Clemson’s Brand Innovation Summit: Building Your Brand | 9.15.23

By Lena Barakat, Endeavor Greenville
September 19, 2023


What’s new in business and marketing? There is something new and trendy happening everyday. I attended the Brand Innovation Summit to hear what’s the scoop. Luckily, I’ve got all the juicy details on what these leaders think about today’s marketing scene. Let’s hone in on the first three speakers of the day and discuss their take on current trends and what can be anticipated for the future!


We started the day off with John Lee, the Chief Data Officer at NBCUniversalHe discussed the trends on how traditional TV advertising spend is decreasing. How will advertisers combat this issue? Solution: Streaming TV. As we all know, streaming TV is becoming more prevalent, and with this, NBC’s vision is to be the leading media and entertainment data platform. NBC created a way to harvest massive amounts of consumer data to achieve this. It collects a set of viewer’s behaviors and preferences from a multitude of touchpoints. Crazy, right? Now, NBC is seeking more efficient ways of reaching key demographics through artificial intelligence strategies.


Next, we heard from Andrea Brimmer, the CMO at Ally Bank. Ally is an innovative brand that offers financial services incomparable to its competition. With its long-standing philosophy to: “show up where it counts, invest in what we believe, and work intentionally,” Brimmer reviewed one particular story that came to life with her vision.

Andrea Brimmer grew up with strong values as a young soccer player. As a businesswoman, she carried the essence of her childhood with her, which later manifested in her becoming a prominent advocate for women’s sports. By partnering with legacy media, emerging media, and individual athletes, Brimmer invested her time into building a reputation for women’s sports. And with planning comes results! Brimmer disrupted the established status quo by bringing an NWSL championship into primetime programming through a partnership between Ally and CBS. Initially allocating less than 10% of their budget to women’s sports, Ally underwent a significant shift, ultimately dedicating almost 40% of their investment to women’s sports. What a happy ending!


We also met Scott Tannen, Founder & CEO at Boll & Branch. Tannen helped us visualize his journey from the inital creation of B&B to today, as a multi-million dollar company. The secret to his success? Bespoke loyalty — serving an astonishingly good customer experience. This long-term method is insightful but also simple. Be kind, be considerate, and go the extra mile. It is easy to serve ads to generate awareness, but going the extra mile to respond to consumers makes a difference in the consumer experience. As stated by Tannen, “Brand building has changed; the conversation now has to be two-ways.” One must be responsive and sympathetic to others to build advocacy towards your brand. For example, Boll & Branch had a customer at their retail store inform them that they were moving into the area. So, the team sent croissants and a handwritten note to welcome her to the area. Sweet, right? That simple gesture resulted in positive word-of-mouth and a customer for life.

I was so glad I attended this event. No matter how experienced or wherever you are in your career, you always learn something new. Follow @erwincentercu to stay updated with what’s new at Clemson University’s Erwin Center for Brand Communications.