Do brands matter still matter? Has technology fundamentally changed the nature of brands, or only the way that we experience them? What are some of the most successful brands today? Jim Misener, 50,000feet Principal, President and proud University of Illinois Alum, joined the conversation to discuss these questions and more as a panelist in this year’s Sandage Symposium, “The Future of Branding.”


An annual interdisciplinary conference hosted in partnership with the Siebel Center for Design, the Sandage Symposium seeks to bring advertising, brand and marketing leaders from across public and private sectors to discuss the future of the industry, the profession and its importance on secondary and graduate education. As the first advertising program in the country, the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign continues to position itself at the forefront of advertising education and to be a voice within the advertising, brand communications and marketing professions.


Sandage argued that “advertising, to be successful, must understand or anticipate basic human needs and wants” and help to interpret and deliver upon them. With that mission in mind, brand marketers must seek to understand how market dynamics, innovation, cultural currents and creativity of all kinds help to shape and invent the future.