Bridging the gap between business and design with Marty Neumeier


“In your career, the important thing is to find the overlap between what the world needs right now and in the next 10 years and then thinking really deeply about what makes you happy, where you feel in flow…” that is where you should put your effort, that is where you will be the most successful - Marty

Marty Neumeier is an author, designer, and brand adviser whose mission is to bring the principles and processes of design to business. His series of “whiteboard” books includes Zag, named one of the “top hundred business books of all time,” and The Designful Company, a bestselling guide to nonstop innovation. An online presentation of his first book, The Brand Gap, has been viewed more than 22 million times since 2003. A sequel, The Brand Flip, lays out a new process for building brands in the age of social media and customer dominance. His most recent book, Scramble, is a “business thriller” about how to build a brand quickly using “agile strategy.”

 In 1996, Neumeier founded Critique magazine, the first journal about design thinking. He has worked closely with innovative companies such as Apple, Netscape, Sun Microsystems, HP, Adobe, Google, and Microsoft to help advance their brands and cultures.

Today he serves as Director of Transformation for Liquid Agency in Silicon Valley, and travels extensively as a workshop leader and speaker on the topics of design, brand, and innovation. He and his wife divide their time between California and southwest France.



  • His story, becoming a designer (2:27)

  • How his career evolved from being a production artist to writer (6:35)

  • Do you consider yourself fulfilled today? (7:57)

  • What do you attribute your success to? (8:25)

  • Quotes or mantra that he lives by? (9:13)

  • Why work with brands? What he loves most about branding? (10:00)

  • Draw a brand exercise (12:00)

  • Elaborating on his definition of brand: “a brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is” (14:15)

  • Does the gap between business and design (also called the brand gap) still exist? (16:12)

  • The relationship between strategic side of branding and the execution of it (19:19)

  • What is the swarming process? How long it takes? (21:29)

  • About his new book SCRAMBLE (24:20)

  • An inspiring message to all of us (29:01)

Marty's MOTTO 

"Don’t just sit around dreaming, you have to actually act on those dream.”

“Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” Benjamin Franklin.


“When conceived well, an icon is a repository of meaning. It contains the DNA of the brand, the basic material for creating a total personality distinct from the competition.”

“The first step in building a brand is to look inside and see where the raw energy will come from.”

“A brand is not what you say it is. It's what they say it is” 

“Instead of thinking about how to improve and position your products, think about how to improve and position your customers.”

“The company with the best customers wins”

“1) Who are you? 2) What do you do? 3) Why does it matter?” 

“Once you conceive of a brand as a reputation, you can think more clearly about how to build it, shape it, and protect it” 



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Vanessa is a brand consultant, art director, and public speaker. Often referred to as a "brand whisperer" or "brand psychologist", the guiding principle behind all of her work is to make a difference by having a positive impact on people’s lives. 

She accompanies brands towards reaching their fullest potential, inspires audiences through public speaking, gives workshops to helps others think differently, deeply and to uncover new perspectives about themselves, and teaches about brands and psychology. Vanessa also hosts conversations with bestselling authors, experts and thought leaders for her blog.

Appreciated for her enthusiasm, self-expression and profound sense of adventure, she truly cares for others and for building deep authentic relationships. Vanessa believes that the ultimate value of personal growth is to contribute to the growth of others and to how they feel about themselves. These are some of the motives that contributed to why clients trust her for the past six years.

Polyglot, she has a bachelors degree in Psychology, a Masters degree in marketing and a certificate in studio photography completed in Paris. It is all of these above unexpected elements of her background that create a unique mix enabling her strategic, creative and personal approach to business.


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