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Brand TRUTH, REBIRTH and DISRUPTION a Framework for the Future
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Session Speakers:


Scott Lerman

CEO and Founding Partner, Lucid Brands


Chris Bedford

President & CEO, Karo Group


Valerie Jacobs

VP/Managing Creative Director, Trends, LPK




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Session Description


In this session, Bedford, Jacobs, and Lerman will discuss the critical roles truth, disruption, and rebirth play in building great brands and lead participants in an effort to put those concepts to work for DMI.


Expect to be challenged, engaged, and to walk away with an exciting and valuable framework for building brands!


Truth. Scott Lerman, CEO of Lucid Brands, will examine the role of truth in brand development and marketing. Is it a necessity? A moral duty? An impediment? Do liars or truth-tellers hold the advantage in building and sustaining brands? In a short and provocative presentation, Scott will discuss the future of truth in branding.


Disruption. Chris Bedford, President of Karo Group, will look at the positive role of disruption in building breakthrough brands. Whether emanating from industry leaders or obscure startups, disruptive thinking and technology have the potential to transform entire industries. Learn how to wield the power of your brand to disrupt, before you are disrupted!


Rebirth. Valerie Jacobs, VP and MCD of Trends at LPK, will round out the discussion by exploring the importance of brand rebirth in a time of truth and disruption. Drawing on internal innovation experience at her agency, Valerie will share insights on how to know when a rebirth is needed and the mindset that will help you approach the endeavor.


Following the trio of presentations and group discussion, the participants will break into three groups to put truth, rebirth, and disruption to work for the DMI.


Group 1. Should the DMI brand be built on absolute or emotional truth? Some industry associations nurture and celebrate a shared interest, others are focused on providing objective data and proven frameworks. For DMI, how important is delivering objective versus inspiration truth? Should DMI be more like The Journal of Neuroscience or WIRED magazine? What might be implications of choosing one, versus the other?


Group 2. How can DMI become a force, rather than a victim, of positive disruption? As the digital world upends entire industries, venerable institutions (and Institutes) can’t afford to rest on their laurels. How can the DMI lead, rather than react to a changing world? How might the DMI remain a vital brand? What can DMI learn from disruptive brands that could have a positive impact on its future?


Group 3. Does DMI need to reinvent itself, to be reborn? DMI started as an informal gathering of industrial designers to talk about their roles (and drink and play darts.) Over the decades, DMI has undergone dramatic changes. Is it time for another leap? If so, a leap where? How? What are the possible business models that the DMI could consider as a future state?





Scott Lerman
Scott Lerman has built his career by helping companies navigate critical moments in the creation, evolution, and extension of their brands. His broad and deep expertise in integrated brand consulting, research, corporate identity, naming, design, implementation, and employee engagement comes from nearly three decades as a leader and practitioner.


In 2005 Scott founded Lucid Brands, a brand consultancy dedicated to the development of world-class brands. Before founding Lucid Brands, Scott led two of the industry’s leading brand consultancies. During his 17 years at Siegel & Gale he held a range of senior positions, including President. In 2001 he was named President and CEO of Enterprise IG, Americas (now The Brand Union). He started his career in brand identity with a humble stint as a ‘pasteup’ artist at the legendary firm, Chermayeff & Geismar.


Scott has led defining brand engagements with 3M, American Express, Bayer, Caterpillar, DuPont, Engelhard, First Data, Grand Brands, Harley-Davidson, Ingram Micro, JCPenney, Kodak, Lycos, The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), National Semiconductor, Owens-Illinois, Pfizer, Readers Digest, S.W.I.F.T., Towers Perrin, The US Mint, VOIS, The Washington Center, Xerox, Yola, Zachry and dozens of other organizations around the world. He is currently seeking a client with a corporate name that starts with “Q”.


Scott is a founding faculty member of SVA’s unique Masters in Branding program. He served on the founding board of the AIGA’s Brand Central chapter and the advisory board for DMI. He has explored the issues shaping businesses and brands in The Design Management Review, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Identity, Revolution, and other publications and was recently interviewed by Debbie Millman on her industry-leading podcast Design Matters. In 2013, Scott authored a comprehensive guide to branding, Building Better Brands, published by How Press. He has lectured at Yale School of Management, Columbia University, and The Thunderbird School of Global Management. .



Chris Bedford
A skilled communicator and strategic thinker, Chris has helped a roster of blue chip clients focus and streamline their brand stories.


Chris began his career in 1983 at McKim Advertising in Winnipeg, and within five years was the appointed the firm’s youngest Vice President in its 100-year history. Chris left McKim briefly in late1988 to join Sunshine Village Ski Resort as VP, Sales and Marketing.  He returned to McKim in 1989, eventually becoming Senior VP, Director of Client Services when the company was merged with BBDO Canada.


Chris joined Karo in 1994 as a shareholder and head of the client services team, moving into the role of President two years later. Since 2007 he has served as Chairman, President & CEO of Karo Group, an independent creative agency with offices in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Karo Group focuses on customer engagement strategies to enhance brand success.


Chris is a board member of the Boston based Design Management Institute (DMI), Beakerhead and Titan Clean Energy Projects Corporation. He is a past board member of Ronald McDonald House of Southern Alberta where he chaired the strategic planning and brand communication committees. He also serves as a strategic advisor to one of the leading digital gift card companies in North America. Chris holds an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.



Valerie Jacobs
Valerie Jacobs is vice president and managing creative director of Trends at LPK, a global brand design agency. She combines her intuition and technique as a forecaster to sense and articulate changes in consumer behavior. Her trend analysis for LPK client brands is grounded in a strategic approach that incorporates research, analysis and translation of trend data into actionable strategies for brands with the nerve to keep up.


In addition to a 15-year career in the marketing communication and design fields, Valerie has taught at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) for over a decade and recently joined the faculty of the Strategic Design MBA program at Philadelphia University.


more Calendar

10/7/2018 » 10/9/2018
dmi: Design Leadership Conference

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