We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the 2013 FUSE Design & Culture // Brand Strategy & Packaging Conference earlier this week in Chicago. Having the privilege of snapping the photo below — just prior to the Brand Differentiation Through Design panel discussion on Wednesday afternoon — made my day, thanks for asking Sue!

Left to Right: (1) John Silva, President & Creative Director, DuPuis, (2) Sheldon Yourist, Graham Packaging, (3) Melissa Smith-Hazen, Director Own Brands, AHOLD USA, Josh Handy, Industrial Designer, Method, and (5) Suzanne El-Moursi, Chief Marketing Officer, Power2Switch.

Great insights and perspectives from all panelists were shared as John Silva moderated a lively discussion on the use and importance of design as a way of differentiating products and services from those of competitors.

Just so you know, the portion of the discussion that had me at the edge of my seat, being a trademark type, was the common recognition of the intellectual property challenges for those in the business of seeking to differentiate through design.

We take a very personal interest in that kind of challenge here at DuetsBlog.