No global brands, just global marketers

Last week was the 2013 National Middle Market Summit – Leading From The Middle, which is a collaboration between Fisher and GE Capital. The event ensures that the middle market receives the attention it deserves – and helps drive conversation around these vital industries. Fisher students have been given the opportunity to have Q&As with C-level executives from GE, and if this event is anything like last year, it’s going to be a great experience for students.

I had the chance to sit-in on a round table discussion with Ian Forrest, the Vice President of Global Marketing for GE Capital on Monday afternoon. Here is a quick snapshot of Ian’s bio:

“Ian is responsible for the GE Capital value proposition, brand and global marketing communications activities. He is responsible for the GE Capital’s National Center for the Middle Market partnership with The Ohio State University.”

Bottom line, it was a really interesting discussion and a great opportunity to learn from a very talented marketer. Ian talk about how winners will redefine scale and that markets are becoming frictionless.He stressed the importance of not being constrained by traditional thinking and always, always, always investing in R&D. Ian discussed how R&D is the sure way to become better and point the company forward.

I thought the most interesting point was his opinion concerning global corporations and brands. Ian talked  about how there are “No longer global brands, only global marketers”. He told our small group of Full Time and Working Professional MBAs that some companies know how to win in every market – and that’s what will keep them in the forefront of their industries. To be successful, a company needs to be global and treat every market differently. Taking the exact business model that works in the US and trying to force its success in Brazil or China will only lead to failure.

There’s me – to the right, three people over!

Ian made several well articulated points – my notebook was full of snippets I want to remember! It was a great kick-off to the Middle Market summit, and I am excited to attend the main event on Wednesday!




Here are some ways to join in the Middle Market conversation:






Warren Buffett, Jeffrey Immelt, and Ohio State

What do Warren Buffet, Jeffrey Immelt, and me have in common?Warren Buffett

If you guessed that we were all in the same room last night, you are correct!

This week, Ohio State is teaming up with GE capital as they host the 2012 National Middle Market Summit. The purpose of the summit is to bring together more than 700 CEOs, academics, policymakers, and industry experts to discuss the unique set of challenges faced by middle market executives. Business, sports, political, and entertainment leaders will share insights and perspectives on everything from healthcare, to the economy, to the election.

For Fisher MBAs like myself, we have been blessed with opportunities like last night, where two of the best minds in business came together to discuss America’s economic future. Jeffrey Immelt led the discussion with Warren Buffett as he questioned him about his childhood, Berkshire Hathaway, and future advice for the future business leaders of America.GE CEO Jeff Immelt

Buffett was his usual self – candid, friendly, and honest. He spoke about the bright future that America has ahead of itself. He noted how he buys companies, specifically, how he strives to understand business models. He also mentioned a funny fact – he doesn’t have a computer in his office. Who would have known?

The event last night was only one of many great opportunities taking place at Fisher and Ohio State this week. The 2012 National Middle Market Summit is a great opportunity for business students and professionals alike. Find out more info about the Middle Market Center here!