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Overview: BRITE '08 Conference and CMO Summit

On February 7-8, 2008, the Center on Global Brand Leadership at Columbia Business School hosted the BRITE ’08 Conference and CMO Summit on branding, innovation, and technology at Columbia University in New York City.

The CMO Summit gathered a small group of senior marketers for a series of roundtable discussions, group exercises, and peer-to-peer discussions of the key challenges for innovation and brand building in their organizations today. The BRITE '08 Conference day hosted a large audience for: keynotes and panels featuring leading companies and case studies; hands-on demo’s of emerging technologies; jury and audience awards for Big Thinker of the year; and new research on topics such as social networking, customer-innovation, and online ad effectiveness. Live blogging, videocasts, and Twitter feeds extended the discussion at BRITE to an even broader audience worldwide.

The BRITE Jury Award for Big Thinker was presented by Prof. Bernd H. Schmitt to Marty Homlish, Global Chief Marketing Officer, SAP, for his achievements in brand building at Sony and SAP, and his sustained leadership in aligning the organizational culture of SAP with its brand promise.

Nominations for the BRITE Audience Award were made online leading up to the event.  Eight finalists were advocated for by different members of the audience, culminating in a real-time vote by conference attendees. The audience winner for big thinking in 2007 was Nintendo’s Wii, recognized for its innovation in user interface, marketing across segments, and nurturing a gaming community.

Two hundred attendees of BRITE ’08 came from a diverse range of businesses:

Agion Technologies, Inc.

AmberWave Systems

American Association of Airport Executives

American Ballet Theatre

American Express

Avon Products Inc.

Barnard College


Beeline Labs


Breakthrough Marketing Technology

Center on Global Brand Leadership

Cisco Systems Inc.

Clinton Global Initiative

CoalHart Associates

Columbia Business School

Columbia University Dept of Surgery


Craigslist Inc.


Donahoe Purohit Miller, Inc

Dow Jones & Company

Dun & Bradstreet

Effective Brands

Eli Lilly and Co.


Givaudan Fragrances

Goldman Sachs

Grant Thornton LLP

Group 1066

Heartscape Technologies, Inc


House Party

Innovation Protocol


Internet Broadcasting

John Templeton Foundation


KeyPoint Credit Union

King Features

Landor Associates

Langton Cherubino Group

Learning By Grace, Inc.



Maddock Douglas, Inc.

MakeBuzz, LLC

Marketing Arts, Inc

Massive Inc.



MIT Sloan School of Management

MK & Associates


Moody's Analytics

Mothers Work, Inc.

Muzak LLC

Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group

Nikko Asset Management Amiricas

Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide

Pando Networks

Pentland U.S.A. Inc.

Procter & Gamble Co.


Quarry Integrated Communications

Quattro Wireless Inc.

R/GA Media Group Ltd.

Resource Interactive


RitaSue Siegel Resources

Samsung Electronics


Schneider Associates

School of Continuing Education, Columbia University

Skate Ranger International Corp




Stark Design

Sterling Brands

Stone Communications

Survey Sampling International

Swiss Business Hub USA


The Halo Group


Time Magazine


Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

UGI Utilities, Inc.

Univision Communications Inc.

USA Corporate Services Inc.

Vapps, Inc

Verse Group