By Lucia Maffei
Jeff Schiamberg, managing director at financial services firm Macquarie Group, says that years ago, people would go to the mall and “watch people walk out with six, seven shopping bags.”
“Now they walk out with one … because they’re laser-focused on brands,” he said at a “Brand is everything” panel this week at the Mount Ida campus of UMass Amherst. The panel was arranged by Gennari Aronson, a Needham-based law practice specializing in mergers and acquisitions and financing.
For any enterprise, building a valuable brand is critical to attract customers or M&A interest, or raise capital. The process of building a brand must come before building marketing strategies, experts say, and those brands must evolve together with the fast-moving needs of customers.
“It’s not the same world that we were 15, 10 years ago when you could just create a brand and, you know, ‘If you build it, they will come,’” Julie Hall, marketing communications strategist, said. “You need to constantly be iterating, understanding, changing … to be able to address the changing needs of consumers.”
Schiamberg and Hall discussed brand and marketing techniques at the panel on Wednesday. The event was meant to provide entrepreneurs from both emerging and established businesses with advice on social media must-haves for brands and strategies for identifying customer needs. The panel was moderated by Lawrence Gennari, and Schiamberg and Hall were joined by Tom Copeman, managing director of investment management firm Nomadic Capital Management and Anne-Marie Kline, marketing executive at cosmetics company Living Proof.