Editor’s Letter: It’s Almost Time for Brandweek

Reimagined to help the brand marketing community do their jobs better

Our inaugural Brandweek conference takes place Sept. 23-25 in Palm Springs, Calif. iStock
Headshot of James Cooper

I’m filing this editor’s letter from inside the bustling and international pressroom at the 10th annual DMexco conference in Cologne, Germany. There are 40,000 people gathered here for a concentrated two-day media, marketing and technology conference as well a huge exposition showcasing all types of startups and stalwarts in the ad- and mar-tech space.

Adweek has been a media partner at DMexco for the past four years and it has become an important touchstone in terms of better understanding the confluence of marketing and technology. And that industry has changed quite a bit in those four years. We’ve gone from the anxiety of disruption to the hopefulness of transformation. And now, it seems to me—based on the conversations I’ve had here about data interrogation and responsibility, re-architecting consumer trust and the game-changing implications that 5G-powered AI and blockchain will have on the brand marketing ecosystem—we are starting to move into a more committed execution phase.

This of course comes just two weeks before our inaugural Brandweek conference in Palm Springs, Calif., and presages many of the topics of our CMO Tracks—six outstanding marketing executives addressing their personal passion points for their respective brands.

Frank Cooper III, senior managing director, global CMO, BlackRock, will discuss humanity in the machine age (will we get lost in the technology whirlwind?); Lee Applbaum, global CMO, Patrón Spirits, will speak on the responsibility of luxury (how do the highest-end brands give back?); Jen Sey, global brands CMO, Levi Strauss & Co., will share her thought leadership on values and purpose-driven brands (how can brand storytelling express deeper authenticity to consumers?); Lee Nadler, metro marketing manager, MINI USA, will highlight the power of connected communities (how do brands foster connections to the benefit of their buyers?); Heidi Browning, evp, CMO, National Hockey League, will underscore listening to future consumers (how do you welcome the youngest fans into the fold?); and Rick Gomez, evp, CMO, Target, will focus on the importance of empathy in retail (how do you better understand and feel what consumers hold most dear?).

These six future-forward discussions, along with our keynotes, Call to Action challenges and breakout sessions, will tackle a broad array of topics. We are excited and honored to count them as partners in this first Brandweek.

But ultimately it will be the attendees that make the summit truly exciting and breakthrough. We have designed the experience to be high touch and interactive. We want the rooms to buzz with energy around the inspiration and learning we know will take place. We want hands raised, conventions questioned, points debated and actionable solutions offered. And we also want all that to travel back to HQs and be implemented and infused across departments and cultures.

Brandweek has been reimagined to help the brand marketing community and their partners be better at doing their jobs in these challenging times.

We know your active and engaged participation during Brandweek will help us achieve that goal.

This story first appeared in the September 17, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

@jcoopernyc james.cooper@adweek.com James Cooper is editorial director of Adweek.