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Reporting back from m-squared

October 4, 2006

Yesterday, we subjected our 150 attendees at M-Squared to a mental roller coaster around the past, present and future of branding and marketing.

Josh Quittner took us back in time, to his first experiments in web journalism with Time’s Pathfinder and then shared his plans to turn Business 2.0’s authors into bloggers, just like Giga Om, without all the VC money.

Jim McDowell explained how MINI’s sense of openness had attracted an incredibly diverse and uniquely loyal community of owners and how both brand and community feed off each other.

Michela O’Connor Abrams showed how Dwell has grown its magazine from 50k to 300k circulation in 5 years by defining a clear vision for the brand, clearly articulating its target as Design Seekers and carefully managing extensions.

Jennifer Leonard (IDEO) Took us on a 30,000 ft journey around the areas where “design” can make a difference in the world, covering an extraordinary range of topics from energy to transportation.

Chip Conley(Joie De Vivre) Showed us that by thinking about each of his hotel properties as an individual brand allows Joie De Vivre to create distinct experiences. The lens he uses is magazine titles and simply, but cleverly showed us how the Phoenix Hotel is Rolling Stone brought to life, etc….Chip went on to explain how teaching his employees about Maslow was the way to get them firing on all cylinders.

Jim Riswold Took us on an incredible journey that can’t be summed up in this post, but let’s just say it contained an eclectic cocktail of levity, dictators and art.

John Battelle(Federated Media) Told us how the conversation is the new way to think about marketing and that how it’s now smart to collaborate, rather than dictate.

Influx will follow up with more details on these presentations in the next week.

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