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Debbie Millman


Named “one of the most creative people in business” by Fast Company, and “one of the most influential designers working today” by Graphic Design USA, Debbie Millman is also an author, educator, curator and host of the podcast Design Matters.

As the founder and host of Design Matters, one of the world’s first and longest running podcasts, Millman has interviewed over 400 artists, designers and cultural commentators.

Why We Brand, Why We Buy

Tuesday, 23rd – 17:20

Why We Brand, Why We Buy is an entertaining sociological, scientific and anthropological overview of why humans buy and brand things.

This is what the presentation will cover:

Why did MySpace become so popular and why are we riveted and/or addicted to our technological devices?

Why do some brands stand out from others? Is there some “magic” that makes us ogle over the latest product from Apple or crave a Starbucks or a pair of Nike sneakers?

Why We Brand, Why We Buy takes a deep dive into the influence branding has on our everyday lives, from branding ourselves and the world around us, to the role branding plays in the products we buy and the way we live.

The talk explores the following:

  • What are the waves of modern branding over the last 100 years? Debbie will explore each one, focusing on the brands that defined each period and how culture was inspired or impacted
  • How human evolution and population trends are linked with branding
  • How psychology and behavioral rituals are linked with branding 
  • How technology has changed the way we interact with each other and with brands, and what we are really addicted to
  • What it takes for modern brands to stand out in a crowded marketplace
  • How branding connects with our most hard-wired, basic instincts

The talk concludes with an over-arching hypothesis of why, as a species, we continue to make and mark things, in every aspect of our lives.

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