Last week a few of us from Saffron traveled to Amsterdam, to attend the first European edition of the Brand New Conference, organised by UnderConsideration. It was a two-day event on corporate and brand identity, showcasing some of the most active and influential practitioners from around the world. In only 6 years the Brand New Conference has managed to establish itself as reference in the industry.
I watched a lot of talks online during my time at university, and I still do now. However, attending a branding conference for the first time in person made me feel really part of something.
During my time there, I realised that this conference was not only about brand, but also about people.
For me Branding has always been about weaving relationships, building bridges between brands and people, creating a sense of belonging. We’re the "experts" who teach brands how to communicate and behave. We try to act as a catalyst to trigger an introspection, to help them understand who they are, where they are and where they want to be.
This conference gave us the chance to step back, and take some time to pay attention to what’s happening around us, while connecting with other people. It was an opportunity to think rather than react. It was about listening to people sharing their experience, approach and beliefs.
What makes people so passionate and excited about their work? How did they get here? What mistakes have they made? How did they manage their clients?
We all have similar situations and concerns, regardless of the size of the company, the country we live in, or the language we speak.
These experiences made us realise just how much we have in common, rather than our differences and emphasize a sense of belonging to the industry.
As Wally Olins once said: “Fundamentally, branding is a profound manifestation of the human condition. It is about belonging: belonging to a tribe, to a religion, to a family. Branding demonstrates that sense of belonging.”
We belong to this tribe.
We belong to this religion.
We belong to this family.
We belong to Branding.
Photos by Armano Ello