I recently led a master class at the 2021G-media Summit in Ningbo. When asked to share my thoughts on today’s marketplace, I summarized with these 3 ingredients for brand transformation.


Bill Gates sees it this way: “Success today requires the agility and drive to constantly rethink, reinvigorate, react, and reinvent.” Agility is a superpower. The power to think, draw conclusions, and move quickly – it’s about intellectual acuity. And upon what is this all based? Data.

1. Data that informs design, like usage, adjacency and repurchase data, helps us optimize WHAT we offer.

In understanding how consumers use our products, we can get more intelligent about product design; this Mastercard innovation was one of the examples shared.

Adjacency data can enable us to quickly adjust how products are merchandised in ecommerce channels or in offline stores.

And looking at frequency of repurchase can inspire new ways of consumer engagement like introducing subscription or automatic refill services.

2. Data to synthesize, helps us better understand WHO we serve.

We discussed the integration of data streams like web analytics with POS and loyalty databases. Headquarter/centralized data and store-specific or on-property reporting. And so much more.

The more we can understand our consumer, while doing our utmost to protect their individual data. And the better we can look ahead to create delightful, personalized engagement opportunities with our brand.

Emily Chang | The Spare Room | G-media summit


Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” Do you believe that your brand can stand for something meaningful while growing revenue and share?

We shared a few outstanding examples like this one called “ThisAbles” from IKEA and this one called “True Name” from Mastercard.


Coming to work on the agency side after having been the client for over two decades has been enlightening. Actually, this transition has helped me revisit the true value of partnership. You see, I was trained back in the day at P&G, when we were taught to see agencies as partners. And through this mindset and collaborative approach, some of my closest friends have come from our work relationships (shoutout to Gina and Daz!)

The reason these relationships became so valued? I came to trust my partners for bringing great ideas to the table, for pushing back when they thought we were off track, and ultimately, for sharing responsibility for our brand. As JFK once described, “Partnership is not a posture but a process – a continuous process that grows stronger each year as we devote ourselves to common tasks.”

So, in a world where we’re constantly looking to maintain brand relevance, improve our narrative and deepen our meaning, partnership can require innovative ways of working. We might consider co-locating, daily check-ins, workshops and hackathons.

What does it take for partners to move with agility? To take courageous action that enables meaningful brand transformation? Our McCann team recently redefined partnership as the first advertising agency to work with the Beijing IOC… and created this magnificent piece to introduce the Beijing Winter Olympics, 2022.

Emily Chang | The Spare Room | G-media summit on stage

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