College Brand New

Human Capital & Corporate Identity

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11 assigned vacancy


A few things you should know before you enrol at Brand New

First of all, previous studies in economics and marketing are not essential.

Secondly, it is however better, if you’ve studied or had some work experience since high school. Andrea Guerra (a tutor at Brand New in 2016-2017) would say what this College needs is people with the spirit of travellers, who like to be around people from different cultures and are open to new, worldly experiences.

Thirdly, you’ll love Brand New College if you’re interested in the world of business and marketing and product communication, and if you’re good with numbers and data (you’ll see why shortly).

And fourthly, you’ll be working both on your own and in groups, but this is not a College for lone wolves – you and your classmates will be a team, and the first thing you’ll learn is that you need to understand the people around you and discover their strengths (and yours).


What you’ll be doing over the two years

You’ll learn that you need to find the identity of that which you’re trying to market. At Brand New we don’t just talk about corporate brands, we talk about cities, nations, political movements, and all the players involved too. You’ll start to understand market events by analysing numbers and data, but the skills you need won’t be those of an economics student, you’ll need the creative flair to recognise a brand’s untapped potential.

You’ll learn to treat a brand as if it were a character in a movie, or a story, or a TV series, advancing the message you’re trying to put across in every situation and every possible form. Finally, you’ll understand how your idea can be integrated with market requirements, and how it can be adapted to respond to what people need.
Remember that this is a Holden course you’re enrolling in, so you’ll also be studying modules on cinema and writing, and many of your classes will be taken jointly with other Colleges.

You will meet many professionals in your classes who are working in different areas of business: communications and marketing managers, executives who come to talk about their own experiences, etc. You will also go on exploratory missions with companies (in these years we went to Ikea, Lavazza, publishers Add Editore and Aurora Pen, to name but a few).

You’ll study lots of case histories concerning both large and small companies. Many cases are taken directly from Holden Factory, the school department that handles relations with companies who want to share their stories with us (Holden Productions) or provide training (Corporate Storytelling).


What you will take away when you leave

  • you will have the vision to understand the essence of a brand, a market or a product, and be able to convey that essence in any form, any place and any variation required;
  • you will know how to lead a group and organise the workload according to everyone’s individual qualities;
  • you will be able to introduce a product or service by studying the market and knowing which segment it will best be placed in; you’ll also learn how to draw up a launch plan;
  • you will be able to analyse an existing brand and suggest a new marketing plan to re-position it or facilitate its expansion;
  • you will have worked on a number of actual cases, either on your own or as part of a group, by attending or collaborating with Holden Factory.


One last thing: to be perfectly clear, our aim with this College is to produce the ideal Chief Storyteller. Many of the world’s major companies already have chief storytellers, but for others it’s still just a myth. It’s not a new idea though. Nike, for example, has had a “Chief Storyteller Officer” since the 1990s, and then there are people like Steve Clayton at Microsoft (watch his lesson here), and Dana Brooks Reinglass, a former producer for Oprah Winfrey who is now Chief Storyteller at United Airlines. The remit these people have is not just to convey the identity of the company, but to make it human.

They work to get the public engaged with the company, using all kinds of events and social platforms, building public loyalty to the brand with the oldest special effects tool in the world: stories. In the digital age we have developed a short attention span, but great stories go on and on. The stories that count are the memorable ones, and this is how it will always be – one thing any CEO would like to be able to say about their brand, product or company.

If we were granted just one wish then, it would be that every graduate of Brand New College could become a Chief Storyteller.


Master 2018-2020

Matteo Caccia


Who is he?

“My name is Matteo Caccia, I was born on 24th July 1975 and I live in Milan. I don’t know if anyone remembers me. I don’t.” This introduction forms the opening lines of the first episode of Amnèsia, one of several radio shows that Matteo has written and presented for Radio2. It was 2008, he was 33 years old and the theme of the show was memory loss. But first things first.


What does his job entail?

Matteo collects, writes and tells stories not only for radio, but also for TV and theatre. In 2008, he wrote and presented Amnèsia, the programme mentioned above, for Italy’s Radio2. In 2010, Matteo moved to Radio24 and launched a show called Vendo tutto, in which he sells an item on eBay in each episode and tells its story on air. In the same year, he presented Io sono qui, an autobiographical novel in the form of a radio show. This was followed a year later by Voi siete qui, this time telling listeners’ stories. In 2017, he returned to Radio2, where he now presents Pascal. For laeffe TV, Matteo has written and presented two shows called Dalla A a LaEffe and YpsilonTellers. He is the creator and host of Don’t Tell My Mom, an open-mic storytelling night held on the first Monday of every month at the Pinch bar in Milan. The event also occasionally goes on tour around Italy (it came to Holden last year). For Mondadori, he has written Amnèsia (2009) and Il nostro fuoco è l’unica luce (2012). His latest novel, published by Baldini & Castoldi, is Il silenzio coprì le sue tracce (2017).


How did he get started?

After graduating from the Accademia dei Filodrammatici, a drama school in Milan, he acted in several productions by the director Antonio Latella. The first piece he wrote for theatre was Hotelofficina. In 2006, he brought La maglia nera to the stage. The show, written and performed by Matteo, tells the story of the cyclist Luigi Malabrocca. Around the same time, he began to do radio work, first for Radio Popolare as a correspondent and then for a summer entertainment programme broadcast on Radio2.


His most recent project?

He founded Brandstories, a communication agency specialising in brand storytelling and branded entertainment, to help companies find their own story.


The craziest thing he’s ever done?

Going from a horizontal position on his sofa to the New York Marathon in four months. Once, while hosting a radio show, he claimed that running was boring and made no sense because there was no ball to chase. A listener who worked in the running industry asked him: “What can I do to make you change your mind?”. He replied: “Send me out to run a marathon!”.


How many stories has he collected over the years?

Over twelve thousand, of which more than a thousand have been broadcast. Please note: this figure is only up-to-date as per the end of 2017.


Is the quality of radio programming better than TV, or is this just a cliché?

It’s a cliché: there are lots of fantastic TV programmes, and likewise there’s a great deal of interesting content online, in magazines and on the radio. At the same time, there are plenty of things on the radio that are unlistenable. In Matteo’s view, radio’s saving grace is that it consists entirely of sounds and therefore skips along very quickly. All it takes is a moment, he says, and you’ve already forgotten about everything.


On that note, what about the amnesia story?

The programme Amnèsia featured a man named Matteo who had been struck by total retrograde amnesia. Every day for 15 minutes, he told the audience his story, namely his many attempts to reconstruct his life and the myriad “first times” he experienced in doing so. If you’re wondering if Matteo Caccia and the Matteo from Amnèsia are the same person, listen to this.


What can you do to prepare yourself for meeting him?

Lace up your trainers, put your headphones on and go for a run, listening to a few episodes of Una vita or Pascal as you go.


One final note: the hairy guy with the slightly confused facial expression who appears in the picture along with Matteo is his dog Ugo. He doesn’t attend Holden, but he wanted to be present somehow.


The Master of Biennio 2016-2018 was Andrea Guerra, one of the best managers in Italy. He has been executive president of Eataly since 1 October 2015.

The Master of 2017-2018 was Oscar Farinetti, the founder of Eataly and one of most innovative Italian entrepreneurs.


Giuseppe Mazza is the Master of 2018-2019, and he’s one of the most awarded Italian copywriters. He won most international awards: Cannes, Eurobest, New York Festival, Epica, ADCE. In 2008 he founds Tita, where he is in charge of strategy and creativity. He contributed to Cuore, Comix and Smemoranda, Il Venerdì di Repubblica. He has a blog on Doppiozero and he is the director of Bill, a quarterly magazine about contemporary advertising. In 2014 he copy-edites for Franco Angeli Bernbach: pubblicitario umanista, the world’s first collection of Bill Bernbach texts. In 2016, he also copy-edites Cose vere scritte bene, an anthology about the best copy-ads. He writes children’s books with Anna Cairanti. His first book for kids, Un foglio più un foglio, was shortlisted at CJ Picture Book ’09.


Here’s a list of people who dropped by College Brand New during the last years: Gino Ventriglia, Oscar Perli, Federico Favot, Max Giovagnoli, Diego Piacentini, Luca Scarlini, Alessandro Garofalo, Giuseppe Mazza, Luigi Centenaro, Edoardo Brugnatelli, Davide Longo, Luca Forlin, Sebastiano Pucciarelli, Suzy Gillett, Francesco Gavatorta, Giuseppe Stigliano