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PepsiCo’s Chief Design Officer on the Risk That Comes With Innovation

April 6, 2017, 9:49 PM UTC

Pepsi has been in hot water lately thanks to a recent ad, which it has since pulled, that featured Kendall Jenner taking part in a street protest.

Last month, during our Innovation by Design conference in Singapore, we sat down with PepsiCo’s Chief Design Officer Mauro Porcini, who spoke about how brands deliver their message. His words perfectly apply to Pepsi’s current situation, although he was talking about the challenges that come with designing a new product or store.

“We are moving from a world when the brand was buying the right to be part of the conversation to a world where a brand needs to earn the right,” Porcini said. “We are moving from a world where essentially we were saying something to people, to a world where we need to do things to be relevant enough to become the topic of those conversations.”

He went on to talk about mistakes, saying, “In a risk averse kind of world, we need to make sure we don’t make mistakes. There are many tools and methodologies we put in place to avoid those kinds of mistakes, but at the end of the day, innovation is, by definition, risky.”

Watch the video above to hear his full comments.