On course to make a difference – review of Marty Neumeier’s Brand Masterclass 1

I’ve admired Marty Neumeier’s thinking and approach to branding for many years, so when an opportunity arose to learn from the man himself along with the awesome Andy Starr I jumped on it. 

Last week myself and 50 other ‘brand rock stars’ from around the world took part in  Level C ’s Master Class 1. Successful completion of which would earn people the grand title of ‘Brand Specialist’. 

The course was entirely online due to the pesky Covid-19, but worked surprisingly well and meant I could stay in my sofa-surfer attire, well from the waist down at least. 

Between 4-7pm UK time we listened to the engaging Andy and dulcet tones of Marty navigate us through the realms of branding. This Master Class 1 course didn’t dive too deep and technical, but instead gave the perfect holistic overview of what it takes to craft an awesome brand. 

The 50 attendees were separated into eight groups, filtered by time zones to ensure there weren’t too many disparities. My group, Group 8 Black, consisted of agency owners, designers and strategists residing in countries such as Egypt, Poland, Germany and of course the UK. 

There’s certainly not many other times where I’ve partnered with such a fantastic eclectic mix of creatives. 

Each team was assigned a sector and given tasks relating to the insights provided during the afternoon’s session. We opted to undertake our team work the next morning due to the time difference, but this worked well as it gave us all time to digest the brief and think of some clever ideas – we thought they were clever at least. 

Heads-up! The teamwork takes longer than you think, so if you do book onto the course I’d suggest you keep your days pretty clear. 

At the start of each afternoon session each team presented their work with Marty and Andy critiquing every effort ‘Brand Idol’ judge stylie – though providing constructive criticism. 

Receiving comments from the other attendees in the Zoom chat area was also great to see. My favourite directed at our presentation being ‘fucking smashed it’ from my esteemed colleague Wes. 

The week ended with a brief test to see how well we’ve absorbed the teachings. Clearly it wasn’t too taxing as I passed and now proudly adorn my Level C Certified Brand Specialist badge. 

This course is ideal for anyone who wants to transition into brand strategy and learn more about modern brand-building disciplines, definitions and methodologies.

Having read most of Marty’s books and obviously working in branding for many years a lot of the course content and thinking wasn’t exactly new to me. Even so I still found it massively enjoyable and have already booked onto Level 2 in May and intend to join them in London for Level 3 in October. 

I don’t know how many levels these guys are planning, but I’m onboard for the duration! 

Adam Arnold

Founder & Creative Director of award-winning branding agency Brandality.