• Transform magazine
  • June 21, 2024


Middle East Brand Summit


Middle East Brand Summit

Middle East Brand Summit



Registration and breakfast


Welcome and open address

Andrew Thomas
Publishing Editor
Transform magazine


Building brand with emotional resonance

The difference between a product and a brand is the emotional resonance it can instil in its stakeholder. But how can a company instil that resonance? Phil Darby from Brand Lounge argues that the most effective way is for an organisations to create communities amongst their stakeholders. Phil will be joined by Stephen McCallion at GE Oil & Gas and Francesca Moore, chief marketing officer at Beehive from external-facing marketing director to discuss how communities can be developed and maintained.


Stephen McCallion
Communications Leader
GE Oil & Gas


Phil Darby
Head of Strategy
Brand Lounge


Imitation, invention now innovation

Its hard to believe that there was a time when being called an 'innovator' used to get your ears cut off and thrown in prison. Today the word 'innovation' peppers nearly every conversation, but why and why now? Why should we, as brand people, care? And how do we come up with ideas that are valuable and drive innovation.




Branding the built environment

The built environment is an important tool for communications as it has the power to influence audiences, create impactful experiences and embody the physical brand. This goes beyond architecture and extends to such details as the wayfinding systems used, the typography and style of signage implemented and the way a visual identity translates to the physical space. 

At the Middle East Brand Summit, we'll be exploring how brand can be implemented in the built environment. Hear from the director of marketing, brand and communications at the Dubai Design District, Lars de Jong, partner at Andarakis and Gideon Wilkinson, the founder of brand implementation specialist Endpoint. They'll be sharing their experiences of branding the physical space and will discuss how this is likely to develop moving forward.


Lars de Jong
Senior Director


Director of Marketing, Brand and Communications
Dubai Design District


Gideon Wilkinson


Coffee break


Psychometrics and the Binary Brand

In today’s big data world the algorithm is every marketer’s greatest challenge and even greater opportunity. Join Victor Benady from Grayling and Vesselin Popov from the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre for a participatory session where they will broadly predict the audience’s psychological profile based on its reactions to certain stimuli. They will showcase the results of a collaborative R&D project, with Hilton Worldwide as the client, demonstrating predictive psychometric profiling as a highly effective means to target consumers and tailor messaging. And finally they will explore what this all means for brands, looking at potential applications that could revolutionise the fundamentals of marketing.​


Victor Benady
Global Head of Digital


Vesselin Popov
Development Strategist
University of Cambridge


It's nothing personal.

Creating exciting and unique new brands is not enough. It never was. Once a new brand has been carefully created over many weeks, and is ready to be pitched to the client, the next challenge begins. The reality is that the best branding approaches in the world have taken flight or died in the boardroom. The latter result is often simply because personal subjective preferences get in the way of objective commercial decisions. So, assuming the agency have done their job and the brand is on brief, how can we give each these fledgling brands the best possible chance of success?

This talk is a fun exploration into the reasons why as human's we just can't help looking at things from our own personal perspective, how this ultimately gets in the way of developing brands that suit the audience not the decision maker, and a discussion on some new ideas for how to try and get around this problem.




Where next for luxury?

These days, luxury is everywhere. It’s one of the most powerful forces in modern society, and one of the most pervasive strategies in branding and marketing. But what contemporary challenges do traditional luxury brands face? What opportunities do they – and indeed any brand – now have to redefine the meaning and value of luxury? And is this picture different in the Middle East than it is in other key global markets? Latif Habib, CEO of Fortune|5 Real Estate discusses the creation of a brand for the ultimate high-end luxury apartments on the Palm in Dubai with Zak McKinven from Brash Brands.


Latif Habib
Fortune|5 Real Estate


Zak McKinven
General Manager/ Managing Director




Social businesses on a social mission

Every business has the opportunity to do good: to address social problems, to contribute to a charity and have corporate social responsibility programmes. But what about social enterprises whose purpose is greater than one-off donations and projects?

Wael Bittar, the manager of the branding agency, Tonic International, will moderate a panel to explore how brands with a social mission can communicate their values through their brand.

Altaf Ladak, COO, Roshan
Afghani telecommunications provider set out to improve the lives of over 200,000 Afghans in a country fraught with economic and political difficulties. Roshan invested in more than just Afghanistan’s telecommunication infrastructure. Using the Persian word for hope or light, the Roshan brand has set out to communicate its values and mission through its brand.


Altaf Ladak




Brand language and tone of voice

The visual identity and brand colours are are always taken into consideration when thinking about brand, but how can you ensure your brand’s identity is communicated through the language it uses? This panel discussion will look at how subtle nuances and choice of words can completely alter how audiences perceive your brand. Using real examples from the panelists, this session will start making you examine the language your brand adopts and how it fits into your overall strategy.


Syed Hussain
Marketing Manager, Middle East & Levant


Alastair Herbert
Managing Director


Sholto Lindsay-Smith
Founding Partner


Conference round up and closing remarks


Andrew Thomas
Publishing Editor
Transform magazine

The programme for the Middle East Brand Summit taking place in Dubai on 2 June is below. All of our speakers have been carefully selected to share their stories and experiences. We always encourage discussion, debate and questions at our events and always encourage delegates to participate.

When & where


Date: Tuesday 2 June 2015
Time: 08.30-15.30 
Venue: The Address Hotel Dubai Marina

Supporting Partners

If you would like to be a supporting or media partner for the Transform conference in New York please email our marketing manager, Hannah Wilkinson with your suggestions on how we can collaborate. We're always happy to find creative ways to work with external companies and we'd love to hear from you.