SXSW Brings Diverse Messages To Marketers

Now in its 20th year, Austin, Texas-based South by Southwest (SXSW) has grown from a regional music festival to a 10-day conglomeration of festivals and conferences tackling film, music, advertising and marketing, interactive media and more. Currently in the middle of its March 10-17 run, the SXSW 2017’s Brands & Marketing track, part of SXSW Interactive, explores native advertising, brand storytelling and other topics relevant to promotional products industry practitioners.

SXSW offers attendees dozens of sessions to mix and match a program that suits their needs. Here are a sampling for promotional products professionals wanting to explore the cutting edge:

“Can I Order a Drink Via My T-shirt Yet?” explores digital connectivity and the data and information it can generate about consumers, how this trend will affect buying habits and routines, and what consumers will expect from the brands they engage with.

Automated assistants—software that can perform tasks or services based on user input, location awareness and online access—have the potential to completely change how consumers interact with brands, and the session “The Automated Assistant Revolution” looks at the latest developments in the technology and how its brands can apply it to their salesforce.

In “Bespoke, the New Mass Production. A Fender Hit,” panelists delve into the intersection of new production technology and consumers’ demand for individualized products, and how companies can implement large-scale manufacturing of customized products. Highlighted in the session is the story of guitar maker Fender, where customization has helped it grow its brand and profits.

Imagery can define a brand. The panelists participating in “Contemporary Curation: How Imagery Shapes a Brand” highlighted that a brand’s story, which creates a personal relationship between a business and its customers, is told in part through imagery, and how a brand’s visual identity can strengthen or confuse its story.

For more on what’s going on in Austin this week, or for motivation to attend next year, click here.

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