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When was the last time you truly learned something at a conference? You may hear an interesting fact or a tweetable soundbite every now and then, but it's rare that one comes away truly impressed by a presentation.

Coming out of the IAB's Annual Leadership Meeting, I was blown away with how the organizers were able to so acutely frame the paradigm shift that's rocking our industry. The conference theme was "How to build a 21st century brand" and speakers included industry leaders such as Unilever's Chief Marketing and Communication Officer Keith Weed and Mars' President of Connected Solutions Leonid Sudakov.

However, the IAB also had several digitally native vertical brands (DNVB) present as well, including Away's Co-Founder and President Jen Rubio and Glossier's President and COO Henry Davis. It was clear that these DNVBs were at the IAB for a reason: They were there to show the industry what it looks like to build a 21st century brand.

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