Curiosity & a Higher Calling: Tales from the Garage at HP

When a brand host brings its A game to a Brand Innovators summit, magic happens. Our friends from HP Inc. did just that last week, not only welcoming a BI marketing summit to their Palo Alto headquarters but also offering up as speakers a consistent stream of deep thinkers and forward-leaning marketers.

HP diversity champions Nan Weitzman and Mike Jordan

As we mentioned in our HP history lesson last week, this is a brand with a rich history and a remarkable record of staying relevant throughout its 81 years. After our Palo Alto indoctrination, we’re inclined to think it may be the quality of the people that helps HP maintain that elite status.

Vanessa Yanez

Event Chair Vanessa Yanez–HP’s Worldwide Head of Print Communications–kicked off the day. What followed was a blur of thoughtful marketing leaders from multiple Bay Area brands expanding on topics like D&I, social media governance, brand love, emerging media and the future of digital marketing.

Event host (and Spaceback CEO) Casey Saran

Tales from The Garage
The centerpiece of our morning program was a fireside chat with Deepak Masand, Global Head of Marketing (CMO) for HP Imaging, Printing & Solutions. Masand began by talking about innovation but quickly pivoted, making the argument that everything at a company should be driven by a higher calling, a sense of purpose. “If it doesn’t contribute to society,” Masand said, “it doesn’t leave the garage.” (HP was founded in the 1930s in a Palo Alto garage.)

Deepak Masand of HP

The mission for HP is clear, he said: to create technology that makes lives better for everyone everywhere. “For me, purpose comes down to two things: why you do what you do and what’s the end game you’re trying to achieve.” Masand also pointed out this higher calling dovetails well with appealing to the younger generation of consumers. “Build technology for a purpose,” he said. “Not just for a profit.”

Deepak Masand (at left) with Ben Harris, CEO of Decibel

Diversity Boost
Two HP leaders–Mike Jordan (Global Head of Talent and Learning) and Nan Weitzman (Global Head of Talent)–delivered their own forceful keynote, urging brands to treat diversity and inclusion not as an afterthought but a driving force. “Imagine the future,” Weitzman noted, “inspire the team and make it happen.” Going all in on D&I inevitably boosts brands over time, they said, motivating employees and serving as a magnet for consumers.

Nan Weitzman and Mike Jordan

Fueling Curiosity
Cristina Bondolowski, Global Head of Marketing for HP Personal Systems, offered fascinating insights on how the brand fuels curiosity in people. “We’re trying to connect with our audience and, at the same time, send them a message on the tools they’re using to become creators.” She added, “We all have the power to be creators in today’s world.”

Cristina Bondolowski with Chris Burke, Head of Sales-Pacific Northwest for Flipboard

We had plenty of good takeaways from our non-HP speakers too. We leave you with more images and wisdom from the program in Palo Alto.

Panel on Forging Consumer Connections with Emerging Media (L-R): Moderator Ken Mallon, Head Of Data, Samba TV; Marisa Burton, Director of Field Marketing Services, Firehouse Subs; Arra G. Yerganian, Group Chief Experience and Brand Officer, Tivity Health; and Robbie McCawley, Director, Global Marketing Strategy, Electronic Arts
Orchid Bertelsen (at left), Head of Digital Innovation, New Business Models & Ecosystems for Nestlé USA, said her brand is dedicated to acquiring data because they believe in personalization at scale
Mark Wynohradnyk, Brand Director for Gravity Products (at right), said his is one of many D2C brands that started out as strictly digital but is now embracing more traditional channels like radio
Kamal Bhandal (at left), VP Global Brand and Consumer for Align Technology, on the impact of a new generation of consumers: “The fact that Gen Z is demanding brands to take a stance and speak up will make us all better”
Tivity Health Chief Experience and Brand Officer Arra Yerganian (at left) talked about his brand’s core values: tenderness, trust and tenacity

To learn more about this and other Brand Innovators events, go here.

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