you bring your whole self to the workplace.

I vividly remember early on in my career attending a diversity training session where a woman explained to me, ‘When you go into an environment that’s not diverse, you adapt to survive.’ And I had this ‘Aha!’moment like, ‘Oh my God, that’s exactly what I’m doing.’ It was out of that I decided to do something different. If I’m a champion of diversity, I have to put my money where my mouth is, even if it’s uncomfortable.’ I took the perm out of my hair, I started talking about my manicures and being a person of color who was young and female. And from that I was able to make an impact and get more promotions and have a personal experience where I learned that it really does matter when you bring your whole self to the workplace.

Esi Eggleston Bracey
EVP & COO NA Beauty and Personal Care, Unilever

Previous Quote's of the Week

Kathleen Braine
Senior Director of Brand Marketing, BABE Wine, Anheuser-Busch InBev
It is really important, especially when you are a consumer good and a lot of your brand is based in these emotional moments that are relevant in the world today, to really be tapped into that culture and to be able to react to it. You can have the best social listening in the world but if you are not able to react to it immediately then why are you listening? We really think especially at BABE we have our finger on the pulse of what our consumers are talking about and then we try to look for what that human insight is and look for where our brand can authentically play. It is not enough to just comment on things. If you are trying to talk to everyone, you are talking to no one, so how do you join cultural moments and really think about what is happening in the world and still be a human and be authentic to that brand and to who your consumer is. It’s a delicate balance.

It is really important, especially when you are a consumer good and a lot of your brand is based in these emotional moments that are relevant in the world today, to really be tapped into that culture and to be able to react to it. You can have the best social listening in the world but if you are not able to react to it immediately then why are you listening? We really think especially at BABE we have our finger on the pulse of what our consumers are talking about and then we try to look for what that human insight is and look for where our brand can authentically play. It is not enough to just comment on things. If you are trying to talk to everyone, you are talking to no one, so how do you join cultural moments and really think about what is happening in the world and still be a human and be authentic to that brand and to who your consumer is. It’s a delicate balance.

Amanda Goetz
VP Marketing, The Knot Worldwide
Being open minded from a content perspective is a huge pillar for us. Our core focus is that we believe anyone should marry who they want, when they want, and if they want - the if is actually really important because we care a lot about the marriage more than just the wedding. We {as a society} have to remind ourselves that all of the time, it’s not about spending a lot of money on one given day. it’s about two humans coming together, and how we can use our product and platform to prepare people for that, and that’s talking about relationship health, how to love yourself, what it means to go to therapy - normalizing those aspects and talking through what it’s like to experience it. Also, celebrating second weddings - it’s important to show that there is no right or wrong way to live your life and we are here to support everyone. We are a brand that stands for acceptance, helping people feel good about living their life; however they choose to define it.

Being open minded from a content perspective is a huge pillar for us. Our core focus is that we believe anyone should marry who they want, when they want, and if they want - the if is actually really important because we care a lot about the marriage more than just the wedding. We {as a society} have to remind ourselves that all of the time, it’s not about spending a lot of money on one given day. it’s about two humans coming together, and how we can use our product and platform to prepare people for that, and that’s talking about relationship health, how to love yourself, what it means to go to therapy - normalizing those aspects and talking through what it’s like to experience it. Also, celebrating second weddings - it’s important to show that there is no right or wrong way to live your life and we are here to support everyone. We are a brand that stands for acceptance, helping people feel good about living their life; however they choose to define it.

Ishita Ahmed
Director of Loyalty, CRM, and Personalization, Taco Bell
I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of the launch of Taco Bell’s loyalty program - a program that has been in the works for a couple of years. It had to go through a lot of different levels of approvals to make this happen, and believe it or not, the pandemic actually delayed the launch. Something I noticed when I joined Taco Bell was the ability of speed to customers. With the pandemic, Taco Bell did a really great job of reacting to the customer and meeting them where they needed to be. With the safety precautions, ordering ahead in the app and all of the different technical pieces took priority to the loyalty program. We had to put the customer first and make sure the customer knows that we’re on the same road of concern with safety that they are.

I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of the launch of Taco Bell’s loyalty program - a program that has been in the works for a couple of years. It had to go through a lot of different levels of approvals to make this happen, and believe it or not, the pandemic actually delayed the launch. Something I noticed when I joined Taco Bell was the ability of speed to customers. With the pandemic, Taco Bell did a really great job of reacting to the customer and meeting them where they needed to be. With the safety precautions, ordering ahead in the app and all of the different technical pieces took priority to the loyalty program. We had to put the customer first and make sure the customer knows that we’re on the same road of concern with safety that they are.

Gilbertson Cuffy
Brand Marketing Director, PepsiCo
I think it's important to recognize that we do benefit from culture. It’s the reason why brands want to get involved in cultural conversations - especially today with impressions, likes, news recaps, essentially the roundups. If everyone is talking about the Grammys or the Super Bowl - and you’re taking part in those big moments, hopefully, you’re a part of the broad conversation that is attached to it, which could lead to brand affinity, then sales. Brands need to go beyond participating in culture - what are you adding in value? There is something called a culture vulture and consumers are really good at sussing that out. It’s up to us as brands to recognize that whatever audience we’re targeting at that moment, you are actually adding to the moment instead of taking from it.

I think it's important to recognize that we do benefit from culture. It’s the reason why brands want to get involved in cultural conversations - especially today with impressions, likes, news recaps, essentially the roundups. If everyone is talking about the Grammys or the Super Bowl - and you’re taking part in those big moments, hopefully, you’re a part of the broad conversation that is attached to it, which could lead to brand affinity, then sales. Brands need to go beyond participating in culture - what are you adding in value? There is something called a culture vulture and consumers are really good at sussing that out. It’s up to us as brands to recognize that whatever audience we’re targeting at that moment, you are actually adding to the moment instead of taking from it.

Scott Donaton
Head of Creative, Hulu
There are three primary things that my team does. We work on the Hulu brand, the Hulu content strategy and we work with Hulu’s advertising partners to help them do things beyond the traditional advertising units. In all of those cases, when it comes to my internal teammates, I don’t want them to think of us as an in-house agency because the danger is that your co-workers begin to treat you as a vendor. The people that we work with are not our clients - we are their partners and teammates. When we work with outside agencies, which we always will because we want to become navel-gazers and there are certain capabilities and resources that we don’t have in-house, we don’t want to be seen as a competitor to them - but instead as a collaborator. When we work with our advertising and brand partners, we don’t want their agencies to think of it as us trying to take their role. I think of us as an in-house creative studio, but I don’t think of us as an agency.

There are three primary things that my team does. We work on the Hulu brand, the Hulu content strategy and we work with Hulu’s advertising partners to help them do things beyond the traditional advertising units. In all of those cases, when it comes to my internal teammates, I don’t want them to think of us as an in-house agency because the danger is that your co-workers begin to treat you as a vendor. The people that we work with are not our clients - we are their partners and teammates. When we work with outside agencies, which we always will because we want to become navel-gazers and there are certain capabilities and resources that we don’t have in-house, we don’t want to be seen as a competitor to them - but instead as a collaborator. When we work with our advertising and brand partners, we don’t want their agencies to think of it as us trying to take their role. I think of us as an in-house creative studio, but I don’t think of us as an agency.

Shenan Reed
SVP, Head of Media, L'Oreal
Doug Palladini
Global Brand President, Vans
Vans is an inclusive brand by nature. Ubiquity is not our objective. We had to live up to our commitment in saying Black Lives Matter. A lot of people come on our site to criticize our Black Lives Matter stance, and they say “All lives matter. I'm throwing my vans in the trash.” And what we’re saying is, that’s ok. We think if you can’t get your head around Black Lives Matter, then maybe Vans isn’t the brand for you. It can be really hard for brands to have that fortitude to let people go. Again, in our mind, it’s quality over quantity of our fans....Posting about Black Lives Matter is easy. The harder thing to do is consistent and ongoing actions by our brand until anti-racist actions are done and we no longer have a system that breeds bigotry, hate and racism in this country.

Vans is an inclusive brand by nature. Ubiquity is not our objective. We had to live up to our commitment in saying Black Lives Matter. A lot of people come on our site to criticize our Black Lives Matter stance, and they say “All lives matter. I'm throwing my vans in the trash.” And what we’re saying is, that’s ok. We think if you can’t get your head around Black Lives Matter, then maybe Vans isn’t the brand for you. It can be really hard for brands to have that fortitude to let people go. Again, in our mind, it’s quality over quantity of our fans....Posting about Black Lives Matter is easy. The harder thing to do is consistent and ongoing actions by our brand until anti-racist actions are done and we no longer have a system that breeds bigotry, hate and racism in this country.

Heather Hinkel
Senior Director, Brand Strategy, Minnesota Twins
Natalie Bowman
Managing Director, Marketing and Advertising, Alaska Airlines
During Covid, our role was very focused on communicating to ease people’s minds. For people traveling, we wanted them to understand that the air on an aircraft is safer than in your office building. But we were not actively promoting travel, we were trying to be very cautious and not encourage people to do something that they’re not ready for. Now we’re hoping we’re getting closer to a place where we can start actively promoting travel. I have a revenue target that I know I have to hit with a combination of promos, performance media and driving storytelling on our owned channels. Four years ago, marketing looked like picking menu items and not contributing to revenue performance, so to be in this position I’m really excited and a little nervous.

During Covid, our role was very focused on communicating to ease people’s minds. For people traveling, we wanted them to understand that the air on an aircraft is safer than in your office building. But we were not actively promoting travel, we were trying to be very cautious and not encourage people to do something that they’re not ready for. Now we’re hoping we’re getting closer to a place where we can start actively promoting travel. I have a revenue target that I know I have to hit with a combination of promos, performance media and driving storytelling on our owned channels. Four years ago, marketing looked like picking menu items and not contributing to revenue performance, so to be in this position I’m really excited and a little nervous.

Gabriela McCoy
Director, Strategic Insights and Analytics, Bacardi
Chris Hollander
Chief Marketing Officer, Panera Bread
Elizabeth Rutledge
Chief Marketing Officer, American Express
This crisis certainly has reminded me how important shared experiences are and I truly believe they’re going to come back. Right now we have to reimagine them. We have to figure out where our customers are and what their needs are, whether it’s thinking about virtual conferences or live experiences that follow social distancing principles. We’re actually executing and testing on those ideas as we speak. Whether it's live streaming theater productions, holding virtual office hours or events for our business customers who need so much help, we've had to think differently. I think you'll see some of these shifts continuing even as the shelter in place restrictions are being lifted across the globe. You have to adapt, and that's what we're doing.

This crisis certainly has reminded me how important shared experiences are and I truly believe they’re going to come back. Right now we have to reimagine them. We have to figure out where our customers are and what their needs are, whether it’s thinking about virtual conferences or live experiences that follow social distancing principles. We’re actually executing and testing on those ideas as we speak. Whether it's live streaming theater productions, holding virtual office hours or events for our business customers who need so much help, we've had to think differently. I think you'll see some of these shifts continuing even as the shelter in place restrictions are being lifted across the globe. You have to adapt, and that's what we're doing.

Kimberly Evans Paige
EVP, Chief Marketing Officer, BET Networks & Live Events, ViacomCBS
What we’re seeing now is other networks generating black content or content geared towards African Americans, but they can’t do just that. They too have to show up differently. We like to say ‘You can’t have our rhythm without our blues.’. When things happen we know we have to stand up. We often feel like if BET doesn’t stand up, who will? Even when the pandemic first broke out, none of it was a surprise to us. Literally in a weekend, we knew the severity and impact it was gonna have on our community. It wasn’t like ‘Let’s go report on it.’ It was, ‘Let’s go do something’. And that is BET - it has such an understanding and connection to the community. It never pauses to stand back. It says, ‘We’ve now gotta be at the frontline and help change outcomes.

What we’re seeing now is other networks generating black content or content geared towards African Americans, but they can’t do just that. They too have to show up differently. We like to say ‘You can’t have our rhythm without our blues.’. When things happen we know we have to stand up. We often feel like if BET doesn’t stand up, who will? Even when the pandemic first broke out, none of it was a surprise to us. Literally in a weekend, we knew the severity and impact it was gonna have on our community. It wasn’t like ‘Let’s go report on it.’ It was, ‘Let’s go do something’. And that is BET - it has such an understanding and connection to the community. It never pauses to stand back. It says, ‘We’ve now gotta be at the frontline and help change outcomes.

Esi Eggleston Bracey
EVP & COO NA Beauty and Personal Care, Unilever
I vividly remember early on in my career attending a diversity training session where a woman explained to me, ‘When you go into an environment that’s not diverse, you adapt to survive.’ And I had this ‘Aha!’moment like, ‘Oh my God, that’s exactly what I’m doing.’ It was out of that I decided to do something different. If I’m a champion of diversity, I have to put my money where my mouth is, even if it’s uncomfortable.’ I took the perm out of my hair, I started talking about my manicures and being a person of color who was young and female. And from that I was able to make an impact and get more promotions and have a personal experience where I learned that it really does matter when you bring your whole self to the workplace.

I vividly remember early on in my career attending a diversity training session where a woman explained to me, ‘When you go into an environment that’s not diverse, you adapt to survive.’ And I had this ‘Aha!’moment like, ‘Oh my God, that’s exactly what I’m doing.’ It was out of that I decided to do something different. If I’m a champion of diversity, I have to put my money where my mouth is, even if it’s uncomfortable.’ I took the perm out of my hair, I started talking about my manicures and being a person of color who was young and female. And from that I was able to make an impact and get more promotions and have a personal experience where I learned that it really does matter when you bring your whole self to the workplace.

Previous Quote's of the Week