Bridging the value gap

between brands & people

 Welcome and see 

 

We are a global strategy & cultural intelligence

consultancy powered by meaning.

We are helping brands and businesses adapt to the shifting cultural context of the 21st century to create meaning, cultural relevance and real value for people in these rapidly changing times.

We advise brands and organisations on how to maximize value creation and meaningful growth from the point of view of where the businesses, culture and society are going today. We partner with brand and business leaders to restore their true meaning and core essence and deliver real value in people's lives.

The new meaningful strategy lives at the intersection where the two worlds collide: where the brand and business essence meet the human essence. We are connecting these two worlds to help organisations bridge the meaning and value disconnect between what brands say & do and what people actually value to create new meaningful, valuable and lasting connections between brands and people.

Cultural irrelevance and value fragmentation are the biggest reasons why brands struggle to grow and retain value today. Meaning is what encapsulates value: it is the inner symbolic quality of all things around us, be it brand transactions or human relationships. With meaning and cultural relevance at the core, brands can become meaningful to people, resonant in culture and profitable in business again.

Understanding how the codes of culture impact people's values, needs and behaviours helps brands unlock their true value, create authentic meaning, improve meaningfulness and drive meaningful growth.

Meaning.Global was founded in 2017 as a direct reaction to the ongoing meaning crisis in the industry, caused by the unprecedented level of change, global cultural complexity, industry fragmentation and technological disruption over the past decade. Our goal is to help brands and businesses stay relevant, meaningful and profitable amidst global culture change. We aim to help brand and business leaders understand the destabilising social and cultural foundations of the world we live in and equip them with the hidden knowledge of culture to inform more meaningful, relevant and profitable future strategies.

We explore the changing nature of big concepts of our time, such as well-being, purpose, spirituality, meaning, diversity, gender, identity, trust, loyalty, luxury, consumption or post-truth to understand how today's global cultural context reshapes the meaning of brands. We study how cultural shifts in society affect the value of brands and discover new and previously unseen opportunities for future growth. 

Meaning is quickly becoming the most valuable currency of the 21st century. We have an abundance of data, but we lack sense. We lack perspective. Therefore, what we need isn’t more data, but more intelligence to interpret the data we already have in a larger cultural and social context. Context is where the real value is – it's not in the data, it's outside of the data looking in. 

That's why we look at the world of business from a holistic perspective. We see brands and organisations as the living dynamic ecosystems of cultural meaning. Brands are all about meaning. They are in the business of meaning exchange. People value meaning. We don’t buy brands; we buy what they represent. We consume what brands mean to us: their personal relevance to our own values that we can identify with.

The 21st-century economy is the economy of meaning. Managing value today undoubtedly means managing the meaning of brands. So, starting 2020, lead with meaning. Brands that will take charge and learn how to control their own symbolic meaning will become the masters of their future destiny.

Welcome to Meaning.Global: The Next Generation Of Strategy.

THE LUXURY RENAISSANCE:

THE REBIRTH OF LUXURY FOR A NEW WORLD

In collaboration with the EAT LOVE SAVORⓇ International Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, we are starting a new monthly online show called "The Luxury Renaissance" with the vision to elevate the conversation and create new knowledge.

Co-created and co-hosted by Dr. Martina Olbertova and Angela Tunner, with our guests, we are going to explore the new paradigm of luxury and dive deeper into the newly emerging subjects that will impact the luxury industry moving forward, such as wellness and well-being, spirituality, reconnecting with our human essence and soul, elevating human life through the power of beauty and aesthetics, the art of home or the social, anthropological and historical ramifications of luxury. All of that, to create a rich context and help brands create new meaning.

 

Learn more information about our new show:

 

THE LUXURY REPORT: HOW IS THE NEW MEANING

REDEFINING THE FUTURE OF LUXURY?

What do the current shifts in culture and society mean for the future of luxury? 

What does luxury mean to the next generation of new global consumers?

How is the meaning of luxury being redefined in the 21st century?

The Luxury Report looks at the five biggest cultural shifts redefining the global luxury landscape and offers five strategic actions that luxury brands can take to create new value and relevance for the next generation of consumers today.

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The face of global luxury has changed beyond recognition. Luxury brands are facing a lot of new challenges and are struggling to accept this redefined global reality as the 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, however, but winning the cultural battle means gaining a new type of knowledge. Understanding how cultural shifts and macrotrends affect brands and business is key for brands to remain relevant and profitable.

 

To help luxury brands revitalise, restore their sense of value and regain cultural relevance, we need to redefine what the very essence of luxury means to people today to match our needs and expectations in the 21st century.

THE MEANING GAP:

WHAT IS IT AND HOW CAN YOU OVERCOME IT?

Global brands today suffer from many ailments today, but perhaps the biggest one where most value gets lost has to do with the meaning gap. This is a symbolic trap that makes things look right on the surface (as a form) but doesn’t really make sense on the inside (as a substance). 

 

Why Global Brands Fall

Into The Meaning Gap 

Why do global brands keep falling into the meaning gap and repeat the same mistakes?

 

The answer is simple: for their lack of symbolic coherence

 

Mental disconnects occur when the meaning intended isn't the same one that you communicate, when your intentions don't reflect the reality, when your brand ideas don't reflect their form of execution or when the brand's values don't correspond with the brand's real-world behaviours and the role it plays in culture and society.

The four biggest gaps happening in most brands and organisations today are:

The Culture Gap  (What brands/companies say versus their relevance and resonance in culture and society)

The Context Gap  (What brands intend to say versus what they’re actually communicating in a real-world context)

The Trust Gap  (What brands/companies say versus what they do and how they behave in the world)

The Social Impact Gap  (What role brands/companies aspire to versus their real-world impact and credibility)

All these disconnects have one common denominator: the erosion of meaning

When basic meaning structures are fragmented, it influences the brand’s relevance, trustworthiness, ability to create long-term value, emotional bonds with people and positively impact social change. To overcome these gaps, brands must become the champions of symbolic coherence and embrace their meaning to spark value from the inside out.

To learn more about these meaning gaps and how to prevent them, read the Branding Strategy Insider article below.

 

OUR SOLUTIONS

We can help you bridge the meaning gap at your brand and business once and for all.

We use applied cultural intelligence, brand intelligence, strategy consulting and tailored meaning workshops to help you create new insights, meaningful propositions and a real value for real people.

 Explore how the shifting symbolic 

 meanings in culture and society 

 impact your brand & business to 

 create cultural relevance 

CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE 

 Find out if the message your brand 

 says differs from what you intended to 

 communicate to maximise clarity, 

 brand relevance & effectiveness 

BRAND INTELLIGENCE

 Lead with meaning at the core of your 

 brand and business to drive value & 

 long-term growth from the inside out 

BRAND & BUSINESS  

STRATEGY CONSULTING

WORKSHOPS & SPEAKING

 Inspire your teams, colleagues and 

 audiences and learn how to 

 create authentic meaning 

 in business, branding & marketing 

 

LATEST THINKING: 

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF MEANING IN BUSINESS?

Here are some of the latest published articles, opinion pieces, interviews, podcasts and workshops on the role of meaning and cultural relevance in 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 businesses and nudge social change.

 LUXURY RENAISSANCE 

 FOR A NEW WORLD  

Join Us For Our New Monthly Sessions On The Meaning Revolution In Luxury!

 THE MEANING OF 

 LUXURY PANEL 

From Ostentation And Material Excess To Experiences And Well-Being | Video

 BUSINESS STRATEGY 

 AMIDST THE PANDEMIC 

My Directive Statement For Brands And Businesses In The COVID-19 Crisis

 VISION 2020: LEAD 

 BRANDS WITH MEANING 

How To Bridge The Value Gap Between Brands And People

 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

 THE AMAZON X LUXURY

 BRANDS PARADOX  

What Amazon Means For The Future Of Luxury: 5 Lessons

 EXPLORING THE CRISIS 

 OF MASCULINITY 

Close The Gap Of Meaning: Gillette Deconstructed

 MEANING IS THE SOUL 

 OF YOUR COMPANY 

How Meaning Will Help You Unite Fragmented Brands

And Siloed Organisations

 5 WAYS TO SURELY 

 KILL BRAND MEANING 

Brand Heritage And Iconic Brand Assets: Don't Kill What Makes Your Brand Valuable

 5 TIMELESS LESSONS IN 

 BRAND MANAGEMENT 

Brand Management Is Meaning Management

 THE POWER OF STORY 

 IN BUSINESS 

How Embracing Stories Helps Leaders Humanise Business

 THE HIDDEN IDEOLOGY 

 OF BIG TECH 

How Technology Rewires Our Brains & Reshapes Meaning

 MEANING POWERS A 

 NEW ERA OF STRATEGY 

Symbol Is The New Product; Meaning Is The New Strategy

 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

 A BRAVE NEW WORLD 

 POST CORONA CRISIS?

Globalization Versus

Access To The Global Mind

 NOW REPRESENTED BY 

 SPEAKERS ASSOCIATES 

New Series Of Keynotes

And Workshops For 2020

 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

 GOLDEN DRUM: BRAND 

 MEANING WORKSHOP 

Cultural Effectiveness

In Global Advertising | [Video]

 MEANING IS THE CORE 

 VALUE OF YOUR BRAND 

Meaning Is The Most Precious Brand Asset | Interview MM

 THE EVOLUTION OF 

 GENDER AND IDENTITY

How The Evolving Meaning Of Gender Affects Businesses 

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

 LUXURY IN THE MIDST 

 OF GLOBAL PANDEMICS 

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

 THE SPEAKER SHOW 

 PODCAST 

Fireside Chat on the crisis

of meaning in business,

purpose, culture and branding

 THE ECONOMY OR FEAR,

 OR MEANING? 

Let's Revisit What Kind Of The World Do We Truly Want To Live In

 LEAD WITH MEANING 

 AT THE CORE  

Focus On Meaning, Not Brand Purpose | Brand Week 2019

 AUTHENTICITY IS 

 THE NEW LUXURY   

Interview with Eat Love Savor: Leaders, Thinkers & Creators

 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

 REFRAMING THE 

 FUTURE OF DIVERSITY 

What Diversity Really Means For Your Brand And Business

 CULTURAL RELEVANCE 

 FOR BRANDS 

Don't Cannibalise, Capitalise

On Culture Instead | Interview

 THE ROLE OF MYTHS & 

 RITUALS IN COMMERCE 

Brand Myths: What Are They And How Do They Work?

 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 has 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 shifting symbolic meanings in the world around us to help organisations understand and profit from culture change. She works with brands from across all sectors to evolve or redefine their meaning, reconnect them to their essence and create real value that resonates with people in the context of culture. Her goal is to bridge the meaning gap between brands and society to restore real value, meaning, 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, London Gatwick, British Land, ICAEW, KBC, Visa, Lloyds Bank, Bank of Ireland, Heineken or Pernod Ricard.

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 Forbes, Branding Strategy Insider, WARC AdMap, Luxury Daily, Luxury Society and the author of The Luxury Report 2019 on Redefining The Future Meaning Of Luxury. She's also an advisor to The Core Code, a global think-tank on brand, 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, humanising businesses, social change, semiotics, anthropology, behavioural science and all things culture. She is based in Europe and available for strategic consulting, speaking and workshops worldwide.

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Speaking Calendar: Upcoming and Latest Events

 EVERYWHERE 

July 15, 2020

Luxury Renaissance | Our New Show On Meaning In Luxury

 ISTANBUL, TURKEY 

November 6, 2019

Brand Week Istanbul 2019 |

Designing The Future

 AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND 

February 19, 2020

Frame Awards 2020 |

The Meaning Of Luxury Panel

 BERLIN, GERMANY 

October 24, 2019

Internal Communication Conference | Quadriga Forum

 LONDON, UK 

February 7, 2020

World Lottery Marketing Seminar | Creating New Value 

 MANILA, PHILIPPINES 

August 29, 2019

Consumer Insighting & Storytelling | The Next Frontier

Rory Sutherland

Vice Chairman, Ogilvy Group UK

"Astonishingly valuable."

Viviana Laperchia

Co-founder, The Core Code 

"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."

Hilton Barbour 

Marketing Provocateur

"An unapologetic breath of fresh air. 

She is a legend or a rock star or a genius

or just a brilliant person doing great work.

Either way she's one of my favourites."

Said Baaghil

Co-founder, The Core Code

"A queen of corporate culture."

Mojca Briscik

President, Golden Drum Festival

"Amazing workshop!"

Susan Abbott

President, Abbott Research Canada

"A thought provoking clarity."

Derrick Daye

Publisher, Branding Strategy Insider

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

Karel Novotny

Brand Consultant

"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

Meaning.Global
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Dr. Martina Olbertova

+420  792  706  804

hello@meaning.global

London and Worldwide.

Let's connect.

Want to create new meaning and value
for your brand or business? Let's talk.
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