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Virtual Curiouser & Curiouser: Insights from our July 2020 Innovation Showcase

As quarantine labors into the summer, refine+focus is here for you with fresh ideas to reignite your wonder. We recently held our signature event, Curiouser & Curiouser, which is dedicated to growing innovative ideas and building meaningful new relationships. Read all about the exciting selection of pieces that our team shared below.

Must Attend

Want to meet other innovative thinkers? Connect by attending an event. Our events calendar is packed with carefully curated events and resources to tickle your curiosity.

Check out our curated events and resources calendar.

The Curiouser & Curiouser Event

The Curiouser community came together on July 13 to each share something that intrigues or excites us. As always, we were struck by the range of ideas that people brought as we discussed everything from the fate of globalism to Panera marketing strategy to innovative nail polish packaging.

Here are the highlights:

Barbara Vanaki shared a presentation on machine learning models and how human bias becomes encoded into big data.

David Tames discussed a film that he has been creating which investigates why we segregate ourselves into opposite opinions and how to deal with intractable fanatics.

Purnima Thakre identified innovation in an unexpected place: nail polish packing! She described how her new Olive & June nail polish kit expertly re-engineered the customer experience of painting one’s nails.

Via OliveandJune.com

Joe Macek shared his enthusiasm for his new investment in SpaceX and their innovative work on Starlink.

Jeff Butler pondered how people make big decisions in their lives, inspired by changes in his plans to balance pursuing an MBA and competing in the 2021 Paralympics.

Catherine Cheng shared an excerpt of world-renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim on how to listen to music.

Harrison Yu raised the question of if globalism, as we’ve seen it since WWII, is dead or merely being reimagined.

Katie Martensen offered an innovative marketing strategy from Panera Bread in which Panera used twitter polls and targeted ads to offer free coffee for the summer to those who participated.

Via Twitter.com

Katherine Cruz discussed her passion project addressing environmentalism, the waste of shoes, and her love of running by creating a resource that helps runners in her community recycle their used sneakers.

Eduardo Pujol highlighted two innovative technologies, Exploding Topics which uses an algorithm to identify trends before they take off, and Crystal, a LinkedIn personality test plugin that helps you learn more about how to engage with your connections.

Via ExplodingTopics.com

Zach Braiker closed the evening with contemplation on how sharing literature builds friendships and a few lines of poetry from The Gift by Hafez-e-Shirazi: ‘Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth you owe me. Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky’.

An Invitation

Want to join our next innovation showcase? Have a new idea that you’d like to share? Reach out to us at hello@refineandfocus.com and we will let you know if a spot opens up.

Empowered Women: How to Have a Life While #WFH, a Conversation with Carolina Fowler

With COVID-19 causing a mass shift to remote working for the majority of businesses, could working from home be the future?

What was once a limitation, could render a fruitful and creatively liberating professional path. Carolina Fowler, a member of the refine+focus team for over 10 years now who has built her entire career from home, shares the benefits of working from home.

Tune into this episode of Empowered Women Series to learn how to make your work from home work life productive and without affecting the quality of your actual life. Carolina has shared tips on everything about #WFH, from family time to increased focus, learn more about how to make the most out of this time at home, or about what might be the right choice for you in the future.

Carolina is a key member in the Empowered Women Series leadership team and has been instrumental in our success; we value her opinion and experience. 

Listen to Carolina’s story and many others at our podcast, Empowered Women Series: https://www.buzzsprout.com/660247/3001705-e21-master-the-art-of-working-from-home

The Influencer Influence

Brands are increasingly looking for new ways to communicate with their customers and tell their authentic story. Influencer marketing is an effective way to reach customers in an authentic and rewarding way.

By understanding how influencer marketing is changing in response to the pandemic, you can consider if influencer marketing could be right for your business. 

Fewer in the field

Brands are now spending less on marketing and advertising, and those working with influencers are moving towards long-term collaborations rather than one-off partnerships. 

Combined with renewed user awareness of authentic versus paid posts, traditional influencer revenue streams in the form of brand promotions are dwindling and influencers are pivoting their content

Via Visme.com

From TV to tablet

With production crews and studios shuttered, brands are abandoning TV ads in favor of more cost-efficient influencer-led ads. Further, influencers are skilled at producing a range of  high-quality creative content that can reach more channels. 

Via Instagram.com

ROIs reign 

The pandemic has accelerated a shift in brand goals for influencer marketing, with businesses increasingly prioritizing sales over awareness. 

When assessing whether influencer marketing is a good fit for your brand, it’s important to look beyond the current rise in social media usage and influencer engagement to seek influencers who can demonstrate their value with tangible evidence of ROIs.

Via Visme.com

Authentic over aspirational

Just as consumers are now seeking authentic branding, they are also seeking authentic influencers with something to say, not just something to sell. In response, influencers are moving away from aspirational messaging in favor of purpose-driven and meaningful content that reflects their values.

Brands looking to invest in influencer marketing should seek influencers with authentic messaging that connects with their community and aligns with the brand’s values.

Via Quartz.com

A new crop of creators

The term “influencer” is giving way to “creator,” thanks in large part to TikTok’s meteoric rise to popular usage. The app has everyday users becoming global icons and creating content that garners engagement and drives trends, reflecting a larger shift in influencer culture

Via Instagram.com

Real people now have the opportunity to occupy influencer-like positions, and brands are thinking creatively about who can be an influencer

For instance, Zyper, a marketing platform that allows fans to produce promotional content for their favorite brands in return for rewards, has seen greater interest from brands since the crisis began.

Via Zyper.com

MUST CONNECT

Want to learn more about influencer marketing? Considering adding influencers to your marketing mix? We’d love to help — reach out at hello@refineandfocus.com.

Empowered Women: Improving Productivity Through Mindfulness, a Conversation with Chitra Lele

Chitra Lele is a world record-holding author of 40 books, who has won over 70 awards and certifications. All before the age of 30.

A multitalented, busy woman, Chitra can be found wearing several hats at any given point- either working as a software consultant, churning out books, writing research papers, or inspiring people through her well-followed LinkedIn.

To most of us, balancing all this might sound unimaginable or overwhelming. But with the help of mindfulness, she has formulated simple ways to balance it all with time to help others.

In our newest episode, Chitra shares her secrets of how she does it – to empower us in balancing it all too.

Learn the simple techniques of deep breathing, mind mapping, emotional tapping, distraction reduction, and other intelligent ways to remain mindful and grounded.

What are your own techniques in improving productivity and living an ambitious, yet peaceful life?

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