All posts by CoolBrands People

Juliana Guzman – Building a new category in a growing economy

Here I am, in an astonishing apartment in Leblon, the most chic area of Rio de Janeiro nowadays.

I have been invited by Juliana Guzman to enjoy this apartment during my stay in Rio. Who would say no to this?

The best area of the city, a sun-lit living and dining room, a private garden with pool and lounge area…and to make it even better, a chef who comes over for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

And there is more to it, just imagine what you would need, and Juliana makes it happen. Want to go to Rock in Rio but it is sold out? No worries…

How come she can do all these things?

Juliana Guzman - Rio Exclusive
Juliana Guzman – Rio Exclusive by CoolBrands People

Well, Juliana is co-founder of RioExclusive, an elite real estate agency, specializing in luxury vacation rentals. She is someone worth knowing in this city.

She came to Rio in 2007, from Colombia, fell in love with the city and decided to stay.

Being an ex-pat, she met a lot of other foreigners, people spending their holidays in Rio, once or twice a year.

In that time, many people bought their own apartments, because of a lack of luxury hotels. This is where Juliana and her partner Arnaud saw an opportunity.

Since they were living in Rio, they could rent the apartments of their friends while they were away. Take care of them and offer the luxury service their clientele would be expecting.

It is a shame to have all these beautiful apartments being empty 90% of the time.

So they started, carefully, gaining trust and the experience of renting the apartments.

But soon they realised they had tapped into something potentially big.

This is when RioExclusive started.

When Juliana arrived in Brazil, the vacation rental market was virtually non-existent.

What she actually did, is build a whole new category in a growing economy, talking about being at the right time at the right place, and meeting the right people.

Today, RioExclusive stands for the guarantee of having a fantastic Rio de Janeiro experience. Whether you are a VIP, a celebrity, a CEO or a person who just deserved to be treated the best way possible, RioExclusive takes care of you.

What always happens when you build a new category that is successful, is that you get followers. So today, there are several agencies in Rio that offer vacation rentals similar to RioExclusive.

Juliana is not afraid of competition. ‘We have to stay ahead of the market, innovate, to make sure we keep raising the standards, both for ourselves and the other players on the market.’

She is already working on the next level. Juliana is developing BrazilExclusive. Buzios, Angra dos Reis and Paraty are already operational, the expansion has just started.

I can only imagine what comes next, I will definitely keep an eye on her.

Check out the video blog CoolBrands People created for Juliana Guzman.

Tags: Brasil, Brazil, Exclusive apartments, Guzman, Juliana, Juliana Guzman, Juliana Guzman RioExclusive, LatinExclusive, Rio de Janeiro, RioExclusive, CoolBrands Women, #CoolBrandsWomen, meeting Juliana Guzman

Meeting Erin Clift, vice-president global marketing at Spotify

Logo CoolBrands WomenI’m on my way to meet Erin Clift, the vice-president for global marketing at Spotify, the digital music streaming service that has taken the world by storm since 2008.

The new Spotify offices on West 19th Street reflect the company’s free and proud spirit with open-plan offices, funky graffiti on the walls and a central space where the company’s in-house band gives live performances. After Erin and I head out to the deck and find a seat in the lounge area, I ask her what motivated her to join Spotify.

“I strongly believe in our founder Daniel Ek’s vision to make music available to anyone, anywhere and anytime but not without financially compensating the artists. Revenue is generated through subscriptions and advertising. It’s a way of democratizing music and at the same time combating piracy.”

“Ok, but there are other music streaming services – what makes Spotify unique?”

“To me there are three things that make it unique. First of all its accessibility: Spotify allows anyone to listen to all the world’s music on any device and for free. Secondly, it allows you to easily create your own music collection – your own music identity as it were.

Spotify - Around the World in 80 Brands
Spotify – Around the World in 80 Brands

“And finally, Spotify creates new communities around music. In the current era of social networks, people want to share everything, and now we can share our favourite music and playlists with the people we care about.”

“So you could say that music is in fact the original social network, and that you are reviving and strengthening that,” I say.

“That’s right,” says Erin. “Music has connected people through history. It is inherently social and incredibly individual. At Spotify, we connect these two worlds.”

“What is one of your most memorable Spotify moments?”

“I just had this funny experience: I was with a group of college friends at a joint birthday party and we made a soundtrack of our college years. It was hilarious, because every song brought back a memory! The connection between music and memory is incredibly strong. Actually you could say that we ‘soundtracked’ that shared period of our lives. That’s quite amazing.”

“And so what’s next? What does the future hold for Spotify?”

“We want music to become a constant and relevant companion throughout your day. 

Music captures moments, and we want to be there, for you, at any moment. Whether it is a moment when you’re working out, relaxing or hanging out with friends. And we are using the power of technology to get there.”

Spotify - Around the World in 80 Brands
Spotify – Around the World in 80 Brands

“Can you give an example?”

“Imagine go for a run every day listening to your personal Spotify running playlist… What if we help you speed up? We can adjust your workout, so you listen to music with a higher BPM, giving you a better workout.

“We’re developing this together with advertisers and sponsors to not only add to your workout experience but also provide tips and information that are relevant to your workout.”

“Sounds amazing,” I say. “We’ll definitely keep watching the rising Spotify star, and especially, enjoying its music!”


Meeting Erin Clift, Global Marketing Director Spotify, at #CannesLions - CoolBrands
Meeting Erin Clift, Global Marketing Director Spotify, at #CannesLions – CoolBrands







© 2014 CoolBrands – Around the World in 80 Brands

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Tags: Meeting Erin Clift, Erin Clift, Erin, Clift, CoolBrands, CoolBrandsWomen, CoolBrands Women, Spotify, Erin Clift Spotify, CMO Spotify, Global Marketing Director Spotify, CBNWS, CoolBrands Nextworld Storytelling, CoolBrands Online Personal Reputation, digital music streaming service

Meeting Shelley Zalis, founder of the Ipsos Girls’ Lounge

Logo CoolBrands WomenI’m at the New York Advertising Week talking to Shelley Zalis at the Ipsos Girls’ Lounge.

Shelley launched her own internet research company in the late 1990s and is now the CEO of Ipsos OTX. As a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur, Shelley has managed to juggle family life and a high-flying career, but she told me that she sees too many women still struggling to combine the two.

That’s one of the reasons she founded the Ipsos Girls’ Lounge, a ‘go to’ destination at industry conferences where women can connect, collaborate and inspire each other.

“The past decades have been dominated by male leadership, but the current situation demands a different kind of leadership,” Shelley kicks off. “The skill set necessary to be a great leader today includes qualities like nurturing, caring, being collaborative, visionary and passionate, and the ability to tell stories. These all happen to be skills that ‘caregivers’ have. And most of the time, caregivers are women.”

“So what keeps women from taking these positions?” I ask.

“Most companies are structured to accommodate ‘workers’, they are not fit to accommodate caregivers; people who take care of kids, parents, do volunteer work. That’s one of the reasons I started my own company. I have three kids and a husband that I want to take care of, but I also wanted to develop myself and grow professionally.

“Next to this, we as women accepted this situation. We adapted to it. Either you sacrifice your caregiver role or you don’t go for the top position you actually wanted. What we need is to boost our confidence as women, take a stand, step up to the plate and make the changes we want. What are we waiting for? I want to go from conversation to activation – we need to act. The time is now.”

Meeting Shelley Zalis – Around the World in 80 Brands
Meeting Shelley Zalis – Around the World in 80 Brands

“So your aim with the IGL is to address these issues and generate solutions?” I ask.

“You bet,” she says, “first of all, the women who come here are mostly C-level, from small to blue chip companies. By sharing our vision and discussing how we can re-structure the companies to accommodate caregivers, we make a start.

“Second, the women visiting the Ipsos Girls’ Lounge realize it’s cool to do business with their ‘girlfriends’. In addition, we work on energizing confidence on three levels in the Lounge: sisterhood – sharing and activating together, taking action to make the changes we need to see in the workplace, reality; self – we have styling artists to help the women feel their absolute best when they walk into a room; and third, soul – this is inner confidence, ensuring that we are healthy, happy – inside and out.”

“Actually, I’d like to ask you to join us for our next IGL in Orlando, to help our women craft their story, find their uniqueness so that we can celebrate our differences.”

“You can count me in,” I say, “I’d be honored to contribute to boost women’s inner confidence with storytelling!”

Meeting Shelley Zalis, CEO of Ipsos OTX, at #CannesLions - CoolBrands
Watch video with Shelley Zalis at Cannes Lions

Ipsos Girls’ Lounge

© 2014 CoolBrands – Around the World in 80 Brands

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Tags: Shelley Zalis, Ipsos Girls’ Lounge, Ipsos, CoolBrandsWomen, Meeting Shelley Zalis, Shelley, Zalis, CEO Ipsos OTX, Ipsos, Ipsos OTX, Ipsos Girls’ Lounge, CoolBrands, inspire, CBNWS, CoolBrands Nextworld Storytelling, CoolBrands Online Personal Reputation, CoolBrands Women, Anouk Pappers, #CoolBrandsWomen, women in leadership, IGL

Meeting Joan Okorodudu

Logo CoolBrands WomenI’m on my way to meet Joan Okorodudu, the “godmother of the Nigerian modelling industry” who is single-handedly placing Nigeria and Africa on the global fashion map. Joan has invited me to her home in the trendy Ikoyi district of Lagos, which doubles as her office and the nerve centre of her modelling agency ISIS.

The walls of the corridor that lead to her office are covered in photos of her models, posing for fashion shoots and parading down catwalks. But there is also a series of shots from Nigeria’s Next Super Model (NNSM), the programme she launched in 2007.  

“This is impressive,” I say. “It shows you are really determined to push for change on the African fashion scene. What motivates you?”

“I want to show the world that great things can come out of Africa,” says Joan, who was the runner-up at the Miss Nigeria beauty pageant in 1981, the same year she graduated from Boston University. “We may not become a fashion capital like Milan or Paris, but if we take the time to sit down for a minute, we can turn the Nigerian fashion industry into a new New York.

“More importantly, it’s about showing Nigerians and Africans the potential of the fashion industry on this continent. Since I launched NNSM in 2007, it has become the main point of reference for young Nigerian models trying to break into the industry. What is more, it has been picked up by Fashion TV, which not only broadcasts the show every year but has also started featuring more content from Nigeria.

“In addition, this year I have signed a three-year contract with Vogue Italia to launch Vogue Talent for Africa, a project that I believe will be really groundbreaking and provide a massive boost to the image of African models. These are things I’m proud of. They all form small – and sometimes bigger – steps in the right direction.”

Meeting Joan Okorodudu - Around the World in 80 Brands
Meeting Joan Okorodudu – Around the World in 80 Brands

“Your modelling agency ISIS is helping dozens of models make their dreams come true. But it seems to me it is more than just a modelling agency, you also coach your models, is that right?”

“Yes, and I believe this is very important,” says Joan. “You know in Nigeria many young models believe the only way to succeed is to sleep their way to the top. Often they end up taking drugs and even turning to prostitution. I show the models who come to ISIS that they don’t need to go down that path, that they can become a super model through talent, discipline and hard work. I counsel them and make sure they are not exposed to the ‘traditional’ traps that many models here fall into.”

“Over the years you have also become a role model for young Nigerian and African girls. What inspiration do you think young girls can draw from your career?”

“I think my path shows that hard work pays in the end, but also that you need audacity and tenacity to succeed. You won’t get there by cutting corners. You may face challenges along the way, but if you stick to your principles, it pays off in the end.

“I want to give young women hope in what can often be a hopeless situation. I want to show them that change is possible: a girl from a disadvantaged background can achieve things she would never have imagined, like travelling to cities like Paris and New York, owning a car and meeting VIPs. That is a transformative but also deeply empowering experience. I am not afraid to step on people’s toes in order to help young people achieve their dreams.”


ISIS Modeling Agency

© 2014 CoolBrands – Around the World in 80 Brands

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Tans: Joan Okorodudu, meeting Joan okorodudu, Nigerian modelling industry, CBNWS, #CBNWS, #CoolBrands, CoolBrands, ATW80B, #ATW80B, Around the world, CoolBrands Storytelling, Creating Talk Value, CoolBrands Women, CoolBrands Personal, CoolBrands People, modelling agency ISIS, Nigeria’s Next Super Model, NNSM, Vogue Talent for Africa

Meeting Aur See You in Bangkok

Bangkok-based Aur See You has worked with brands, including Red Bull, Nike and Philips, royalty, celebrities and political leaders. She consults, lectures and leads workshops on Dhaksa, an ancient holistic profiling system comprising personology, numerology and environmental pyschology. In short: she ‘reads’ people and houses, helping individuals through work or personal challenges by giving them the tools to chart the course of their own lives.

Since 2007, Aur has hosted and appeared on various television shows, including one on Channel 5, a TV station whose mission is to promote a happier and more enlightened Thailand. At its peak, she received around 700 letters a day from viewers and had 20k followers on a dedicated forum. She returns to Channel 5 in August 2014 for a new show in which she visits people in their homes, advising them on the connection between themselves and their surroundings. I meet this remarkable woman at her home in the Thai capital. A veritable oasis in the heart of the buzzing city, I almost feel as though I’m in the countryside.

Read more stories about my meeting with Aur See You.

Meeting Aur See You, Life Consultant
Meeting Aur See You, Life Consultant

Tags: Aur See You, Dhaksa, Feng Shui, Numerology, Metaphysics, UCD, User-Centered Design, Udesign, design psychology, environmental psychology, natural science, micro environmental science, architecture, environmental psychology, architecture 2.0, study of the whole of nature

Meeting Richard Lee in Shanghai

Hong Kong-born Richard Lee is the driving force behind PepsiCo China’s campaigns. He joined the company in 1997 as China Beverages Cola Director, becoming VP of Marketing in 2001. The creative innovator with a knack for meaningful branding – backed up with an MBA from Harvard Business School and BSc from the University of California – didn’t go unnoticed. In 2005, he was named by Ad Age as one of its Top 10 Global Players. And in 2007 was made VP Marketing for Global Sparkling Beverages, working out of PepsiCo’s New York headquarters before returning to the world’s most populous country as Chief Marketing Officer in 2010.


Lured back by the huge potential, opportunities and challenges of keeping up with the speed of change, Richard currently leads product innovation and brand activation for all PepsiCo food and beverage brands. I catch up with him to find out how he stays on top of his game in such a rapidly evolving market.

You either run with it – or get left behind – Richard Lee

Richard Lee, CMO PepsiCo China 未标题
Richard Lee, CMO PepsiCo China 未标题 

Read more stories on Richard’s landing page.

Tags: Richard Lee, meeting Richard Lee, Richard Lee PepsiCo, meeting Richard Lee at PepsiCo, Pepsi China, Richard Lee Pepsi, Meeting Richard Lee in Shanghai, creativity can change the world, Bring Happiness Home, Richard Lee Bring Happiness Home, Pepsi Bring Happiness Home, CMO Richard Lee, CBNWS, #CBNWS, CoolBrands, #CoolBrands, #CBPersonal, CBPersonal

Meeting Carole van Bekkum in Rotterdam

Creative director Carole van Bekkum lately joined an Amsterdam based design agency, that was about to undergo a major transformation. Together with the agency’s owner they decided to rebrand the company fundamentally. First of all, they created its new name, DreamCatch. Carole’s philosophy of dreams can be easily resumed as follows: dreams happen. Simultaneously, she visualised and realised DreamCatch to be her ideal working space. For Carole as well as for DreamCatch, this is a dream come true.

Meeting Carole Van Bekkum - Creative Director DreamCatch
Meeting Carole Van Bekkum – Creative Director DreamCatch

Carole van Bekkum has her roots in art education, and she still is an artist, drawing everywhere she goes. Her rich career as an art director reached its first peak when Philips Design hired her as a creative director. Reputed for being a ‘driver of innovation’, she was asked to lead a mission critical innovation in the underexposed food and beverage market. The accomplishments were successful on the levels of creation, innovation and leadership. Her matching of extreme imagination and management style pleased Philips to the point that Carole van Bekkum was invited to participate in a leadership training for high potentials.

How come a former art academy student achieves outstanding results in corporate environments? And how come the owner of an agency gives her carte blanche to transform their company?

I am meeting Carole van Bekkum in her native city Rotterdam to find out. After all, Rotterdam is the place to be when it comes to rebuilding and reinventing. She must have picked up that spirit here.

Read more stories on Carole’s landing page.

Tags: Meeting Carole van Bekkum, Carole, van Bekkum, Bekkum, Dream, Catch, Dream Catch, Dream Catch Create, DreamCatchCreate, DreamCatch, create for the brave and the ambitious, CBNWS, #CBNWS, CBPersonal, #CBPersonal, CoolBrands, #CoolBrands, CBPeople, #CBPeople

Meeting Vera Lopes – CEO Luxury Marketing Council Brazil

The best place to meet Vera Lopes is the elegant Rua Oscar Freire, the famous high end shopping street in the Jardins neighborhood, the Beverly Hills of São Paulo.

Amidst finely dressed Brazilians, I walk along concept stores that are designed like precious jewelry boxes. Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs present their designs alongside Brazilian brands such as Alexandre Herchcovitch and H.Stern.

Ah, there is a perfect spot under the green, leafy roof at the terrace of Café Santo Grão. Food and drinks are served the Brazilian way, with attention and friendliness.

Cafe Santo Grao in Rua Oscar Freire
Cafe Santo Grao in Rua Oscar Freire

Who is Vera Lopes? What I read is that she worked for 15 years for the world’s leading diamond company De Beers, after which she worked for a gold mining company. A widely traveled lady from Brazil, who must have thought: after diamonds and gold there is only one way up: the Luxury Marketing Council (LMC).

Reading the LMC website I found out that the Luxury Marketing Council was founded in 1994 and has its Head Quarters in New York. It has been operating as ‘a business-building, revenue-generating global community of CEOs and CMOs. LMC is considered the leader in the field of luxury marketing, setting the “gold standard” for the intelligent exploration of best marketing practices and trends in the luxury marketplace. And LMC is inspiring luxury brands to more creatively and profitably work together.’

Vera is the CEO of the chapter Brazil of the Luxury Marketing Council. I’m curious about her story…

Read more on Vera Lopes’ landing page.


Tags: meeting Vera Lopes, meeting Vera Lopez, LMC Brazil, LMC, Luxury Marketing Council, Luxury Marketing Council Brazil, Luxury Marketing Council São Paulo, luxury marketing, luxury brands Brazil, luxury branding Brazil, CEO LMC Brazil, #CoolBrandsPeople, CoolBrands People, CoolBrands Women, #CoolBrandsWomen,#CoolBrands, CoolBrands

Meeting Jacqueline Schäfer in Amsterdam

Dutch artist Jacqueline Schäfer graduated from Amsterdam’s prestigious Rietveld Academy in 1989. Since then she’s developed a highly recognisable style in her paintings which exude bright colours and draws on elements of cubism, pop art and graffiti. In 2007, she expanded her artistic talent to sculpting, producing a series of birds, cows and cacti in the same distinctive style.

Her sculptures and paintings are exhibited at galleries and art fairs in Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Milan, Knokke, Gothenburg and even Seoul. I meet her at her studio in Amsterdam where I’m immediately struck by the amount of artworks. Every wall is covered in a colourful explosion of paintings, big and small. And on every table and window-sill, statues and sculptures vie for a position.

Jacqueline Schäfer and her artwork: a 'Strange Bird' sculpture.
Jacqueline Schäfer and her artwork: a ‘Strange Bird’ sculpture.
Jacqueline Schäfer - Artist of Paintings and Sculptures.
Jacqueline Schäfer – Artist of Paintings and Sculptures.

Read more stories on Jacqueline’s landing page.

Tags: Meeting Jacqueline Schäfer, Jacqueline Schäfer, Jacqueline, Schäfer, Artist, Painter, Paintings, Sculptures, Strange Birds, Happy Cows, Vreemde Vogels, CoolBrands People, CoolBrands Online Personal Reputation, CoolBrands.

Meeting Diego Ruzzarin in Singapore

‘Design Thinker’ Diego Ruzzarin, director of the Brazil office of Enivrance, divides his time between São Paulo, Singapore, Dubai and Mexico. Co-author of Brazil Food Vision 2020, in which he showcases his innovative vision on food design, Diego graduated with a Food Design Master’s Degree in Italy and lectures on his revolutionary ideas at the world’s leading design universities.
Together with the Brazilian government and 13 industrial food companies, Diego is busy positioning Brazil as a global food provider, food innovator, and lifestyle provider under the moniker ‘New Made in Brazil’.

I’ve met Diego before in São Paulo but today I’m meeting him at the other end of the world – Singapore. Here, the government has identified the creative design sector as one that will stimulate economic growth. And Diego has been invited by the Design Thinking & Innovation Academy (DTIA), a programme of the Design Singapore Council, to conduct a workshop for business owners and entrepreneurs on ‘Food Design’.

Diego Ruzzarin – Design Thinker and Director of Enivrance Brazil
Diego Ruzzarin – Design Thinker and Director of Enivrance Brazil

Design Thinking occurs at the intersection of art, craft, science and business – Diego Ruzzarin

How would you define Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is a process used to improve products and services. It combines empathy, creativity and rationality to better meet consumer needs. Unlike Analytical Thinking, Design Thinking must be grounded in multi-disciplinary academic skills and interests.

What makes you a good Design Thinker?

I believe a good Designer Thinker should be a mix of at least three disciplines: strategy, design and psychoanalysis. In my case, I can also add that I’ve worked in several different countries across the globe. Next to life experience, this give me a better cultural understanding.

Read more stories on Diego’s landing page.


Tags: Bolson Ruzzarin, CB Personal, CBNWS, CoolBrands, CoolBrands NextWorld Storytelling, Design Thinker, Design Thinking, Diego, Diego B. Ruzzarin, Diego Bolson, Diego Bolson Ruzzarin, Enivrance, Enivrance Brazil, Enivrance Singapore, food industry, food products, Food Vision 2020, Human Centred Design, Industrial design, Meeting Diego Bolson Ruzzarin, Meeting Diego Ruzzarin, Ruzzarin, SBA2014, Seleção Brasileira de Alimentos

Meeting Shobha Sairam at #CannesLions

Logo CoolBrands WomenWe are at Cannes Lions International Festival Of Creativity.

In our trip ‘Around the World in 80 Brands’, we meet brands with a
purpose and people with a vision.

Our storytelling expedition into the Cannes Lions leads us to meet up
with some of the most interesting people from the creative industry

We recorded a short video quote that serves as an entry point; either
into them as a person or into their company.

Meet Shobha Sairam, Group Planning Director at Deutsch NY.

Meeting Shobha Sairam, Group Planning Director Deutsch NY, at #CannesLions - CoolBrands
Meeting Shobha Sairam, Group Planning Director Deutsch NY, at #CannesLions – CoolBrands

Tags: Shobha Sairam, Meeting Shobha Sairam, Shobha, Sairam, Deutsch NY, Deutsch Inc., Group Planning Director, #CannesLions, Cannes International Festival of Creativity, CoolBrands, CBNWS, CoolBrands Nextworld Storytelling, CoolBrands Online Personal Reputation,

Meeting Clay Mills in Amsterdam

Since arriving in Amsterdam in 2010, Clay has prioritised building a business at W+K Amsterdam where creativity equals effectiveness. And in 2013, won the prestigious ‘Creative Effectiveness Lion’ award at Cannes for Heineken. Clay, it seems, is not only building brands but also growing business.

I’m about to meet Clay Mills, managing director for Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, which is an independent advertising agency.

I meet up with him against a backdrop of 17th-century canals and gentrified warehouses in the über-charming Jordaan district of Amsterdam – the most authentic and creative part of the city.

While I order a coffee at one of the many cafés, I take a look at my notes on Clay.

From what I read, I can tell that Clay has been around. He started his career in advertising in New York and then moved to London. From there he made a career move to Shanghai and now he is based here in Amsterdam.

Having international experience and knowledge of different cultures is obviously a big advantage when leading an international agency, working for global brands.

I’m wondering what the secret is behind his success…

"De Jordaan" - Amsterdam
“De Jordaan” – Amsterdam

Read more stories on Clay Mills’ landing page.
Clay Mills on Scribd

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