This Week in Business and Brands: SXSWho?, Medical Makeovers, and More

crowd at concert with confetti falling

Between the Lines: Vivaldi’s Spring Newsletter Blooms

Looking for even more insights beyond this week’s brand-new brand news? Be sure to check out our latest edition of Between the Lines, Vivaldi’s very own quarterly newsletter hot off the (digital) press. Our Spring ‘17 issue tackles the increasingly important (but all-too-forgotten) element necessary for every business’s growth: true Cultural Transformation. Take a look to make sure you and your brand are doing everything you need to keep your company thriving in the digital age.

Big Story of the Week: Finding True North at SXSW

What started 30 years ago with just 700 attendees has now become the behemoth of tech conferences, drawing 100x the crowd – and a whole lot of noise, making some critics wonder: is South by Southwest still worth the journey? It seems the political climate plays no small part in this year’s pervading attitude of skepticism – facing more internet trolls and hate-mongering on more social platforms than ever, the innovators’ current challenge is solving the problems created by the big hits at conferences past. Other dubious detractors ask: what are all these fashion brands doing at a tech symposium? (After all, not all are embracing wearable tech like Levi’s, who unveiled a jacket for truckers whose messages appear right on their sleeves.) Cut from the same cloth, attendees often find themselves caught in an “echo chamber,” learning little new and offering even less. That said, the Summit of the South doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Are you in for next year?

(Well Worth) The Long Read: Putting a Hospital Under the Knife

For far too many years, it seemed New York University’s Langone Medical Center was headed toward certain demise – with an operating loss of $170 million and a tenured faculty reluctant to revamp, 2007 was a tough year to start turning it all around. But that’s exactly what CEO Robert Grossman stepped in to do – and ten years later, the hospital has enjoyed a dramatic recovery. So which treatments made it happen? Take your pick:

  • Building for growth: not only have investments gone towards infrastructure (including a new children’s hospital under construction), but the sheer number of physicians on faculty has grown from 600 to 2,700
  • Raising the bar: elevating standards has rewarded the institution with 5-star ratings and a nod from U.S. News & World Report’s 10 best hospitals in the country
  • Long-distance vision: with a 10-year-plan at the start, the road was paved with stretch goals for significant improvement and a profound turnaround
  • Data transparency: in order to compare their performance against “world-class” institutions, a new kind of open accountability was implemented for improvement

Be sure to read the full story above for even more insights from the medical center’s complete revival.

Talking Tactics, Tête–à–Tête: Leveraging Luxe at L’Oreal

Beauty may only be skin deep – but for Vincent Stuhlen, L’Oreal Luxe’s Global Head of Digital, delving the depths of data has rewarded the brand with a whole new strategic makeup. Here are some key takeaways from’s Q&A:

  • On overseeing several brands and regions at once: “[We’re] structured around flexibility and autonomy…each brand is also accountable for devising brand strategy and how that provides the route to market in each country.”
  • On the journey of digital transformation: “We are halfway through…we’ve worked a lot in the last two years to engineer integrated 360-degree campaigns, putting digital at the very beginning of the briefing process…many companies get lost in the many digital KPIs you can measure, but our idea is to get back to ROI.”
  • On fostering best practices: “We try to stimulate innovation. We believe, for example, the way we deal with diagnostics is not up-to-date, so we challenge our brands and countries to submit ideas in that area. We have an internal innovation fund to co-fund their development and, if successful, scale them across countries.”

Innovation Invention: 9 Ideas That Could Change the World

Reversing global warming? “Netflix-ication?” Viral crowdfunding for charity? We’ll leave you with this look at these and other “World Changing” notions so crazy they just might work – after all, everything starts with an idea…