All posts by CoolBrands People

Digge Zetterberg Odh – “Looking for diversity in the creative industry”

We’re at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity where we speak with Digge Zetterberg Odh, head of talent for The North Alliance. She explains how diversity in the creative industry will make advertising more effective.

Thanks to: Nicholas Baines from Deliberate PR

“Out The Monster” – Scott Goodson

We’re at the Cannes Lions Festival and we met up with Scott Goodson. We talked about the Gold Cannes Lion award for “Out The Monster” which is focusing on fighting the accidental addiction to opioids – an epidemic that is plaguing America.

Strawberryfrog is the first advertising agency dedicated to Movement Marketing.

Scott Goodson - Strawberryfrog (by CoolBrands)
Scott Goodson – Strawberryfrog (by CoolBrands)

Corinna Falusi – “I need chaos to be creative”

We’re at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity where we speak with Corinna Falusi, CCO of Ogilvy & Mather New York. She talks about how she thrives in a chaotic environment.

Thanks to: Kelsey Merkel – DiGennaro Communications USA

Jason J. Harrison – “The Ambitions of Gain Theory”

We’re at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity where we speak with Jason J. Harrison, the CEO of Gain Theory. He explains the ambitions of the company.

Thanks to: Scott Berwitz – DiGennaro Communications

Meeting Heidi Steiger – Creative Visionary & Financial Expert

For more than 30 years, seasoned executive Heidi Steiger has imbued honesty and integrity in the investment management and finance industry – along with a fresh, creative approach. Originally studying journalism – graduating summa cum laude from Boston College in 1975 – Heidi always dreamt of being a news anchor. However, after stumbling into the financial world, more or less by accident, she has found her niche in life – while her earlier training has held her in good stead for her public speaking and TV appearances. Before being the Eastern Region President of the Private Client Reserve of US Bank – the nation’s fifth largest bank – Heidi spent 18 years as Executive Vice President at Neuberger Berman in New York. During her tenure, she grew its wealth management business to 70% of the firm’s revenues, leading to the initial public offering of the company in 1999 and its subsequent sale to Lehman in 2003. I meet this super-achiever, soi-disant ‘risk-taker’, and creative visionary in the heart of New York’s financial district; her ‘home away from home’ which she shares with the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and, of course, Wall Street.

The business and arts worlds should work more closely together. I believe that the world of arts can bring progress to the world of business – by thinking, looking and acting outside-of-the box – Heidi Steiger

Read more stories on Heidi Steiger and her vision. 


Tags: Heidi Steiger, meeting Heidi Steiger, Wealthy & Wise, #CoolBrandsWomen, CoolBrands Women, CoolBrands, #CoolBrands, #CoolBrandsPeople, CoolBrands People, Creative visionary, #HeidiSteiger, financial expert, female board director financial expert

Merlin Melles – “The human side of global networking”

While in São Paulo, we were invited to the launch of the Brazilian chapter of the founders Carbon Network (fCN). It was there that we learnt that the fCN was established in the Netherlands in 2011 by a Dutch entrepreneur – Merlin Melles. Since then the fCN has slowly spread around the world, connecting entrepreneurs and ‘captains of industry’ – with the sole purpose of sharing contacts, knowledge and opportunities. Roberto, the founder of the Brazilian chapter, told us: ‘Merlin is a passionate businesswoman with an eye for opportunities and connections to realise those opportunities.’ We were intrigued. So a few weeks later we found ourselves in an impressive 19th-century building near the Vondelpark, navigating the steep staircase that leads up to Merlin’s stylish office. Inside, we met the networking wizard, seated in front of a wall filled with framed photos – everyone she has met over the past few years. And the interview began…

Merlin Melles - Founder Carbon Network - fCN - by CoolBrands
Merlin Melles – Founder Carbon Network – fCN – by CoolBrands

I connect for the sake of connecting. I give for the sake of giving. I share for the sake of sharing – Merlin Melles

What is the Founder Carbon Network?

The fCN is a unique high-end community of diverse business members with a passion for entrepreneurship combined with good moral values. All are at the top of their game and every sector is represented. Integral is its inherent mutual goodwill factor.

How many members?

We have 500 members – and no more than 500 members at any one time – because I want to be able to connect to everyone on a personal level. It’s also what makes it beautifully intimate and exclusive. It’s like one big business family.

Read more stories on Merlin Melles and the founders Carbon Network.

Tags: Meeting Merlin Melles, founders Carbon Network, Merlin Melles, fCN, #fCN, #MerlinMelles, #CoolBrands, CoolBrands, #CoolBrandsPeople, CoolBrands People, #CoolBrandsWomen, CoolBrands Women

Meeting Anand Mahindra, chairman of MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA

Inside, we are welcomed by Karthik, the senior general manager of corporate brand management, who takes us to a conference room. We are soon joined by Anand, who enters with a purposeful stride and a big smile.

“We’re impressed by what we’ve read so far about the Mahindra brand,” I say as he warmly shakes our hands. “And curious to learn more!”

“Well, we are of course all very proud of our company and it is one of our daily challenges to keep it that way,” says Anand. His air is calm and relaxed, even though his words speak of great ambition.

“That’s exactly why we wanted to meet you,” I say. “To find out the secret of the success behind the Mahindra brand.”

“We are many companies,” Anand replies proudly. “We are more than 180,000 people in over 100 countries. Mahindra’s success lies in the way we do business. Of course there is professionalism and quality, but most of all we do business with a larger purpose. Actually, we always have,” he says with a smile. His tone is confident and modest at once. 

“We read about that,” I say. “I am particularly interested in understanding how an Indian company, founded in the 1940s, was able to grow so big, even internationally, and still manage to hold on to its core purpose. Can you tell us about that?”

Anand Mahindra  for Around The World in 80 Brands
Anand Mahindra for Around The World in 80 Brands

“Well,” says Anand. “When I took over as captain of the Mahindra ship, in the early 1990s, ‘good corporate citizenship’ was already part of our DNA. But I felt we had to reformulate it, to revive it and incorporate it into our daily operations.

“What I found was actually the same as our founders believed in: ‘India is second to none and we will prove them right’. This slogan dates back to the company’s founding in 1945 when India had little internationally known industry and there was a general feeling that we should prove that we could compete and hold our own.

“So what we did, was to take the purpose we had always had but which had been used more as a footnote, and turn it into a header.

“We worked hard and by the mid-2000s we had established a strong presence in India and started expanding our business internationally.

“And what happened to your purpose, which was very much focused on India?” I ask.

“Good question,” says Anand. “This growth and change of scope led us to question our purpose. We had created an international company, with people working with us all over the world. An India-focused purpose doesn’t appeal to Americans or Europeans, so we had to change. We decided to do an exercise to find our current purpose.”

“How did that work?” I ask.

“We started the exercise in 2008, a decisive year globally,” says Anand. “We involved different groups of stakeholders from all over the world to first find out what they find important. We found amazing similarities in different parts of the world. People realized that the world had changed, there was a trust deficit towards big companies, people wanted brands they could trust, brands that are good for consumers, brands that go beyond profit.”

“So you noticed that people wanted companies to be more stakeholder-value driven than shareholder-value driven?” I ask.

“That’s right: people are done with corporate greed and companies that just look at the next quarter’s financial results,” says Anand. “When we went back to the drawing board with the knowledge we had gathered, we found surprising similarities between what people want and what we, at Mahindra, are.”

“And this is how ‘Rise’ came about,” I say.

“Correct,” says Anand. “We want to drive positive change in the lives of our stakeholders and communities across the world, to empower and enable them to ‘Rise’.”


Read more stories on:

On our way to meet Anand Mahindra
Mahindra Rise – Driving Positive Change 

Tags: Mahindra & Mahindra, Anand Mahindra, ATW80B, CoolBrands, CoolBrands Storytelling, CoolBrands People, chairman of MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA, #AnandMahindra, #Mahindra, Meeting Anand Mahindra, #CoolBrands, #CoolBrandsPeople, #Karthik, Karthik

Anand Mahindra - CoolBrands People

Fernanda Tavares – “A model with a mission”

The fashion world fell in love with the natural Brazilian beauty Fernanda Tavares when her modelling career went international at the end of the 1990s. Ever since Mario Testino shot her for the French edition of Vogue, Fernanda’s face has graced the cover of all the usual suspects: Cosmopolitan, Elle, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar…

Throughout the Nineties, she fronted campaigns for Dolce&Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren and Versace. And for six years, held the coveted position of spokesperson for L’Oréal.

She’s walked the catwalk with some of the world’s greatest designers and been snapped by some of the world’s greatest photographers. But in 2007, at the height of a hugely successful modelling career, she stepped out to get married and have children. Now she’s back with a mission.

I catch up with Fernanda in the fancy library of the Nomad Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Warm, friendly, curious and smart, she knows what she wants and – more beautiful than ever – it seems somehow she never really went away.

Read more stories from Fernanda Tavares.

Fernanda Tavares
Fernanda Tavares

Tags: #CoolBrands, #CoolBrandsPeople, #CoolBrandsWomen, #FernandaTavares, CoolBrands People, CoolBrands Women, Fernanda, Fernanda Tavares, meeting Fernanda in Rio de Janeiro, Meeting Fernanda Tavares, meeting Fernanda Tavares in New York, meeting Fernanda Tavares in Rio de Janeiro, Sustainable lifestyle, Tavares

Fernanda Tavares - CoolBrands People

Meeting Nando Marmo – Idiosyncratic Interior Designer

It’s important to step outside of existing ‘recipes’ that we can all become trapped in – Nando Marmo

Brazil-born Nando Marmo lives and works by the credo: ‘The past is perfect, the future is uncertain, the moment is now – you’ve got to grab it!’ The well-travelled interior designer boasts a diverse portfolio featuring everything from the homes of the rich and famous to chic restaurants and local eateries. Eschewing a signature style, Nando creates highly unique and individual designs which, instead, reflect the personality and aspirations of his clients.

Though each is not without Nando’s inimitable stamp. One recent high-profile project was Loi, the new restaurant and venture of Italian chef Salvatore Loi of Fasano fame (one of São Paulo’s most famous and awarded hotspots).

Nando Marmo - by CoolBrands People
Nando and Anouk at LOI Sao Paulo

A life of interior design was never in Nando’s plans, however. Like his father, he studied to be a lawyer. And it was only after graduating that the then 21-year-old headed to New York for what would turn out to be a life-changing experience. One that also entirely changed the course of his career. I catch up with the idiosyncratic interior designer at his atelier in São Paulo…

Read more from Nando Marmo

Tags: Nando Marmo, meeting Nando Marmo, Luiz Fernando Marmo, Fernando Marmo, interior designer, CoolBrands, #CoolBrands, CoolBrands People, #CoolBrandsPeople

Nando Marmo - CoolBrands People

Why we started CoolBrands People

You are who Google says You are


When people Google you, search results are relevant and up-to-date.

Your online reputation is optimised and your chances at business opportunities increase by up to 48%.


We live in a world where online visibility creates opportunities and reputation builds trust. According to research, a good reputation can increase the willingness to do business with you by 48%.

In today’s reputation-based economy, it is getting more and more important who you are and how you are being perceived by your (potential) business partners.

Nowadays people want to know who you are and will Google you, before (and after) meeting you.

What they will find on the first page is your online public image, your online reputation – whether accurate or not.

‘You are who Google says you are’, whether you like it or not.

A growing number of entrepreneurs, business owners and C-level management rely on their personal image and reputation to grow their business.

Case Studies CoolBrands People

If you want to talk about improving your online reputation, contact Anouk at

© CoolBrands – CoolBrands People

Tags: CoolBrands, CoolBrands People, #CoolBrands, #CoolBrandsPeople,  CoolBrands Trends, #CoolBrandsWomen, CoolBrands Women

The 5 step approach to building a strong online reputation


Your online reputation is one of your most valuable assets

90% of people Google you before they decide to meet you

You are … who Google says you are

1. Assessment – no charge

Online image consult

2. Personal Branding (fixed fee)

Online reputation consult by
Branding expert / Anthropologist / Executive coach

Deliverable: Positioning & Action Plan

3. Execution of the Action Plan: Content Creation (variable cost)

Stories / articles / images / video

4. Publication and Seeding (set up and monthly fee)

Making sure that the content will ‘pop up’ when people Google you

5. Linking your content & seeding your stories to the international online CoolBrands network (included in the monthly fee)

New York – Paris – London – Sao Paulo – Dubai – Sydney

If you want to talk about improving your online reputation, contact Anouk at

Click here to read more on how to improve your online reputation. 

Are you ready for a position on a corporate board but your online profile is not?

© CoolBrands – CoolBrands People

Tags: #CoolBrandsPeople, CoolBrands, CoolBrands People, CoolBrands Trends, #CoolBrands #Reputation #Online Reputation, CoolBrands Women, #CoolBrandsWomen, Anouk Pappers, Maarten Schafer

Meeting Greg Furman – Innovator and Business Thought Leader

From working-class Jersey kid to founder and chairman of the Luxury Marketing Council, Greg Furman is the ultimate non-corporate ‘people’s person’.

‘My purpose is to unite the worlds of business, academia, not-for-profit and the arts’

Charming and knowledgeable, Greg is genuinely interested in other people, his enthusiasm is infectious and – rare in business – he has the memory of an elephant when it comes to remembering people’s names. Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, would call him a ‘Connector’, while others would simply call him a mensch. A good guy. One with integrity and honour.

Greg cut his ‘business chops’ as head of public affairs and issues management for Sun Oil’s Canadian subsidiary, Suncor. This was followed by a four-year association with Bergdorf Goodman where he was responsible for, amongst other things, the store’s $30 million catologue business. But in November 1994, Greg decided to step out of the corporate world and spotted a gap in the market – a network for the luxury market – which was ‘hidden in plain sight’. With that, he founded The Luxury Marketing Council, a business-building revenue-generating global community of CEOs and CMOs. Today, the ‘by invitation only’ organisation is regarded as the leader in the field of luxury marketing. We meet Greg in the Flatiron district in Manhattan, New York and witness his warmth for ourselves.

Flatiron Building

Read more from Greg Furman

Tags: meeting Greg Furman, meeting Greg, meeting Gregory Furman, Greg Furman, Gregory Furman, LMC, Founder LMC, Luxury Marketing Council, founder Luxury Marketing Council, Innovator, Business Thought Leader, LMC New York, #GregFurman, #LMC, #LuxuryMarketingCouncil, CoolBrands People, #CoolBrandsPeople, #CoolBrands, CoolBrands

Greg Furman - CoolBrands PeopleGreg Furman - CoolBrands People