Darren Coleman: Biography highlights
Darren has over 20 years brand marketing experience spanning Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia and Japan. He specialises in helping services brands retain relevance through the experiences they build.
Full biography of Darren Coleman
Dr. Coleman specialises in helping services brands drive growth and retain relevance through brand experiences – something that has come into sharp focus during these times of COVID-19.
Working across digital platforms and in person, Dr. Coleman’s widely acknowledged thought leadership means he is a highly sought-after international keynote speaker, panel moderator and trusted c-suite advisor. Johnson & Johnson, Singapore Airlines, Dubai Properties, Maybank, Orange and PepsiCo are amongst the brands he has helped.
Working with Darren Coleman
Darren’s 25+ years of global experience spans Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia and Japan. He has helped brands in a range of sectors including financial services, telecoms, technology, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and fast-moving consumer goods. This extensive global experience enables Darren to deliver engaging in-house or public keynotes on a broad range of brand-related topics.
Characterised by a light-hearted and engaging style, Darren’s keynotes impart clear and concise insights that are designed with practical application in mind. Darren is also frequently invited to moderate panel discussions and roundtables, sit on expert panel boards and facilitate executive level sessions at away days or retreats.
Prior to founding his agency, Wavelength Marketing, Darren completed an MA in marketing and a PhD in B2B services brand marketing. The combination of Darren’s extensive commercial experience and deep subject matter knowledge means he is uniquely placed to deliver insightful keynotes that hold particular appeal for intellectually curious audiences around the globe.
Darren is frequently asked to comment on brand-related issues in the media such as the BBC and Forbes, and has published widely in the likes of WARC and Branding Strategy Insider.
Darren’s widely acclaimed book, Building Brand Experiences: A Practical Guide to Retaining Brand Relevance (Kogan Page 2018) has been translated into Korean (2020) and will be launched in Mandarin (simplified) during 2020. He is a Visiting Lecturer in Corporate Brand Management at the University of Warwick.
In his spare time Darren enjoys spending time with his wife and family, playing tennis, motor boating, socialising, scuba diving, snoozing in his Mexican hammock, yoga and watching Birmingham City Football Club. Granted, some are more enjoyable than others.
Watch Darren in action
Vibe Marketers Fest, Dubai
“Darren was invited to deliver a keynote on brand experiences and Chair the first day of Vibe Marketers’ Fest in Dubai, November 2018. His talk was well structured, engaging and above all informative. He managed to hold a large audience via a nice mix of objective insight and personal anecdote. Darren also chaired the first day with aplomb. He was able to find a balance between being formal and friendly. This set the event off nicely and dovetailed perfectly with the atmosphere we wanted to create. I look forward to working with Darren again.”
Birmingham & Solihull Team
“Darren’s is a pleasure to work with. His passion for doing business abroad and professionalism in his field, was an inspiration to a group of new to export businesses who attended our export seminar organised by UK Trade & Investment this year. Darren shared his personal experience of doing business in South East Asia in an interesting and motivational way, giving delegates practical tips and advice on do’s and don’ts and how to win business abroad and get the most out of the help and support available from UKTI”
Nottingham University Business School
“Darren’s talk was both fun and challenging. He brings together cutting-edge practice with supporting theory focussing on current customer issues. His highly interactive approach offered practical tools and advice on techniques to profile customers and on how to make emotional brand connections with customers. Finally, he worked with the course members on how to build brand experiences which enable customers to get ‘jobs done’.”
Darren's speaking topics
Leveraging your brand to get digital transformation right
A regrettable number of organisations fail to deliver successful digital transformation. Focusing on digital – not transformation, grappling with new business models, scope creep, and underestimating the complexity of the task are common reasons.
Informed executives leverage their brand to scope what digital transformation should encompass for their organisation how they should deliver it.
This keynote provides practical advice and best practice case studies examples on how executives can leverage their brand to deliver successful digital transformation.
This keynote will help the audience:
- Lean into their brand to focus and drive successful digital transformation
- Use their brand essence as a lens to scope their digital transformation
- Utilise their brand values deliver digital experiences that resonate with customers
- Humanise digital transformation with their brand personality
- Focus digital transformation so it delivers meaningful brand positioning
- Be less intimidated and overwhelmed during the early stages of digital transformation
- Feel in control – not as if they are being controlled – by digital transformation
- Execute digital transformation with greater confidence and conviction
- Learn from best practice case study and (confidential) client examples.
Building a B2B service brand: Winning through emotionally-charged brand experiences
Demonstrates why B2B services brands that compete through emotion and experiences are leaving their competitors behind.
Creating your employee advantage: Aligning employee experience with your employer brand
Outlines how to craft an employee experience that contributes to their employer brand and so helps them win the war for talent.
Building a values-led organization: The importance of data and employee engagement
Demonstrates why building a values-led organization makes good business sense and how attendees can go about doing it.
Brand and service design: A marriage made in heaven?
Shows how attendees can weave brand into the fabric of service design so they can deliver more scalable and consistent customer-centric brand experiences.
Getting your COVID-19 recovery right: Leveraging brand-driven growth
Outlines how attendees can drive organizational growth through brands during the turbulent times COVID-19 presents.
Competing through brand experiences: Three steps for success during times of COVID-19
Demystifies the brand experience building process so attendees can start to build brand experiences that will engage customers in spite of the challenges COVID-19 presents.
Building a winning services brand during turbulent times: Consistency is the key
Provides actionable advice that will help service brand marketers overcome the specific challenges they encounter as a result of COVID-19.
Retaining relevance through brand experiences. How to do it in three simple steps
How will this talk help attendees? C-suite executives and, in particular CMOs, know brand experiences provide a route to retaining relevance. But many struggle to structure then lead BX building initiatives with confidence and conviction.
This talk solves that problem by sharing a simple yet intuitive three step brand experience building blueprint which is based on my recently published book, Building Brand Experiences: Practical Guide to Retaining Brand Relevance (Kogan Page).
What will attendees be able to do differently after this talk? Attendees of this keynote will know how to use a simple three step Brand Experience Blueprint that will help them build brand experiences for themselves. Attendees will be directed to a URL where they can download the Blueprint and its associated Toolkit for free.
The Toolkit comprises a suite of tools / templates that will help keynote attendees put the ideas introduced into action.
Why emotion wins when building B2B service brand experiences
How will this talk help attendees? Senior executives who work in corporate finance, professional services, consulting etc., tend to overlook the importance of emotion when building brand experiences.
Price, capability, reputation and track record of delivery are seen as key drivers of client choice. True, these are important but this talk will help attendees understand why emotion is the trump card when it comes to building experiences at B2B services brands.
More importantly, attendees will learn how they can go about building brand experiences that resonate emotionally with clients and drive brand performance.
What will attendees be able to do differently after this talk? Attendees of this keynote will obtain a deep and scientific understanding of why emotion drives choice and know how to use this knowledge to their advantage when building brand experiences at B2B services brands.
Addressing the challenges of building a services brand
How will this talk help attendees? Services predominate in developed markets, frequently accounting for over 80% of GDP. But the characteristics of a services brand present executives with unique challenges.
For instance, services are intangible, never owned by the person who uses them and tend to be delivered by people – who can have good and bad days. A paradox also plagues a services brand. Senior executives have a large say in how things are done but play a small part in actual delivery. For instance, it’s the receptionist at a hotel and not the CEO that determines how you felt about your check in experience.
Knowing how to address these and other specific service brand issues are critical executive-level skills this keynote will address. What will attendees be able to do differently after this talk? Attendees of this keynote will know how to overcome the unique challenges a services brand presents.
This entails dovetailing strategic thinking and operational processes whilst being mindful of the unique challenges a services brand presents. Attendees’ will also acquire actionable insights that will enable them to deliver more consistent brand experiences through employee behaviour – the perennial challenge most, if not all, services brands face.
Hang on! Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. How to align your people, brand and digital transformation
How will this talk help attendees? A lot of CMOs dive head first into building brand experiences with a focus being on digital. Engaging then involving their employees with the brand experience building process is often overlooked.
Informed CMO’s develop close working relationships with their HR counterparts to align strategic thinking and operational processes to ensure people, brand and technology are aligned.
This talk will show attendees how to do this. What will attendees be able to do differently after this talk? Use a take away tool that will help attenees align brand and human resources when building experiences that have a digital focus. This will help them to deliver more consistent digital brand experiences.
Delivering brand experiences in a post-digital world
How will this talk help attendees? World-class brands have already moved beyond digital marketing. They are marketing in a digital world where data, connected devices and people combine to facilitate delivery of personalised brand experiences.
Understanding how to deliver brand experiences in a post-digital world is a challenge some brands are starting to embrace. To succeed, focus, clarity and consistency are required across the entire brand experience. This scale of this challenge is amplified by consumer demands for increased transparency driven by diminishing trust.
This talk will provide attendees ’ with practical tools and insights that help them not just to survive but thrive in the post-digital world. What will attendees be able to do differently after this talk? Attendees will understand what they need to do to keep their brand relevant and drive brand performance in a post-digital world.
This entails embracing a mindset that focuses on the end, not just the means, when building brand experiences. The importance of humans’ core need for connection will also be embedded in attendees’ minds as an important, indeed integral part of their post digital brand experience building efforts.
Command more respect in the boardroom by measuring brand experiences scientifically
How will this talk help attendees? Demonstrating how brand experiences drive financial performance is a challenge even the most seasoned executives face. This keynote outlines how senior marketing executives can command more respect in the boardroom by measuring brand experiences in a more rigorous, rounded and scientifically robust way.
What will attendees be able to do differently after this talk? Understand the importance of obtaining employee, brand and financial measures over sustained periods. Members of the audience will also receive practical measurement advice so they will leave the keynote with actionable insights they can start working on straight away.