OnBrand is done and dusted for 2018, and in line with this year's Uncovered theme, the day was peppered with quotable pearls of wisdom and off-the-cuff commentary that we can’t get out of our heads. With over 50 speakers spanning the marketing, creative, and tech industries, the spotlight was on all things branding, with more one-liners than a Monty Python movie. We’ve compiled the best of the bunch (and you can check out the aftermovie below.)

About brands as agents of change…

Emanuele Madeddu of Nat Geo said: “modern consumers are focusing on collecting experiences rather than just owning a logo,” capturing how brands can no longer be passive if they want to stay relevant, with consumers expecting them to skip the sugarcoating and get involved with the conversations of today.

Inevitably, thought leadership has taken a whole new meaning in 2018, and OnBrand’s brand experts had plenty to say on the changing times…

Marketers will be the change agents that help brands embrace the power of being vulnerable, staying real, and impacting culture.
Stefan Fountain
CEO at pr.co
We now live in a world of infinite supply in marketing...The playbook for acquiring customers has to change in order to compete.
Dave Gerhardt
VP of Marketing at Drift
You aren’t interesting if you have no opinions.
Amy Brown
Head of Planning at Iris Amsterdam
The most underestimated change in tech for the future will be within the workforce. People are working remotely and more flexibly, making them more productive. And technology is enabling this change.
Chris Hall
CEO at Bynder
Before it was about being generic, and now it’s about challenging the way we think.
Alain Sylvain
Founder and CEO at Sylvain Labs

About the cultural impact of brands...

Last year’s OnBrand showcased the increasingly ‘activist’ stance that brands are taking in modern society—both the importance of taking a stand on cultural issues and, on the flipside, preaching the dangers of sitting on the fence. A lot has happened in the last year, but if the talks at OnBrand’18 are anything to go by, one thing remains the same: brand activism is on the rise, with no signs of slowing down.

Stefan Fountain of pr.co boldly proclaimed that “brands will die unless they contribute to culture,” and if that's the case, then those at OnBrand ’18 are certainly alive and kicking...

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The best brand strategy now is to be real, to be human. And the best marketers have done this for centuries.
Dave Gerhardt
VP of Marketing at Drift
We think the most valuable thing for brands to do is actually do.
Kirk Johnsen
A brand has a role in helping people seek personal growth.
Emanuele Madeddu
National Geographic
We’re entering a new era of brand elasticity...brands need to have a clear purpose and anchor to that point, while stretching around it.
Iain Preston
Brands need culture; culture no longer need brands.
Alain Sylvain,
Founder and CEO at Sylvain Labs

About leveraging tech...

We don’t need to tell you that the evolution of technology is accelerating at breakneck speed, and how brands capitalize on the latest and greatest tech has long been a hot topic.

It’s inevitably a complicated issue, but it was clear to see an overarching theme among the talks at OnBrand surrounding brand x tech engagement. And no, it wasn’t the cliched troupe that decries a robot revolution destined to render humans jobless and obsolete.

Rather, it was about the power of technology being human. Oath’s self-styled digital prophet, Shingy, posed the question “how can we humanize our technologies and our brands?” A real head-scratcher, yet something that brands will need to start thinking about if they are to leverage tech to engage with the modern consumer.

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Choose a voice strategy when it is easier, faster and more natural.
Max Amordeluso
Figure out how emerging technology can help you.
Kirk Johnsen
The way we interact with technology is going to become much more human.
Stefan Fountain
AI will be the new UI.
Jons Janssens
Ace & Tate
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We transform our business model in line with disruptions created by technology.
Iain Preston

About measuring brand value…

The million-dollar question: How do you measure a brand’s value? If only that answer was a one-liner...regardless, there were certainly some insightful answers to the question from the day.

Anybody can copy your product with enough resources, but nobody can copy your brand
Sançar Sahin
If you are just publishing content and not tracking the results, you can’t measure the value of your brand
Chris Hall
Digital assets are brand DNA.
François Blayo
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Brands need standardized metrics to measure influence.
Ben Donkor
We Are Social
In a world with infinite supply, you only have one choice to compete: build a brand.
Dave Gerhardt

Itching for more or missed a talk? Check out a collection of content we’ve pulled together from the day by clicking the banner below...

Onbrand18 content collection