Karen Connell – Keynote Speaker

Internationally Renowned Brand and Marketing Consultant

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Karen Connell Profile Picture

Specialist Subjects

  • Branding
  • Marketing
  • Problem solving
  • Building new operating models
  • Research and insights
  • Storytelling



  • English


Karen Connell is the founder of The SMALLmighty consultancy. The name SMALLmighty was born from Karen working for companies such as General Motors, Cadbury’s, Virgin and Schweppes where she witnessed first-hand how big business does (and doesn’t) work. In her words “after 16 years I was just exhausted watching really smart people including myself do dumb things for an almost pathological obsession for scale that obscured some fantastic opportunities”.

Karen’s ambition and commitment to her clients is to help restore some sense and inspiration to the world’s largest companies by helping them “think small”. With an enviable client list Karen now trains, consults and inspires organisations so they can become more agile, responsive and mighty. In markets including UK, Europe, China, Africa, America and her native Australia, Karen’s “think small” message is now resonating with Global Giants including Shell, Coca-Cola, Kimberley-Clark, Kraft, Cadbury, Merlin Entertainment, and Johnson and Johnson.

Karen Connell speaks passionately about the era of connection and personalisation and how mass markets have now become masses of niches, clusters of consumer groups and ‘friends’ who have new and unimaginable power. To compete in a market where the small is mighty, Karen explains 4 key principles required to attack or defend for growth:

1. The brand is the business
Brand management doesn’t stop at the marketing department’s door. For a brand to survive it must be truly relevant, ownable, meaningful and defensible throughout the entire organisation and route to market

2. New opportunities are naturally awkward
The aeronautical precision used to manage the company star is rarely appropriate for new and emerging brands. Innovation depends upon the organisation’s willingness and ability to embrace “awkward”

3. “Simplicity is Genius”
The problem for large companies is that the business of doing business is so complex and draining that defining and solving problems is stupendously difficult. Problem solving depends upon a clear and shared understanding of the question and an equally shared ambition to answer it.

4. People don’t buy what you do but why you do it
Products often take years to develop and yet in a staggeringly short time they can be copied – better, faster, cheaper. Large organisations are attuned to selling what they do however the truly differentiating and meaningful exchange comes from a brand’s motivations beliefs and values. Finding and sharing something authentic creates connection, and advocacy which in turn creates a real and lasting USP.

Approachable, entertaining and generous with real stories of hits and misses, Karen Connell speaks with memorable candour how to build brands and teams, and how to turn plans into stories people want to learn and re-tell so everyone is the hero.

Great for audiences wanting to challenge organisational sacred cows and looking to find and build new opportunities, Karen Connell is available for keynote speeches and workshops tailored to suit the audiences experience and interest.

Karen’s expertise includes branding, marketing, problem solving, research and insights, building new operating models, and storytelling. Industries she has particular expertise in includes FMCG, Energy (oil & gas), pharmaceuticals and automotive

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