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Neal Mabee

Innovation and Strategy - Empower

My training was in industrial design, after spending many years designing consumer electronics my career really started when I joined an internal think tank for Coca-Cola's focused on global shopper marketing activation. Localizing the Coca-Cola brand across multiple global markets was the first introduction to the idea of profound brand variation and fragmentation. This led to a brief but impactful time at Johnson & Johnson's Global Strategic Design office. My role was to sit at the intersection of marketing, design and engineering to help conceive and implement fast-tracked consumer products. While I had experience as a product designer, this was an extremely dynamic and non-linear experience. It forced me to understand product not simply as a transacted good but as a part of the marketing and band equation; and I learned how to get 18 months of work done in 6.

Eventually I helped to build Powerhouse Factories as it merged with Empower Media Marketing (now just Empower). Our goal was to understand and help brand manage the tricky intersection of brand, marketing/advertising, audiences and media. While each of those spaces are individually experiencing significant transformation, when those areas are considered in unison, truly disruptive changes present themselves. Changes that force us all to reconsider our preconceptions of what brand is, how it works and how it benefits businesses and consumers as what was the future rapidly becomes a reality.