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Maxine Bédat

Award-Winning Entrepreneur
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Biography

How are people buying differently? More importantly, will your organization be in front of these critical shifts in customer behavior, or will you be left on the outside looking in?

Maxine Bédat is a leading authority on the emergence of new customer value, and has built two companies that have helped forge new consumer paths.

Bédat is the co-founder of Zady, which has captured an entire market segment of buyers who care about their products (from who makes them, with what materials and in ways that sustain the environment). Zady was included in Fast Company’s “World’s Top Ten Most Innovative Companies in Retail”, was named by Entrepreneur Magazine as “Start-Up of the Month”, and has been named by Mashable as the “#1 Business that Rocks Content Marketing.”

Prior to launching Zady, Bédat launched the non-profit The Bootstrap Project, an organization dedicated to changing the lives of artisans in developing countries. The Bootstrap Project has become a platform for enterprising artisans to learn new skills, expand their businesses, share their customs and traditions, and revive the world’s most beautiful crafts. This was all lead from her legal work for both the United Nations General Assembly and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Maxine’s presentations are highly customized explorations into the rapidly changing world of consumer needs, technology tools, and brand relationships. You will love her.

Topics

Brand Identity: The Fourth Pillar of Customer Value

Our identity and the brands that we associate with has become the emerging value that companies are missing. Beyond, price, quality and customer service, the emergence of brand identity has become a powerful driving force in business. Millennials, a generation of digital natives that sees business, not government, as the driver of change, is fast becoming the dominant consumer in the retail landscape. Old ways of doing business that lack transparency or read as inauthentic will not survive in this new world. The food industry has picked up on this fundamental shift in consumer behavior and has created billion dollar businesses out of it. From this speech, you will learn how the intersection of buying and technology are radically changing purchasing behavior and brand identity.

The Content Economy

Traditionally, branding has been a one-way communication stream. Successful brands -- from Coca-Cola to Coco Chanel -- have spent huge sums of money creating ad campaigns of polar bears or models in exotic locales. The aim of these campaigns was to dictate to audiences what was cool. And not so long ago (think Mad Men era) there were far fewer channels of communication. Everyone sat around reading one of a few newspapers or watching a handful of television stations. As a result, these expensive campaigns placed in one of these channels had guaranteed exposure. Today, that kind of guarantee doesn't exist.

The rise of the internet, and more importantly, the ubiquity of the smartphone, has shattered this traditional system. The advertising playbook has expanded from television, radio and print to also include banner ads, mobile ads, Facebook and streaming content, just to name a few.

The impact of the smartphone has turned the consumer of brand building into their own brands: through every Instagram image she captures, message she sends through Twitter or post she pins on Pinterest, each individual creates a story, a brand about themselves to share with the outside world. What does this have to do with traditional brands? Everything. This key note presentation gives the whys and how’s of the new two-way participatory commerce that this generation demands.

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617.614.1600