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Martin Lindstrom

Leading expert on business, brand, and culture transformation. Time 100 and Thinkers50 laureate

Martin Lindstrom Biography

Martin Lindstrom his recognized as one of the world’s leading business, branding, and culture transformation experts. His cutting-edge research in behavioral psychology and his New York Times-bestselling books are reshaping how organizations approach innovation, culture, and business transformation.

Lindstrom is one of the world’s premier brand building experts and foremost business minds of our day, who has advised some of the top Fortune 100 global companies including Coca-Cola, Nestle and Red Bull on how to build future-proof brands. TIME magazine named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people, and for the last six years, Thinkers50 has listed him among the world’s top business thinkers. His remarkable case studies are based on his extensive work for a Who’s Who of companies. In his popular presentations, Lindstrom shares (among many other topics) what it takes to transform commodity-driven organizations into thriving entrepreneurial businesses.

Lindstrom’s numerous New York Times-bestselling books include Buyology and Brand Sense. His latest title, Small Data, describes the tiny clues that uncover big trends and explores how deep consumer insight can make or break an organization. His books have been translated into 48 languages and have sold more than a million copies worldwide. He has delivered keynote addresses to Google, the World Business Forum, KraftHeinz, Disney, Amazon, LEGO, and the World Economic Forum. Lindstrom is a co-producer and the host of NBC’s popular Mainstreet Makeover, an op-ed columnist for the New York Times, and a frequent contributor to Fast Company.

Background / History

Obsessed with Lego as a boy he was asked onto the advisory board and given his own brick setting his path into the world of products and branding when he was twelve years old.


Despite the many social media bridges to the consumer, Martin feels the corporate world today is only interacting with consumers on a superficial level and he has begun to advocate a more respectful form of marketing. Martin is the best-selling author of six ground breaking books on brands and consumer behaviour and his latest, SMALL DATA – The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends, it explores human behavior and the psychology behind consumer purchase decision making. His previous book “Brandwashed”, is an expos of the psychological tricks and traps that companies use to win our hard-earned money. In his 2009 book, “Buyology” a New York Times / Wall Street Journal bestseller and “pick of the year” by USA Today – he discusses the subconscious mind and how it plays a major role in deciding what the buyer will purchase.

In 2006 he launched the Brand Sense agency which put into practice his ground breaking vision for a multi sensory branding which goes beyond the visual to involve all the senses. In his book of the same name he reveals that the particular smell of a new car is actually manufactured and that one airline has patented its own cabin scent. Martin Lindstrom writes frequent articles for TIME Magazine, Harvard Business Review and a column for Fast Company. He has been on NBC’s Today show and has appeared on ABC News, SKY, and the BBC. In 2011 he appeared in Morgan Spurlocks movie documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold and has been on Americas Next Top Model.

He is the founding partner and Chairman of the Board of Buyology Inc. Hired by global Fortune 100 brands as well as brands that might have lost their way- his unconventional consulting might involve a 48 hour boot camp or time in the field with consumers. Martin has written more than 1000 articles on branding that have been published in more than 100 countries. He has presented to more than 7 million people on branding across 60 countries and has travelled more than 1 million miles a year.

Current / Past Roles & Positions

  • Ranked 18 on the Thinkers 50 2015 ranking of Management Thinkers.
  • Creator of the Brandsense agency which markets using all the senses.
  • Champion of the consumer and ‘respectful’ marketing.

Awards, Accolades, Achievements & Honours

  • Martin Lindstrom is the author of SMALL DATA –The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends, in which he reveals how seemingly insignificant details of human behavior can point a careful observer to the next big brand trend.
  • Selected as “Marketer of the Decade” by the Asian Council of Marketers in 2012.
  • Made Time Magazine’s list of World’s 100 most influential people in 2009.
  • Author of 6 ground breaking books on branding and consumer behaviour including bestsellers Brandwashed and Buyology.

Speaking Style

Martin Lindstrom is a passionate story teller who really connects people with his subject – offering a fascinating insight into the tactics of the marketing trade. Lindstrom’s speeches are more shows than lectures, packed with visuals, sounds and amazing videos.

Lindstrom appears in the audience as well as on stage, making his style highly engaged, fun, and truly interactive. Martin Lindstrom is an original thinker and one of the most respected branding gurus in the world, according to the Chartered Institute of Marketing. His life’s mission has been to bridge the gap between brands and the consumer.

Martin Lindstrom is one of the world’s foremost branding experts and author of Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends. His previous books have been translated into 47 languages and sold well over one million copies. He was selected as one of the world’s 100 most influential people by TIME.

In 2016, Thinkers50 named him one of the top 20 business thinkers in the world — for three consecutive years. Since 2013, he has been ranked as the world’s #1 branding expert. His articles appear in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review and Fast Company. He advises startups and the who’s who of Fortune 100 companies on branding, communication, consumer psychology, retail, innovation, and transformation. Lindstrom currently hosts Main Street Makeover, a series on NBC’s TODAY show that takes business problems and creates solutions in less than just 24 hours.


Martin speaks English and Danish.

Martin Lindstrom Videos

Martin Lindstrom Speaker


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Testimonials for Martin Lindstrom

“Martin is a genius. I say that because a lot of impressions and thoughts I have about Go Daddy were reflected in his presentation. He nailed it.”

Nick Fuller

Go Daddy

“The whole session was a highlight.”

Kathrin Abrecht


 “I could have listened for another three hours.”

Garnet Fitzsimmons


“Martin is not just a consumer guru, but also an expert entertainer! He keeps the audience at the edge of the seat during the session with humor, relevance, and theatrics! Thoroughly enjoyable few hours!”

Vineet Chhabra

United Spirits

“Interaction with the audience was excellent — and very funny.”

John McMahon

Standard Chartered Bank

“He was INCREDIBLE! I could listen to him for hours and enjoy every electrifying, mind-blowing minute.”

Josephine Vaccaro

Jenny Craig, Inc.

“Martin is an exceptional intellect and entertainer combined. He was able to inspire me and make me uncomfortable about the role of marketing at the same time.”

Estherina Daniel


“Best conference presenter ever! Martin has significant insight into the minds of advertising consumers.”

Amy Bryan

CBS Outdoor

Martin Lindstrom‘s Topics

Culture: Leadership, innovation, and the surprising truth of human motivation

Strategy eats culture for breakfast. Companies have never been so overwhelmed with emails, reports, data, statistics, and endless PowerPoint presentations, while at the same time preaching the importance of culture. Notice any conflicts?
Lindstrom takes his audience on a deep, remarkable dive inside some of the world’s largest organizations and their daily challenges as they rediscover, build, and maintain powerful cultures.

What happened when Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, was paralyzed by a two-month global cyber attack? When Lowes Foods faced two choices: to completely change their business model or to close down the entire retail chain? Or when Standard Chartered, the world’s 10th largest bank, realized that “common sense” had completely vanished from the behavior of their 86,000 staff members, leading to overly complex service offerings and immense customer frustration?
In each of these cases, culture became the savior.

As the spearhead of these and many more remarkable culture transformation projects worldwide, Martin Lindstrom takes the audience behind the scenes and shares what it takes to bring culture front and center in organizations that had been paralyzed by bureaucracy, compliance, and inefficacy.

Viewing bureaucracy as a disease, the Lindstrom team rebuilt the purpose of the organizations, reinvigorated and empowered the staff, and, most importantly, systematically removed the red tape that was killing entrepreneurship and productivity. In one organization, Lindstrom and his team banned PowerPoint presentations. In another, they entirely removed the CC function from Outlook. Meetings were limited to maximum four participants, and smart phones were banned. In one case, he even introduced a special division called The Ministry of Common Sense. And in every case, it worked!

In just two years, Maersk recovered and added an additional 43% to their global brand value. Lowes became the most innovative retailer in the U.S., and Standard Chartered nearly doubled their share price.

You will earn:
– What it takes to create a powerful culture, reverse poor staff morale, and attract top talent.
– Common sense initiatives (low-hanging fruit) that can, within weeks, infuse hope in an organization, boost morale, and improve productivity.
– The step-by-step roadmap to transform a bureaucratic organization into a powerful culture.
– The classic pitfalls and misunderstandings that jeopardize 9 out of 10 culture projects — and how to systematically avoid them.

Future retail: Until Amazon creates a drone that can cut your hair, there’s a physical, real reason to visit the barbershop

We’re witnessing the biggest retail war in living history, with more than 4,000 store closures in the United States alone during 2018. Is eCommerce the only answer? Surprisingly, Lindstrom’s answer is No — and he backs up his claim with solid evidence and provocative cases, time after time proving that while the whole world sees only one direction, there are multiple alternative paths leading to amazing opportunities and results.

Based on exhaustive global consumer research conducted in more than 70 countries, for more than a decade Lindstrom and his team have investigated the wants of today’s and tomorrow’s consumers. They’ve investigated how retail is likely to evolve and, most important, what it takes to turn a red bottom line to black as a conventional and eCommerce player.

Lindstrom knows his game. He was the mastermind behind Lowes’ remarkable transformation, turning a struggling business into the most innovative retailer in the United States. He helped the world’s second-largest supermarket chain, Carrefour, beat Amazon and introduce a flurry of successful eCommerce concepts worldwide. In his speech, Lindstrom will share how to identify undiscovered consumer needs and translate them into unconventional retail solutions few would ever have thought possible.

What makes this presentation unique is the price tag of Lindstrom’s solutions — they are hands-on, concrete, inspiring, and highly cost effective. Consider his introduction of a groundbreaking multi-state “mini-makeover” competition inspired by American Idol. This format resulted in a double-digit improvement of the bottom line for one major retailer, yet only cost a few thousand dollars per store.

The presentation explores every dimension of retail, offline and online. It explores opportunities spinning out of consumer observations made in homes, and it takes a deep dive inside Amazon’s servers. The biggest in the world, they contain shocking consumer data and are already able to predict your next car, pet, or house purchase — without your knowledge. You’ll learn how Alexa’s secret “Voice Sniffing Technology” is able to listen in on any conversation and interrupt your conversation with relevant commercial messages. You’ll hear how AmazonGo, the conglomerate’s retail store, may soon adjust the prices live on the shelves according to who you are and how many people follow you.

Expect an express journey into tomorrow’s retail universe. This inspirational, provocative, hands-on presentation will help any company elevate its presence into the next league of retail.

You will earn:
– To identify “low hanging fruit” that can have an immediate bottom-line impact and create the momentum needed to revise a negative spiral trend.
– The latest retail trends from around the world, which will inspire you, provoke you, and strengthen your strategy.
– What it will take to turn around your stores — and the roadmap that will get you there.
– How to identify and steer around the pitfalls and unexpected obstacles that cause nine out of ten retail transformations to fail.

Business transformation: The disruptor’s agenda: Unleashing the innovators

Fourteen years ago, everyone’s favorite toy company was near bankruptcy — but then something remarkable happened, elevating LEGO to become the world’s most powerful brand* … seemingly overnight.

With Amazon and Walmart’s relentless attack on the conventional retail industry, Lowes knew they had a two-year deadline to survive. Fast-forward four years, and customers were lining up to enter Lowes stores.

Around the globe, conventional postal service organizations are considered to be dinosaurs. There’s only one exception: Switzerland. Why was Swiss Post, in contrast to the rest of the world, the first to adopt drones and self-driving cars, placing their services way ahead of Amazon and Uber?

Over two decades, Lindstrom and his team have challenged companies from almost every industry — toys, retail, postal services, shipping, banking, food, beverage, pharma, automobile, fashion — to rediscover their core and transform themselves. Lindstrom always starts with the customer, but what follows consistently breaks the rules of conventional thinking. His unusual method proves itself resilient within even the most stubborn organizations.

In this presentation, packed with behind-the-scenes, first-hand observations from some of the most remarkable business transformations in the world, Lindstrom introduces a ready-to-use framework, suggests simple and memorable metaphors, and merges it all into a captivating narrative. He will have the audience on the edge of their seats, leaving them eager to transform their own businesses. As Lindstrom says: Sixty-five per cent of the jobs today’s 12-year-old will do when he’s grown don’t exist today. So, why would yours, unless you change … right now?

You will earn:
– Why most MBA textbooks are misguided about transformation, and what a true (and much more dynamic) alternative looks like.
– How to reinfuse hope into an organization that began, decades ago, to lose its nerve, nimbleness, and entrepreneurial spirit.
– How to ensure that great conceptual thinking and big ideas don’t drown in politics, bureaucracy, compliance — with a lot of talk but no action.
– How to balance the short term (going from red to black) and the long term (the big idea, versus a compromise of a compromise) without losing the interest of the board, senior management, and investors.

Big data: and why the next big thing will be all about small data

LIKE IT OR NOT, businesses are drifting away from the consumer. In the last year, only 1 in 3,000 executives has spent time with their consumers. Instead of keeping in touch with consumers, leaders rely on BIG Data — reports, databases, and statistics — in order to understand the emotions of our most important asset. The only problem with this approach: They’re all looking at the past in order to predict the future.

Emerging in its place is a new approach, Small Data, which Lindstrom defines as seemingly insignificant consumer observations that completely transform the way businesses are built and run.

In 2004, the LEGO Company was near bankruptcy. Big Data had informed the executives that, due to the lengthy construction time, kids no longer had interest in playing with LEGO. In response, LEGO introduced larger modules, which cut the building time in half. However, the result didn’t mirror their expectations. Sales plummeted, and as a result the company decided to cease all conventional Big Data-based sources — and instead introduce Small Data.

It was a visit to an 11-year-old German boy’s home that profoundly changed the LEGO Group’s view of the world. A LEGO executive asked the kid what he was most proud of. It wasn’t a Nintendo or PlayStation, but a pair of old, worn-out sneakers. The reason why? Because, as the kid explained, the sneakers’ very particular worn-down angle on the side of the sole proved he was the #1 skateboarder in town. You see, when pro skateboarders slide down the board, their shoes get worn down exactly like this 11-year-old boy’s shoes.

This insight taught LEGO that if a kid is willing to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of hours fine-tuning an angle on a shoe, why wouldn’t a kid spend thousands of hours playing with LEGO? They reintroduced the small bricks, created the LEGO movie, and formed alliances with Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Batman.

LEGO had lost contact with its core consumers, yet by adopting Small Data, the link between the consumer and the iconic toy company was recovered — making LEGO the most admired brand in the world, according to Brand Finance 2019.
Lindstrom will share the remarkable insight behind LEGO’s success, and he will discuss how Small Data has been instrumental in the turnaround success of numerous other companies around the world, in shipping, banking, retail, fashion, and food and beverage.

You will earn:
– Why most Big Data strategies have been shown to be fundamentally flawed, resulting in billions of wasted time and cost.
– Why some of the world’s largest companies now swear by Small Data when identifying their next billion-dollar bet (and how their success rate is an astounding 81% above average).
– How combining Big Data with Small Data has been shown to establish a remarkable competitive edge, while saving millions of dollars.
– How it is possible to adopt a Small Data approach right away, in a highly cost-effective manner, generating tangible results within a matter of months.

Customer journey: Creating a next-gen customer journey experience

Two years ago, we all shook our heads as a doctor was dragged out of a United Airlines plane, leading to the company’s biggest PR disaster in its 92-year history.

But is that any different from what’s going on in your organization? What would happen if you became an undercover employee in your own organization, experiencing what your customers experience every day?

In this eye-opening presentation, Lindstrom goes underground with his audience. He shares first-hand recordings of disastrous customer interactions — and, yes, surprised managers and CEO’s who thought everything was perfect. This highly thought-provoking presentation is packed with videos and case studies, placing a revealing mirror in front of the audience. It will make them think, reflect, and, most important, act.

What makes Lindstrom’s presentation unique is that it’s hands-on, based on his personal experience designing, implementing, and monitoring some of the world’s most successful customer journeys, including the Walt Disney theme parks, Swiss International Airlines, Burger King, Maersk, and Dorchester Collection, the operator of the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Bel-Air Hotel, and many other luxury properties around the world.

What these and numerous other cases all have in common isn’t huge budgets. Instead, they share clever, innovative thinking, often requiring only a couple thousand dollars of investment to create happy customers and million-dollar returns.

This remarkable, highly entertaining presentation is guaranteed to change your view of customer journeys, demonstrating that a small effort can yield a big difference.

You will earn:
– The optimal, highly cost-effective way to design a unique customer journey.
– The pitfalls few think about but which, if avoided, can save your organization millions.
– The small, yet highly strategic, steps you should take first in order to immediately generate results, build momentum, and save money.
– Best practices from completely unrelated industries, and what you should learn from their innovate ways of handling customer experiences.

Books by Martin Lindstrom

Martin Lindstrom book
Martin Lindstrom book
Martin Lindstrom book
Martin Lindstrom book

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