Leveraging emotional science to build a better brand

Shaun H. Ruff


I’m Mario Natarelli, managing partner of MBLM (Pronounced Emblem). We are a brand agency headquartered in NYC. Over the past three decades, I’ve helped brands across the globe transform their brands, driving their growth and value. I’m also the co-author of Brand Intimacy, A New Marketing Paradigm.

For the last 12 years we have been exploring the ways to measure and manage how people feel about brands and our annual brand rankings are our way to demonstrate the brands that do this well and what we can learn from them.

During the past two years, Covid revealed that while some industries and brands suffered, on average, we bonded more with brands. We found that in this period of dislocation and separation, our needs for connection, escapism and comfort grew and brands aligned to these needs prospered. The pandemic has exacerbated and emphasised brand winners and losers.

That’s why I’ll be speaking about why brand intimacy matters at Ignite USA

In my keynote sessions, you’ll understand a new mindset and framework on how to measure and build more effective brands, why brand intimacy matters, which brands excel at building emotional bonds, and what we can learn from them.

You’ll learn:

  • How Covid has created higher degree of intimacy for some brands.
  • A framework for understanding how brands build stronger emotional bonds with stakeholders and how it impacts business performance.
  • The results from our leading annual study on brands – and what we can learn from the organisations leading the way.
  • Why executives are paying more attention to brand intimacy and why you should too.
  • How to stop using yesterday’s solutions for tomorrow’s marketing challenges.

Anytime I can separate myself from my office or daily grind gives me a chance to breathe and listen to how others deal with similar challenges. These events are a source of information and inspiration; I always leave recharged.

Ignite USA is no exception to that rule. I value the focus on B2B and the commitment to meaningful and compelling content from speakers and network opportunities.

I’m particularly looking forward to Sarah Kennedy from Google and her thoughts on balancing brand and demand.

These past few years, we’ve sacrificed our ability to meet our community of marketers to share our stories and experiences. I can’t wait to gain back this essential human networking and information sharing.


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