Human | CEO & Brand Domain Lead - Kantar

Maria Darmi
Isabelle Mérillou


About these speakers

Title of the presentation:

Resilience and growth in 2020: lessons learned from the most valuable brands

About the presentation:

Following the launch of the 15th edition of the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands rankings from Kantar, Dr Maria Darmi CEO of Kantar Belgium and Isabelle Mérillou Senior Brand domain expert at Kantar Belgium, will present the learnings from this year’s BrandZ top rankings.

BrandZ™ ranking of brand valuations, lists the brands making the largest absolute $ contribution to the total value of their respective parent companies, considering both current and projected performance. Globally, our research covers over 3.7 million consumer interviews more than 165,000 different brands in over 50 markets and 5.2 billion data points.

Dr Darmi and Mrs Mérillou will present how leading brands are combatting the crisis to remain meaningful, different and salient choices for people. And this year’s unprecedented Covid-19 provided extreme conditions to test it!

During the session the following topics will be covered:

  • How global leaders are using innovation and creativity to their advantage despite the Covid-19 storm
  • The significance of trust and corporate reputation in brand-building
  • Proof points for long-term investment in marketing to drive business growth


Dr Maria Darmi

Dr Maria Darmi is the Chief Executive Officer of Kantar Insights Belgium. Kantar is the world’s leading data, insights and consulting company, with specialization in brand building.

Maria has over 28 years of experience in Insights and consulting, holding leading roles in international strategic and commercial functions. Prior to Kantar Belgium, Maria served as Chief Client Officer for Kantar Insights in the TRIBES region (Turkey, Russia, Israel, Benelux and East Europe) and Manging Director for Kantar Millward Brown Greece.

Before Kantar, Maria held the position of Strategy & Insights at The Coca-Cola Company for South East Europe, where her role was to influence strategic decisions on brand, communication and commercial excellence for the region.

Previously, she held the position of Account Director at Synovate / Ipsos for the region of Central Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa, coming from an acquisition of Censydiam where Maria was a partner of the Censydiam Mediterranean region.

Maria holds a Ph.D. in Statistics for the Manufacturing Sciences from Cranfield University in the UK.

Isabelle Mérillou

Isabelle Mérillou is the Brand domain lead for Kantar Belgium.

Isabelle joined Kantar about 3 years ago to introduce the suite of services & tools from Millward Brown, including the BrandZ philosophy of growing brands with the Meaningful & Different framework, as well as the communications approach built around Link ensuring that communications deliver impactful brand building and ultimately delivering sales growth.

Isabelle has wide experience in marketing consulting for brand equity and innovations, from strategic direction to implementation across several industries. Isabelle started her career at Nielsen BASES in the innovation field, working for both global and local brands. and also worked at Deloitte and IMS Health. Isabelle is passionate about successful deliveries and strongly believes in the power of teams as the road to success.

Isabelle holds a dual degree from Toulouse Business School and Georgia State University (Master of Business Administration). She is from France, having lived in the US, UK and Belgium today.


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