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Restoring meaning: the core value in business

 Welcome and see 

 

We are a global strategy & cultural intelligence

consultancy with a mission to restore meaning:

the core value in business.

When meaning isn't there, brands and businesses are prone to losing their value and market share. What's worse, they cannot sustain the relationship with their customers. They lose cultural relevance.

We come back to meaning and essence to create meaningful brands, business and luxury.

We focus on these 3 Core Pillars:

Learn more about how we want to return meaning to business.

Meaningful

BRANDS

What is a meaningful brand?

Meaningful brand is a brand that adds meaningful value to our lives. It knows and understands its audience, who they are, what their needs are, how they express themselves and what its role is in their lives. It cares about what they care about. It is authentic: true to its essence, function and purpose in people's lives, to its heritage and legacy. It doesn't make empty promises but stays true to itself, to its inner core values and integrity.

Meaningful

BUSINESS

What is meaningful business?

Meaningful business is a business designed consciously to create value in people's lives. It's not in the business of generating profit as the core value; it creates core value to generate profit. The fact that we've reversed the logic and alienated people from the value they create is why we are where we are today. We've created a business ecosystem of meaninglessness. Learn more about how we can change this to create value again.

Meaningful

LUXURY

What is meaningful luxury?

Meaningful luxury comes back to our spirit and human essence. Through its connection to beauty, aesthetics, the aura of symbolism and the intangibles, it has the power to uplift our senses, transcend the present moment and speak directly to our soul. It elevates the quality of our lives based on the values we share and what we see as valuable to us today. Learn more about how we can put meaning and essence back into luxury.

 
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Our Story

 

What's the need to restore meaning?

Meaning crisis. We have a meaning crisis going on. The world around us doesn't make sense anymore as culture and society develop much faster than the business world can catch up with. Count in greater cultural complexity, digital connectedness and technological disruption. This creates cultural irrelevance of many things we see around us today. When we cannot rely on what things mean, we don’t know how to navigate our way in the world. We don’t know how to create value. This is a big problem for brands and businesses because this symbolic connection to the world we live in – to the vital cultural context in which businesses are embedded – is the cornerstone of their value and profitability.

Spiritual crisis. The second crisis relates to our humanity. The coronavirus pandemic has revealed weak links in our culture and society and cast light on what’s long been missing from our lives, but we were too busy to pay attention to – and that something is meaning. We are going through a profound psycho-spiritual crisis which is reflected in the meaninglessness of the Western culture and what our lives have become. By fully embracing the consumer culture, our lives have become devoid of meaning. We have everything we need materially, but things don’t mean as much to us personally anymore. The more we can buy the less it means to us. We feel empty and unfulfilled inside. What we lack are spiritual sustenance and symbolic meaning. We are starved out for real meaning in our lives: for human connections, lasting values and things, moments and experiences we can care about. We need to shift our perspective from the disposable culture to value culture. From conspicuous consumption to meaningful consumption. From things to experiences. From the tangibles to the intangibles. The return to meaning is the biggest human shift in the 21st century.

Human / Business Alignment. The year 2020 has been the year of awakening. Thanks to the rapid change in lifestyle and a global pause, we have come to terms with what we were missing – our neglected essential needs. We are now taking a huge U-turn as a society and are collectively coming back to our Humanity. Back to the core values, meaning and essence. To reawaken our lost senses, rediscover who we are and what is truly important in our lives. And since we are going to be doing this for some time now, brands and businesses need to make sure they can evolve with us to stay relevant, desirable and profitable and create authentic value that adds meaning to our lives. This means that strategy needs to shift focus from brands themselves to people, to create real value that elevates the quality of our everyday lives. When brand essence meets human essence in the context of our ever-evolving needs, true magic happens. We are now stepping into the age of authenticity where the most important connection is to ourselves – to what gives us meaning. We no longer care as much about making impressions on other people, what we care about is to live as the highest and most authentic expressions of ourselves. Brands that can help us express and maximize our human potential will be successful.

Meaning economy. The 21st-century economy is the economy of meaning. Meaning is the core value in business which it's quickly becoming the new most valuable business currency. People value meaning – the symbolic aura of things based on the values, feelings, beliefs and desires they can identify with on a personal level. In short, what they value is personal relevance. It's this invisible net of signification, culture and meaning that decides if brands will be successful or not. The world we live in is symbolic. Everything can be reduced to signs and symbols and everything that communicates means something. And if you don't know what it means, you cannot create long-term value for your customers. Brands and businesses are living dynamic ecosystems of cultural meaning. We don’t buy brands; we buy what they represent. We consume what they mean to us. Their value is interdependent – it is tied to the society, culture, politics, health, security and our happiness. To create long-term value, we need to see brands holistically, in context, as living ecosystems of meaning.

Better strategy for a new world. The old normal is gone and the new normal is nowhere to be seen yet. We are now entering the time of Great Change. This gives us a unique opportunity to rethink the way we do things for the better. COVID urges us to pause, reflect and do the inner alignment work. If brands can do the same, come back to their essence and realign their strategy, they will be one step closer to riding the wave of change, rather than falling a victim to it. 

About us. Meaning.Global was founded in 2017 with a vision to offset the meaning crisis across the industry by helping brands and businesses understand the destabilizing symbolic foundations of the world we live in and offer the missing piece of social and cultural knowledge to create a more meaningful and contextualised strategy.

What we do. We partner with brands and businesses to help them come back to their inner essence to unlock their real value and authentic meaning in people's lives – one they can identify with as human beings. We want to help drive the business world back to its real purpose: to adding meaning and value in people's lives. Business value is human value.

Welcome to Meaning.Global: Meaningful Strategy For The Age of Humanity

 

How Can We Help You?

We believe in collaboration and having meaningful conversations with people that can spark interest and lead us to new ideas and insights to create new value. We don't believe in selling services. It's because businesses aren't machines. They are living organisms in a constant need to adapt to their environments to make sure that the value they create for people is relevant, desirable and useful.

Every business is different and every brand has a different essence so the ready-made cookie-cutter solutions cannot possibly generate value that would be truly meaningful and unique to you. We prefer working together with our clients to generate new ideas, breakthrough insights and innovations that will add real meaning in people's lives. Value creation is a collaborative process.

 

If you see it the same way, we'd love to talk to you.

Consulting.

>> Strategic consulting, advisory, problem-solving.

Are you perplexed at how quickly everything is changing in this COVID pandemic, how the old ways are no longer working and how to steer your business, brand, strategy towards the new world to be successful again? We can help you understand how the newly emerging shifts are impacting your business, brand and the value you create for your customers. We will advise you on the right strategy moving forward and guide you through the process to create new solutions, new value and new meaning.

Is the value you create still relevant to people? Let us know what's your current issue so we can help.

Brand & Business

Strategy.

>> Brand meaning, value proposition, brand culture.

Making sure that your brand or a business can create real value essential to our human needs that adds authentic meaning to people's lives has become paramount in this new post-COVID world. We can help you diagnose, align and restrategize your brand both internally and externally to deliver real value to your customers. The best brands are those that inspire us to maximize our human potential, express who we are to the world, meet our own essential needs and connect with us through values we identify with.

Would you like to restore or revive the essence and meaning of your brand? Tell us more so we can help.

Strategic, Brand &

Cultural Intelligence.

>> Strategic insight, cultural foresight, brand audit.

The world was already changing fast pre-COVID and now the pandemic has ushered us into a new world of great change. Are you finding it difficult to navigate how the global cultural climate, societal changes and evolving human needs are all impacting your brand, business and customers? Your brand needs a cultural alignment. We can help you explore how the cultural codes of today redefine your brand and business relevance in the eyes of your customers so that you know how to capitalize on this great social and cultural change, instead of falling a victim to it.

Does your brand need a cultural alignment? Let us know more and let's see how we can help you fix it.

Workshops &

Education.

>> Bespoke workshops, online learning sessions.

Would you like to create a tailor-made workshop just for you on meaningful brands, meaningful business or meaningful luxury to engage your teams and clients around new ideas? Thankfully, learning has never been more accessible. The virtual mode that the world is in right now has made global collaboration infinitely easier. Whether you're in America, Europe, Asia, Australia or Africa, we are happy to work with you and spread the knowledge on creating and restoring meaning in brand strategy and business far and wide.

 

Would you like to learn how to create meaning at your organisation or for a brand? Let us know what type of knowledge would be most beneficial to you right now.

 

Publishing.

 

Speaking.

>> Books, feature articles, reports, white papers.

Are you a publisher and would you like to discuss a book idea? Want us to contribute with a piece to your magazine? Are you interested in doing a profile or a feature article on meaningful brands, meaningful business or meaningful luxury? Would you like to collaborate on syndicated research, a new report, white paper or thought leadership?

Would you like to collaborate on publishing or thought leadership? Send us a request here.

>> Talks, keynotes, lectures, podcasts, interviews.

The future of business is headed towards regaining the sense of meaning that we seem to have lost in our lives. If you're interested in booking Dr Martina Olbertova to speak at your next event, a show or a podcast about meaningful business, meaningful brands or meaningful luxury and how the emerging global cultural and societal shifts are impacting the way we will need to do business in the future to realign with Humanity, please send us your request.

Tell us about your topic and let's discuss the angle.

For a speaking profile, visit www.martinaolbertova.com.

 

Most Recent Projects

CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE 

The Luxury Renaissance:

Rebirth Of Luxury For A New World

The Luxury Renaissance is a movement with a mission to reawaken the meaning and essence of luxury. Our aim is to bring the lost cultural knowledge back to the forefront of the luxury conversation to re-contextualize the meaning of luxury for a new world.

Why is this needed? Luxury was relegated to a status symbol which has led luxury astray into the disposable culture. We want to bring luxury back into value culture by coming back to its essence, the intangibles and the core value. Luxury has always been the crafter of a superior value so it needs to lead the way again.

This idea was created by Dr Martina Olbertova, Founder and CEO of Meaning.Global, and was brought to life in collaboration with Angela Tunner, Publisher of EAT LOVE SAVOR International Luxury Lifestyle Magazine.

Together, we started a new educational online show called The Luxury Renaissance Show with the vision to elevate the luxury conversation and create new knowledge. In each episode, with our guests, we aim to explore the emerging new luxury paradigm and dive deeper into diverse subjects that will impact the luxury industry moving forward. The aim of this new educational show is to bring the missing piece of insight and knowledge from the fringes back into the epicentre of the luxury discussion.

This missing context includes mainly the social and cultural ramifications of luxury, the historical knowledge, newly emerging trends redefining the very meaning of luxury, the ongoing human evolution fundamentally shifting our essential needs (such as wellness, well-being, healing, reconnecting with our soul and human essence) and meaningful experiences) and what we perceive as luxury today, how to elevate the quality of our everyday lives through the power of beauty, aesthetics and spirituality and many others.​ All of that, to create a rich context and help brands restore their true authentic meaning.

Interested in The Luxury Renaissance? Would you like to collaborate and grow it together? Contact us here.

The Luxury Report:

What Is The Future Meaning Of Luxury?

What do the recent shifts across culture and society mean for the future of luxury?

How and why is the meaning of luxury changing in the 21st century?

What does luxury mean to the new global consumer today?

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The Luxury Report explores how the big five cultural shifts are redefining the global luxury landscape today and offers five strategic actions that luxury brands can take right now to create authentic meaning, new value and cultural relevance for the new luxury consumer.

Global luxury has changed beyond recognition. Luxury brands are facing a lot of new challenges nowadays and are struggling to accept this redefined global reality as their new normal.

 

​Cultural irrelevance is one of the key reasons why global brands struggle to retain their value today. This is especially important for luxury and heritage brands as their value is tied to their symbolic and cultural value.

 

When meaning structures get destabilised, brand value gets eroded which causes volatility. All is not lost, but winning requires gaining a new type of knowledge. Understanding how cultural shifts are changing the very essence of the luxury business is key for luxury brands to remain relevant and profitable.

To restore the core value and essence of luxury, we need to redefine what luxury means to people today to match our evolving needs and expectations in the 21st century. 

 

Latest Thinking:

What Is The Value Of Meaning In Business?

These are some of our latest published articles, opinion pieces, features, interviews and podcasts on the role of meaning and cultural relevance in luxury, branding, marketing and business strategy. They deal with meaning from multiple perspectives: from value creation and brand growth, creative ideas, brand strategy, campaigns, storytelling and design, to shifts in culture and the need to explore how brands and technology reshape our society to humanise business and nudge social change.

 PART ONE: THE NEW 

 MEANING OF LUXURY 

Lewis Silkin | The Collective: The Future of Luxury in Times of a Global Pandemic

 THE LOUIS VUITTON 

 FACE SHIELD  

In-Your-Face Status Symbol Or New Essential Luxury Fashion Accessory?

 BUSINESS STRATEGY 

 FOR TIMES OF PANDEMIC 

Time For A Reframe: Brands And Businesses Need To Add Meaning To People's Lives

 ECONOMY OR FEAR,

 OR MEANING? 

What Kind Of Economy

Do We Want To Live In?

 REDEFINING THE FUTURE 

 MEANING OF LUXURY 

Luxury Redefined: The Fast-Changing Meaning In Culture

 RETHINKING GENDER & 

 IDENTITY IN FLUIDITY 

Reclaiming Our Selves As Authentic Human Beings

 WHAT THE $16.2BN DEAL

 MEANS FOR LUXURY 

Opinion: A Deal Between

LVMH and Tiffany Represents

A Win-Win For Both Parties

 RETAIL: MORE MEANING 

 CREATES MORE VALUE 

10 Experts Offer More Than

A Dozen Ways To Fix Fashion Shoppers' Fatigue

 THE FUTURE OF VALUE 

 CREATION IN LUXURY 

Streetwear: Efficiency And Effectiveness Of Luxury Value

 AMAZON VS LUXURY

 BRANDS PARADOX  

5 Lessons: What Amazon Means For Future Of Luxury

 EXPLORING THE CRISIS 

 OF MASCULINITY 

Close The Gap Of Meaning: Gillette Deconstructed

 MEANING IS THE SOUL 

 OF YOUR COMPANY 

How Embracing Meaning

Unites Fragmented Brands 

& Siloed Organisations

 5 WAYS TO SURELY KILL 

 BRAND MEANING

Brand Heritage: Don't Kill What Makes Your Brand Valuable

 THE POWER OF STORY 

 IN BUSINESS 

How Embracing Stories Helps Leaders Humanise Business

 THE BUSINESS OF 

 HUMAN TECHNOLOGY 

How Technology Rewires Our Minds And Shapes Meaning

 MEANING POWERS A 

 NEW ERA OF STRATEGY 

If Symbol Is The New Product, Meaning Is The New Strategy

 BBC CULTURE: 

 THE FULL INTERVIEW 

The Future Of Luxury In The Post-COVID World with

Dr. Martina Olbertova

 THE IMPACT OF CORONA

 VIRUS SHIFTS WEST 

The Luxury Industry Faces A Bleak 2020 As Manufacturing Closures Increase In EU & US

 FINDING DIRECTION IN 

 DISORIENTATION 

Beyond Back To Normal: Business in the Time of Coronavirus | Podcast

 VISION 2020: LEAD 

 BRANDS WITH MEANING 

How To Bridge The Meaning Gap Between Brands & People

 IN A CONVERSATION: 

 WE ARE WHAT WE BUY 

Voice America: A New Luxury Consumer Wants Authenticity

 POWER OF RITUALS IN 

 CONSUMER CULTURE 

Podcast: Create Conscious And Meaningful Brand Rituals

 LVMH X TIFFANY: STORY 

 OF FUTURE RELEVANCE 

American Luxury Jewelry Icon

Meets Cultural Diversification

 AHEAD OF 2020, LUXURY 

 IS GETTING PERSONAL 

The New Luxury Identity:

It's No Longer About What

You Own, But Who You Are

 LUXURY BRANDS FACE 

 CRISIS OF MEANING 

'Luxury' Has Lost Its Meaning – Here's How To Get It Back

 FACEBOOK'S IDENTITY: 

 FACELIFT OR A MASK? 

How Brands Use Codes And Narratives To Deceive Us

 PREVENTING FUTURE 

 BRAND DISASTERS 

How Brands Can Avoid Culturally Flammable Ideas 

 HOW BRANDS INSPIRE

 SOCIAL CHANGE 

No Matter What Anyone Tells You, Brand Stories Can Change The World

 REFRAMING THE 

 FUTURE OF DIVERSITY 

What Diversity Really Means For Your Brand And Business

 GENDER AND IDENTITY 

 IN BUSINESS 

Reinstating The Equilibrium Of Gender & Identity In Business

 H&M AND THE COOLEST 

 MONKEY EPIC FAIL 

Lessons From Semiotics: How To Align Brands With Culture

 AUTHENTICITY IN THE 

 AGE OF POST-TRUTH 

In The Post-Truth Era, Authentic Brands Stay True To The Core

 BBC CULTURE: 

 THE ART COLLECTION 

What does a ‘life of luxury’ really mean? What is the new meaning of luxury today?

 LUXURY IN THE MIDST 

 OF GLOBAL PANDEMICS 

Global Health Crisis Will Speed Up The Transition To The 'New Luxury'

 BRAVE NEW WORLD 

 POST CORONA CRISIS?

Rewire: Globalization Versus Access To The Global Mind

 PODCAST: BRAND 

 PURPOSE VS MEANING 

Fireside Chat on Brands, Strategy, Meaning And Culture

 AUTHENTICITY IS 

 THE NEW LUXURY   

Leaders, Thinkers & Creators: Interview with Eat Love Savor

 OUTLETS: US VERSUS EU 

 LUXURY MANAGEMENT 

What LVMH Knows About Luxury That Americans Don't

 IF CONTENT IS KING, 

 CONTEXT IS KINGDOM 

Interview: A Rare Breed,

Meet The Queen Of Meaning

 LUXURY HOUSES FOCUS 

 ON THE NEXT-GEN 

LVMH Invests In Mission-Driven Madhappy To Cater To New & Younger Audiences

 STREETWEAR VS LUXURY:

 THE FUTURE OF VALUE 

The Effectiveness x Efficiency Of Value Creation In Luxury

 GLOBAL BRANDS AND 

 THE GAP OF MEANING 

Why Do Global Brands Fall Into The Gap of Meaning?

 BOOSTING BRAND 

 VALUE VIA SEMIOTICS 

How Semiotics Helps Brands Encapsulate Value

 3 WAYS TO MEANINGFUL 

 BRAND STORYTELLING 

How To Ensure Your Brand Storytelling Is Meaningful

 CULTURAL RELEVANCE 

 FOR BRANDS 

Don't Cannibalise, Capitalise

On Culture Instead | Interview

 RITUALS AND MYTHS

 IN COMMERCE 

Mythologies And Ritualized Behaviour In Business

 THE MEANING OF DOVE 

 BODY DIVERSE BOTTLES 

6 Reasons Why The Dove Campaign Went Wrong

 A COMPLETE GUIDE TO  

 COMMERCIAL SEMIOTICS 

Everything You Wanted To

Know, But Were Afraid To Ask

 

Meet The Person Behind

Martina's work and thinking have been featured in:

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Founder & CEO

Dr Martina Olbertova is the world's leading expert on creating meaning and cultural relevance in business. She is a social scientist, brand advisor, cultural strategist and a semiotician on a mission to redefine the role of meaning in business. As a writer, speaker and cultural consultant, she educates brand and business leaders on how to be more culturally savvy and lead brands with meaning at the core.

Martina is most interested in social and cultural change. She focuses on how the shifts in society redefine the perception of meaning in our culture today. In her work, she helps brands navigate the quickly evolving symbolic meanings in the world around us to help her clients understand how to capitalize on culture change. She works with brands from across all sectors to restore or redefine their meaning, reconnect to their essence and create real value that resonates with people in the context of culture and their needs. Her goal is to bridge the gap of meaning between brands and society to restore real value, trust, integrity and long-term growth and offset the ongoing crisis of meaning.

With 15 years of international experience from the UK, Ireland, USA and Czechia, Martina has had a chance to work on diverse strategy, insight and innovation briefs for global brands, such as Kantar, Unilever, Vodafone, IBM, ICAEW, London Gatwick, British Land, KBC, Visa, Lloyds Bank, Bank of Ireland, Heineken or Pernod Ricard among many others.

She holds a doctorate in Media Studies from the Charles University in Prague and also studied at Georgetown University (USA) and University of Glamorgan (UK). As a visiting lecturer, she taught Semiotics and Cultural Branding at universities in Czechia, Trinity College Dublin and spoke at conferences in London, Paris, Toronto, Istanbul, Manila, Shanghai, Amsterdam, Prague, Berlin, Slovenia & Morocco.

Martina is a contributor to Branding Strategy Insider, a commentator for Forbes, WARC AdMap, Luxury Daily, Luxury Society, the author of The Luxury Report on Redefining The Future Meaning Of Luxury, and a fellow of the RSA.

She is passionate about seeing the invisible layers of reality and tapping into unseen opportunities to unlock new value and meaningful growth, about humanising business, social change, semiotics, anthropology, behavioural science and all things culture. She is based in Europe and available for strategy, consulting, speaking and workshops worldwide.

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Latest Talks and Upcoming Events

 DESIGN & FORESIGHT 

Nov 2020 | WASHINGTON, DC

PODCAST | NXTLVL Experience Design: Restoring The Meaning Of Luxury 

 CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE 

July 2020 | LONDON, UK

CONFERENCE | CX Emotion

Lead With Meaning To Connect Emotionally With Customers

 LEAD WITH MEANING 

November 2019 | ISTANBUL, TR

TALK | Brand Week Istanbul 2019: Designing The Future

 MEANINGFUL LUXURY 

August 2020 | EPISODE 2

SHOW | The Future Of Meaningful Experiences with Luca Franco, Luxury Frontiers

 WHAT IS TRUE LUXURY? 

July 2020 | EPISODE 1

SHOW | Luxury Renaissance And The New Core Pillars Of Luxury, with Antonio Paraiso

 INTERNAL COMMS 

October 2019 | BERLIN, GERMANY

WORKSHOPS | Meaningful Comms and Collaboration

 THE LUXURY WEEK  

July 2020 | LONDON, UK

TALK | On Luxury Renaissance: Coming Back To Meaning And Essence In Luxury

 MEANING OF LUXURY 

February 2020 | AMSTERDAM

PANEL | Frame Awards 2020 

From Ostentation And Material Excess To New Experiences

 SEMIOTICS & CULTURE 

August 2019 | MANILA, PHL

TALK | Consumer Insighting & Storytelling: The Next Frontier

 

Rory Sutherland

Vice Chairman, Ogilvy Group UK

"Astonishingly valuable."

Viviana Laperchia

Founder, Beyond Words Documentaries

"She is an intellectual powerhouse."

Jonathan Cook

Creator, This Human Business

"Martina is a rare person in business who is capable of seeing beyond the problems of the moment to grasp the underlying thematic issues that have led to the development of those problems in the first place."

Richard Wise

Head of Planning, Geometry, WPP

"Martina is one of the best planning minds in the business."

Hilton Barbour

Culture & Strategy, Hilton Barbour

"Martina is a vibrant and unapologetic breath of fresh air. Her passion for branding, semiotics and the future of business is unparalleled. She has made me think in new ways and has elevated my own brand work."

Mojca Briscik

President, Golden Drum Festival

"Amazing workshop!"

Tom Asacker

Bestselling author, brand advisor and teacher

"I recommend Martina to leaders searching for insights to help drive value and growth, and to anyone looking for a fantastic speaker for their next event."

Derrick Daye

Publisher, Branding Strategy Insider

"One of the marketing leaders shaping a better world through brand."

Karel Novotny

Brand Consultant and Lecturer

"There are only two folks making me excited on semiotics: Robert Langdon and Martina Olbertova. Follow her, she's like the white rabbit in our era of data madness."

 
 
Meaning.Global
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Dr Martina Olbertova

+420  792  706  804

hello@meaning.global

London and Worldwide

Let's connect.

Want to discuss how to restore meaning in your business or a brand? Let's chat.
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