Last week, over 300 of the region's brightest professionals gathered at the ICA to learn and discuss some of the latest and most innovative ideas, brands, and individuals who shared one common thread: they were all Branded In Boston. From international brands with their roots in the Hub, to some of the cutting edge thinkers, shaking up the status quo, we were joined by an exceptional line-up of speakers.
We took some time to sit down with one of our sponsoring members, Rebekah Valberg, Director of Digital Business Development at Boston Magazine, to hear what she felt were some of the most memorable moments of the day.
#BrandedinBoston mean to you? For me, #BrandedinBoston means having roots and being proud of my home. John Della Vope from SocialSphere was talking about Boston
and about how we’re a city full of visionaries who were raised here and there’s
just a lot of pride behind this town. There’s a quote from from
John Winthrop’s “City upon a Hill” that I think
really encompasses who we are as a city that says, “We must always consider
that we shall be as a city upon a hill undefined the eyes of all people are upon us”
which is true, I mean 2013 was the year of Boston.
We heard from a wide range of brands and business models at the Conference, representing both the big & small brands presence and history in Boston. What did
you think of the dichotomy of Boston’s business market? We have a great mix here in Boston – from
Dunkin’ Brands, Fidelity, and Google on a national/ international level, to Island Creek Oyster and Bully Boy on a more
local level. Something Island Creek and Bully Boy both mentioned was small
brand messaging has to be really creative, it has to be sticky. It was
interesting to hear Dunkin’s brand strategies which have recently involved
these integrated social media campaigns, and targeted messaging for millennials
backed by stats and numbers; and then you have Island Creek who know they have
an outstanding product and don’t focus on marketing in the traditional sense, because word of
mouth will do that for them. So they focus on more non-traditional marketing tools, such as those hilarious and interesting
taglines and merchandising opportunities – everything about it is so catchy and
sometimes that wins out over big dollar campaigns for their brand.
What did you think was one of the most memorable parts of the day? Seeing (former) Mayor Menino walk out to discuss the One Fund initiative along with Mike Sheehan and John Gallagher.. with that amazing baseball bat cane! I was sitting right up-front and center at
the conference and when I saw Mayor Menino come out and saw that baseball cane
I just thought “how fitting”. I’m sure it was a Red Sox bat and it just drives
home that Menino embodies Boston – when I think of Boston I think of the Red
Sox, clam chowder, Sam Adams, and Menino. I was chatting with our CEO here at Boston Magazine after the conference and
he mentioned that the people who designed the (former) Mayor’s bat, Gary and Lynne
Smith, are the same folks who attend our Best of Boston® event every year
decked out in custom clothing made entirely from copies of Boston Magazine, so a cool connection for us here at the magazine.
Many of our speakers discussed how digital media and business is one of the leading innovation elements to their business. From your role at Boston Magazine, how do you feel digital
media/business changing the landscape of brand marketing? Brand ads used to
just be a logo and a tag line, but digital ads have allowed consumers to
actually engage and interact with a brand – no other platform enables people to
do that other than digital. It has helped brands build a better relationship
with their audience.
What was the biggest
take away from the Conference? The
Ad Club team did a phenomenal job – I was impressed with the lineup of speakers
who ranged from media publishers, to brand marketing professionals, to
government officials and the representation of brands on both a national level
and mid-market, local level. It was a great mix and refreshing to hear multiple
strategies from different people because, at the end of the day, if you’re an
overall better marketer it’s better for your brand.