BBR conferenceBlackBar Consulting Managing Partners Max Blackston, Ed Lebar, and JP Carrero will be featured keynote speakers at the 2014 Brands and Brand Relationships conference in Boston, Massachusetts in May. The topic of their talk is “Assessing Cross-Cultural Relationship Efficacy in Mexico and the United States.

The presentation content will address the following areas:

  • Improving management of a common brand in Latin America and in USA by uncovering cultural differences in Consumer Brand Relationships to assist positioning  and activation in each country.
  • Quantifying the similarities and differences in the composition /components  of Consumer Brand Relationships in the USA and Mexico for 10 different categories
  • A focused comparison on the power of  CBR  in  CPG ,finance, retail and digital in Mexico and  USA
  • Assessing the relative power of CBR to:
    • Strengthen customer franchises
    • Contribute to pricing power
    • Influence the level and valiance  of consumer brand communication

BlackBar Consulting  Founding Partners, Max Blackston and Ed Lebar, will be presenting “The Business Case for Consumer Brand Relationships” at the 3rd International Consumer Brand Relationship Colloquium, September 26-28, 2013, Winter Park (Orlando), Florida, USA.

The purpose of the conference is to create and spread  knowledge of Consumer Brand Relationships and their impact on marketing productivity. The conference and its papers appeal to both academics and practitioners interested in marketing innovations.

Brands from several very different categories are seen as relaxed and stylish, but the most successful casual dining brands – together with YouTube and Amazon – are the ones which just seem to give pleasure, without requiring anything in return.




Many corporate brands – like GE, 3M, Facebook and Amazon  – are seen as leaders and innovators, but only Apple and Google manage to combine those perceptions with that key personal  experience of feeling both challenged and encouraged by the brand.





Top reinforcement brands are Pantene, L’Oreal, J&J, Amazon and Google. While both components of the relationship are important, hair care brands do it more by enhancing self-esteem.




Brands most identified with are Amazon, Google and WalMart.  Apple and J&J are well-loved brands, but are not experienced as a means of self-expression to the extent of the former. Facebook is a means of self-expression – but not as well loved.



J&J and WalMart epitomize the customer experience of feeling at the center of attention, but their product offering is not  differentiated from competitors’. The uniqueness of Amazon – and the way its offering feels customized – makes the customer feel different.






Max Blackston gave this presentaton as a keynote speaker at Susan Fournier’s Consumer Brand Relationships 2013 conference at Simmons College in Boston.

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