Brands grow through meaning.
The more they mean, the more value they have. The more value they have, the bigger their social and cultural impact can be. To brands, meaning is everything. It is their real currency. Meaning is the new money. Welcome to the new global economy of meaning.
Meaning.Global is a trusted advisor to many of the world's most influential brands
and organizations as the #1 global expert on meaning. We advise leaders on brand, strategy, marketing, innovation, societal shifts, cultural trends, value creation and growth to create more meaning and align business with humanity for a better future.
Clients we advised and worked with:
Since 2017, Meaning.Global has been accelerating brands' and organizations' adaptation to the new meaning economy. We partner with brand and business leaders to help them envision new possibilities for future innovation, value creation and growth as we move toward a new sustainable economy where aligning with our humanity is a must. We work with our clients and reimagine their brands from the human perspective to create new meaning that grows their market value.
Our vision is to use the immense social power of brands and business as a force for good – to create a more meaningful and humanistic future. We see business as the most potent creative force for change in the world. When viewed through the lens of meaning, business is a creative discipline where brands can work together to drive a positive change in the world, solve societal
challenges, elevate our collective human wellbeing, and accelerate global social, cultural, economic, and environmental change.
Our next-level thinking, insight, new ideas, strategic intelligence, education, and consulting services enable organizations to reframe their thinking on brands, shift their view to see the world anew, understand the real meaning behind consumer behavior, envision new forms of human value, embed innovation, and create authentic connections with people as human beings.
We believe that brands and organizations led with meaning will become powerful catalysts in society – and if leveraged at scale – can lead the transition to
a more meaningful, sustainable, humanistic, and prosperous future for people and the planet.
"Dr. Martina Olbert, founder of Meaning.Global is a global authority on brand meaning."
"Global Business Thinker On Sustainability, Marketing, and Ecosystems To Follow In 2023"
The Meaning Expert™
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ENTER A NEW BRAND PARADIGM
Welcome to the next era of Humanistic Brands
A new humanistic paradigm is emerging. How will your brand respond?
We are entering a new humanistic age where our authentic identities, wellbeing, self-expression, and personal quest for meaning are becoming the new key drivers of our consumer behavior. This new era is led by the return to our shared humanity, core values and essential human needs that paves the way for a more humanized and conscious form of consumption. Our perception of value is shifting from brands
to the meaning that brands add to our lives. For brands, this means an entirely new way of looking at the world and their role in it. Meaning is the new core product that people not only connect with but also desire in their own lives. It is the engine for value creation and sustainable growth. This opens up a whole new world of possibility for brands to explore to create more human meaning.
Download our new study on the future of commerce as a force for good:
REIMAGINE THE FUTURE
Reimagine your brand's future in 3 simple steps
The future of brands is powered by meaning and our return to humanity
Reimagination is the new disruption in business today that sets off the next era of business for a better future. More often than not, the future is hiding in plain sight. The problem is: we cannot see it. That is until we adjust how we look at the world. This is why we designed the 3-step change program for brand and business leaders.
We will help you shift your perspective on brands, unlock new forms of human value for meaningful innovation, and envision how you can leverage all this new value into one global brand ecosystem to build meaningful social and cultural impact. The key to reimagination isn't doing different things, but doing things differently.
Shift your perspective
Every change starts with a new perspective. When you change how you look at the world, the world you look at will change. Shift your view from focusing on your brand to the people you serve and their essential as well as higher human needs. This will make you understand the real role you play in people's lives and unlock previously unseen opportunities to create more meaning.
Unlock new forms of human value
With a fresh new perspective on the world and your place in it, you can now create more meaning in people's lives to deliver what they desire most today. Your brand context is changing. You need to switch from branding products to cater to consumers to serving people as human beings to elevate their human wellbeing. This will help you unlock new forms of value to create in their lives.
Create a global cultural impact
Now that you've shifted your perspective and unlocked new forms of human value to create more meaning in people's lives, it's time to move on to the larger impact. As the last step, we will help you leverage this new meaning to build a global ecosystem of brand value. Understanding how you can use your brand values as a force for good will help you maximize your social and cultural impact which in turn will future-proof your brand and boost its equity.
Want to reimagine and rethink your brand to create a more meaningful future and maximize your value and equity?
Contact Martina to discuss the details and next availability.
This program is designed as a 3-step change program for brands and organizations to help you (1) uncover, (2) boost, and (3) leverage your brand meaning to boost your equity, accelerate your market value, and maximize your social/cultural impact. It is possible to book this program in individual steps if you wish to dive deeper into a specific area. To maximize your brand value, we recommend doing all three steps.
Build A Meaningful Global Brand Ecosystem
After you shifted your perspective and unlocked new forms of human value for your brand, it's time to create impact. Understanding how you can leverage your brand values into a meaningful brand ecosystem will help you maximize your social and cultural impact.
Reimagining Consumerism As A Force For Good
Brands represent the value and meaning exchange between people and commerce. More than any other subject in the world – governments, NGOs or capital markets – it is brands that hold the emotional connections with people as they are a vital part of their everyday life fabric. Through their meaning, purpose and utility, they generate trust that in its scale and social impact isn't comparable with any other force in the world. Commerce if harnessed right can be the vehicle for creating a more meaningful, sustainable, humanistic, equitable and prosperous future.
Achieving these new sustainable goals requires a perspective shift. We need to shift the business narrative from people serving brands as consumers to brands serving people as human beings to add meaningful value to their lives and elevate human wellbeing. To create this meaningful value, brands must respect our complete humanity and the environment we all share.
This requires brands to take the focus off of themselves and instead see people as the agents of change in the world – and empower their real-world behaviours by becoming not their friends, but allies to their authentic needs, values and identities. This is how the brand purpose will finally become real: not just stated but demonstrated. By acting as catalysts of meaningful change in the world, brands can use the immense social power that they hold as a force for good and growth: for people and the planet.
Why is meaning so important in business?
Meaning powers the new emerging humanistic paradigm and underpins the new business narrative as we lead brands into a more sustainable future where serving our shared humanity becomes the top priority.
The 21st-century economy is the economy of meaning. In today's noise-driven world full of social, cultural, political, environmental, and technological disruption, it is easy to lose sight of what is truly important: what holds real value in time, what truly matters to people. When things don't make sense to us anymore, they can't retain their value. And so meaning is quickly becoming the new most valuable currency in business. Meaning is the new money.
We are now coming to the edge of the old story: the 20th-century business narrative that held things in place for the last 100 years. The old narrative of business doesn't make sense anymore as we move out of the pandemic and into the new normal. We need a new business narrative for the new world. We need to shift the narrative from people serving brands as consumers to maximize their bottom line to brands serving people as human beings – as allies to their real needs and desires – to add real meaningful value to their lives that elevates our collective human wellbeing. When brands and businesses connect with people in the same way that they connect to themselves – through meaning – they can achieve real authentic connections with people that will last.
For the next chapter of business, we need to realign how we create value and what value we create for the betterment of our shared humanity. To make business meaningful again, we need to rethink the very foundations of business: how it works, what value it creates, how and for whom. This will allow brands to generate real value for people as opposed to imaginary value fuelled by brand aspiration, illusory purposes, wishful thinking, data obsession, and profit generation for profit's sake.
We need to rediscover our forgotten and long-neglected human needs and put them center-stage in our future business endeavors. We need to put humanity back in business to make business and brands meaningful again.
Meaning needs to be at the core of value creation because it is the core of our value exchange. People value meaning –
we connect with brands based on our own values, beliefs, desires, feelings, and identities. We don’t buy brands; we buy what brands represent. We consume what they mean to us. And so if brands desire to authentically connect with people
in the future, they will need to revisit their own meaning.
Brands and businesses are living dynamic ecosystems of meaning. To make their value sustainable, we need to start seeing brands in a real-world context. The value of brands is always interdependent – it is tied to society, culture, politics, environment, health, security, human wellbeing, happiness, and prosperity. At their best, brands can become powerful catalysts of social and cultural change – as forces for good and meaningful growth. Learning how to cultivate this power consciously will be the next frontier of business in the 2020s and onwards.
Meaning.Global was founded in 2017 with the vision to offset the widespread meaning crisis in the industry by helping brands and organizations understand their own meaning.
Our mission is to bring meaning back into business and
lead business back to its original purpose: adding meaningful value to people's lives. To move business beyond just profit generation, business value must become human value first. This is how we can together shape a more meaningful and sustainable future.
We help brands, businesses, and luxury grow their market value through meaning
We advise some of the world's most influential corporate, consumer, and luxury clients on brand, strategy, marketing, communication, and innovation. We also educate via thought leadership, keynotes, workshops, and guest lectures.
Brands and businesses grow their value through meaning – through the symbolic, functional, emotional, mental, social, and cultural value that people want to connect with, care about and crave in their own lives to feel better about who they are and how they live. For brands to grow sustainably and turn their values into long-term equity, they need to create meaning in people's lives. But to create it, they first need to know what that meaning is. This way, brands can build new authentic connections with people based on what matters to them.
How we work with our clients:
Envision new forms of human value
We will help you understand how the global shifts in culture and human behavior impact your business and brand and incubate new ideas to unlock new forms of human value, tap into hidden opportunities and create new consumer audiences. We will make you see where the consumer meaning is shifting and identify new spaces for future investment, business expansion and growth.
Let meaning drive your strategy
Creating meaningful value for people is the future of brands. The best brands in the world help us unlock our human potential and connect with ourselves to become more of who we already are. They act as allies to our authentic sense of self, essential human needs and values. We can help you realign your brand, find this human meaning and bring it to life.
As the world's leading authority on brand meaning, there is no one better to address what all the changes the world, consumers and brands are experiencing mean than Martina. Amazing insights and understanding.
Pamela Danziger, Luxury Author, Researcher, Senior Columnist For Forbes.com
Create social and cultural impact
Brands wanting to have a real social impact need to be mindful of the role they play in culture because the way they depict themselves in cultural themes becomes a part of their equity. they are not immune to the consequences of their positioning. Brands are not neutral – they have a vested commercial interest. Cultural relevance is always at the intersection of brand, cultural and consumer meaning. Connect with us to find out if your brand is relevant or not.
Build one meaningful ecosystem
Meaning is everything to a business today. It is the cornerstone of the sustainable brand and business value. Without understanding how to create and manage meaning, brands and organizations are robbing themselves of the opportunity to become a platform for real social and cultural impact in the world. We will help you leverage your brand values and create a meaningful global ecosystem that brings your brand to life.
Martina presents a clear roadmap for how brands can ensure they are not engaging in purpose-washing, but rather authentically engage with consumers as humans. The thought leader we need for the '20s and beyond.
Dr. Giana Eckhardt, Professor of Marketing, King's Business School in London
Build real impact with new thinking
New thinking is the prerequisite of new doing. We cannot change how we do things in business and move toward
a more meaningful and sustainable future if we lack the insight, knowledge, and understanding to do so.
Dr. Martina Olbert is available for corporate thought leadership, research and foresight projects, syndicated papers, op-eds, publishing, and education projects.
Keynotes & Lectures
Shaping a better future with brands
The future of business is headed toward serving our complete humanity and the planet. Brands have a big role to play in our transition to a more meaningful and sustainable future. But first, we need to shift the narrative from people serving brand needs as consumers to businesses serving human needs to elevate our collective wellbeing. This is how we use the immense social power of brands as a force for good. For all talks, see Speaking.
What is the value of meaning in business?
Read the most recent articles, reports, market analyses, academic papers, keynotes, podcasts, and media commentaries on the value of meaning in business, marketing, innovation, sustainability, diversity, and the future of conscious consumption.
Evolve To Succeed Podcast – December 2022
Leveraging Thought Leadership Podcast – September 2022
HR Review Podcast, UK – August 2022
EXPO Dubai Global Sustainability Goals Week – January 2022
Branding Strategy Insider – January 2022
ELUXE magazine – April 2021
Meaning.Global market analysis – December 2022
Meaning.Global New knowledge article – June 2022
Meaning.Global New knowledge article – June 2022
Meaning.Global Business Foresight Paper – October 2021
Forbes profile on Meaning.Global – January 2022
Meaning.Global Luxury Foresight Paper – June 2019
Ask Martina for advice on:
Brand strategy • Business strategy • Luxury strategy • Brand ecosystems • Meaning creation • Symbolic value • Narratives and meaningful storytelling •
Social and cultural impact • Humanistic innovation • Human foresight • Cultural shifts • Cultural relevance • Consumer behaviour • Sustainability • Diversity • Purpose • Corporate communication • Thought leadership • New meaning of luxury • Conscious consumption • Enlightened / Humanistic capitalism
Founder and CEO
Dr. Martina Olbert
Martina is the world's leading expert on creating meaning in business, known simply as The Meaning Expert™, recognized by Forbes as the 'global authority on brand meaning'. She is a brand expert, business thinker, imagineer, strategist, humanist, futurist, author, speaker, consumer psychologist, and social scientist reimagining business as the vehicle of a new sustainable, meaningful, and humanistic future.
As the founder and CEO of Meaning.Global, she helps brands and organizations envision new future possibilities for business reimagination, innovation, value creation and growth as we move toward a new sustainable economy where aligning with our humanity is a must. She focuses on how the social and cultural shifts redefine our perception of value today and helps companies capitalize on this shifting socio-cultural context to create new meaning in people's lives.
Martina works with organizations to uproot their legacy beliefs and mindsets and shift their perspective to see the world anew: as a space of infinite possibility to create new forms of human value that can elevate our collective wellbeing – to serve our complete humanity and the planet. Her vision is to use the immense social power of business and brands as a catalyst for global social, cultural, economic, and environmental change. Her core effort is to realign business with humanity so we can see business in a new light: as a creative discipline to serve our humanity and not a rigid system that exploits it.
She gives expert advice on meaning, brand and business strategy, societal macro trends, cultural shifts, innovation, consumer behavior, sustainability, communication, value creation, and growth to some of the top companies in the world. She has worked with a diverse range of clients from across the entire industry: banking, finance, investment fund, asset management, private equity, VC, luxury houses, fashion brands, travel, hospitality, social impact start-up, social enterprise, NGOs, a presidential candidate, tech, telco, media, professional services, education, medical, pharma, and consumer goods.
Martina is a keynote speaker represented by Chartwell Speakers in London. She spoke at conferences, client events, and business schools across Europe, North America, LatAm, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Her insights are published in global publications such as Forbes, BBC, Newsweek, WARC, Campaign, Vogue Business, Luxury Daily, Jing Daily, Branding Strategy Insider, and American Journal Of Consumer Research. She is the author of Reimagining Consumerism As A Force For Good and the globally acclaimed The Luxury Report: Redefining The Future Meaning Of Luxury. Thinkers360 called her the Business Thinker on Sustainability, Marketing, and Ecosystems To Follow In 2022 and 2023. She is a member of The Good Future Project founded by the Swiss Futurist Gerd Leonhard focused on creating three new pillars for the good future: climate change, technology & humanity, and future-fit economics. She is on the Brainz. One-To-Watch list of future influential leaders, top entrepreneurs, and most innovative thinkers shaping the world.
Her education includes The Science of Wellbeing at Yale, Political Journalism and Political & Economic Systems at Georgetown University, and Media and Consumer Cultures at the University of Glamorgan, UK. She holds a doctorate in Media Studies from Charles University in Prague. She is passionate about social progress, human growth, the human mind, meaning-making, culture, and elevating our collective human consciousness as a driver of positive global change.