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NXTLVL Experience Design

Episode 11: Martina Olbertova

Restoring The Meaning Of Luxury with Martina Olbertova, CEO Meaning.Global




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Martina Olbertova, CEO of Meaning.Global, author of the The Luxury Report and host of the Luxury Renaissance Show podcast and David Kepron discuss the evolution of the concept of luxury and how shifting cultural and economic pressures are a signal to restore the concept to its original meaning. What we buy is much more than the stuff, it’s about ideologies and deeper meaning. This is a fasten-your-seatbelt interview that’ll challenge much of what we think we know both meaning, value, consumerism and the concept of luxury.



The Luxury Renaissance Show:

The Luxury Report:



LinkedIn Profile:




Dr Martina Olbertova is the world’s leading expert on creating meaning and cultural relevance in business. She is a social scientist, brand advisor, cultural strategist and a semiotician on a mission to redefine the role of meaning in business. As a writer, speaker and cultural consultant, she educates brand and business leaders on how to be more culturally savvy and lead brands with meaning at the core.


​Martina is most interested in social and cultural change. She focuses on how the shifts in society redefine the perception of meaning in our culture today. In her work, she helps brands navigate the quickly evolving symbolic meanings in the world around us to help her clients understand how to capitalize on culture change. She works with brands from across all sectors to restore or redefine their meaning, reconnect to their essence and create real value that resonates with people in the context of culture and their needs. Her goal is to bridge the gap of meaning between brands and society to restore real value, trust, integrity and long-term growth and offset the ongoing crisis of meaning.

​With 15 years of international experience from the UK, Ireland, USA and Czechia, Martina has had a chance to work on diverse strategy, insight and innovation briefs for global brands, such as Kantar, Unilever, Vodafone, IBM, ICAEW, London Gatwick, British Land, KBC, Visa, Lloyds Bank, Bank of Ireland, Heineken or Pernod Ricard among many others.

​She holds a doctorate in Media Studies from the Charles University in Prague and also studied at Georgetown University (USA) and University of Glamorgan (UK). As a visiting lecturer, she taught Semiotics and Cultural Branding at universities in Czechia, Trinity College Dublin and spoke at conferences in London, Paris, Toronto, Istanbul, Manila, Shanghai, Amsterdam, Prague, Berlin, Slovenia & Morocco.

​Martina is a contributor to Branding Strategy Insider, a commentator for Forbes, WARC AdMap, Luxury Daily, Luxury Society, the author of The Luxury Report on Redefining The Future Meaning Of Luxury, and a fellow of the RSA.

​She is passionate about seeing the invisible layers of reality and tapping into unseen opportunities to unlock new value and meaningful growth, about humanising business, social change, semiotics, anthropology, behavioural science and all things culture. She is based in Europe and available for strategy, consulting, speaking and workshops worldwide.



“I have often said that a $5 paper bag from Bloomingdale’s and a $5000 bag from Louis Vuitton do the same thing.

They carry stuff.

And you could be pretty much guaranteed that at the bottom of each of those bags there’s going be some loose change, an eyebrow pencil, maybe some folded Kleenexes and maybe even a breath mint, with the wrapper taken off, that’s stuck in the corner.

There’ll be keys, a wallet, and a number of other personal effects.

But when it comes to what these bags do in terms of providing meaning and assigning values, they are entirely different.

The goods and services that we buy should do the things that they’re purported to do – get your teeth whiter, get you from point A to point B in a comfortable and safe car, they should make you feel better, stronger, happier, safer.

But beyond all those functional things – these functions or qualities that are the baseline that these products or services should deliver on – they deliver much more than that.

They deliver meaning and context and they establish values and relationships with the cohort of like-minded consumers.

In the end. meaningis what is ultimately driving purchases and brand affiliation.

I buy the products or services of one brand over the other and not just because of what it does, but because of how I feelwhen I know that I’m connected to the ideologies of that brand.

What brand relationships give me is much deeper. It’s emotional and adds to our understanding of the world we live in in a way that cultural institutions, religion, political parties, or in the way that Shaman and dancing around fires for thousands of years in song told stories about us and the world and what it meant to be in it.

It’s something that is foundational and that establishes who we are in the greater context of our family, our culture, our nation and maybe even some cosmological relationship to the universe.

The work of my guest on today’s episode of NXTLVL Experience Design has spent years focusing on this very idea.

Meaning in the relationships that people have to brands and what value is in a quickly moving and dynamically shifting consumer-buying-ecosystem.

Dr. Martina Olbertova, and her company Meaning.Global, helps brands and businesses adapt to the shifting cultural context of the 21st century to create meaning, cultural relevance and real value for people in these rapidly changing times.

Martina Olbertova advises brands and organizations on how to maximize value creation and meaningful growth from the point of view of where the businesses, culture and society are going today.

And…where we’re going today is different than the place we were going six months ago before COVID -19 gripped the globe and it’s probably hard to fully envision where we will end up in the future.

She partners with brand and business leaders to restore their true meaning and core essence and deliver real value in people’s lives.

Martina holds a Ph.D in Social Sciences and is th eFounder and CEO of Meaning.Global a consultancy that provides strategic intelligence for Meaning brands and businesses.

She ias a ‘Meaning’ expert,

A Cultural Strategist.

She is frequently published on Media, and other platforms as well as the author of the Luxury Report.

And now she is also the host of her own podcast “the Luxury Renaissance Show.”

I think this is a fasten -your-seatbelt interview that’ll challenge much of what we think we know both meaning, value, consumerism and the concept of luxury.”




MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

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