Robert F. Brands

Innovation Practitioner, President and Founder of Brands & Company, LLC & Innovation Coach


Robert F. Brands, President and Founder of Innovation Coach, is a catalyst for creating and improving innovation and product development processes, which he demonstrated during his impressive career. His message that innovation is the lifeblood of business is extremely timely for us. His impressive experience includes bringing breakthrough products to market and visionary product development processes. 
For decades, Robert has consistently delivered on his pledge “to bring at least one new product per year to market”. This has resulted in double digit profitable growth and shareholder value. Brands is President & CEO for Private Equity funded VariBlend Dual Dispensing and prior to this role he was President for Lindal Americas covering four plants in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the U.S.

In addition, Robert has acted as Managing Director of the Personal Care Division of Rexam Plastics. This company employs over eleven thousand people at its 25 worldwide sites with annual sales reaching approximately one billion dollars. Before Airspray NV’s acquisition by Rexam, Robert served as CEO of the Dutch company and President of the US company. Airspray NV was a worldwide leader in non-aerosol foam dispensers. It was under his stewardship that Airspray NV created the international market for instant foam dispensing (foaming hand soap etc.).

A native of The Netherlands, Robert received a B.S. in Business Administration from HTS Eindhoven. He is a member of Vistage, Tulane University President’s Parent Council. Robert currently serves on the Board of Netherlands American Community Trust.

President & CEO

Robert was President and CEO of Airspray, the Dutch company that created the technology that transforms liquid soap into instant foam.

Launch New Products

He held marketing management positions with GTE/Sylvania Lighting and Philips, where he led the launch of new products and package design.



1 Billion Dollars in Sales

He was Managing Director of the Personal Care Division at Rexam Plastics, a division that represents $1B in sales and has over 11,000 employees.

International Trade Advisor

He was International Trade Advisor to the U.S. for the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce.



800 Million- Dollar Unit

He was Vice President of Marketing at Kohler Company, where he led marketing for Kohler Plumbing Fixtures, an $800 million-dollar unit.

10-Step Program for Corporate Survival

With the release of his book, Robert’s Rules of Innovation: a 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival, he is traveling the globe to share his expertise and educate businesses on how to achieve growth through innovation.

Author & Regular Blog Contributor

Robert contributes to the following blogs:

InnovationCoach Blog

Robert’s Rules of Innovation Blog

Innovation Excellence Blog

Huffington Post Business Blog

Chief Executive Net


Innovation Excellence Top Innovation Articles

# 1 Top Innovation Articles on Innovation Excellence 2013

# 24  Top Innovation Articles on Innovation Excellence 2015


Innovation Excellence Top 40 Bloggers 

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2015 #15

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2014 #17

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2012 #22

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2011 #22


Author: Robert's Rules of Innovation (Wiley, 2010)

Author: Robert’s Rules of Innovation II: The Art of Implementation (Bascom Hill, 2015)


Workshop Facilitator and Key Note Speaker since 2010

Robert is a business leader with a passion for innovation that he projects into businesses. He has achieved significant global growth by developing clear business strategies and ensuring the focus remains on delivering the mile-stone goals year on year. As a thought leader in innovation, his strategies focus on creating the cultures and systems that generate a competitive advantage that cannot be imitated or copied.


Nic Hunt, Senior Director of Marketing & Business Development

We hired Robert to conduct a 2-part innovation workshop at our annual company event. He was exceptionally knowledgeable about the topic and did a great job of keeping attendees engaged. I left the workshop with lots of notes and valuable ideation techniques that I plan to use with my team as we begin planning for 2014.


Amanda Kiely, Senior Marketing Manager

We have been organizing Innovation workshops with Robert for over 4 years, always with very good success. Excellent speaker and with strong operational experience. Robert transfers his strategic vision with passion and charisma.


Davide Dardanello, Deputy HR Director

Robert is a true thought leader in the field of innovation. He brings extensive experience managing teams and building environments that foster innovation. He is always methodical and extremely well organized. Robert has helped many companies reshape their approach by making innovation a part of their core efforts.


Samuel Cabral, Software Engineer 

“We hired Robert to conduct a 2-part innovation workshop at our annual company event. He was exceptionally knowledgeable about the topic and did a great job of keeping attendees engaged. I left the workshop with lots of notes and valuable ideation techniques that I plan to use with my team as we begin planning for 2014.”


Amanda Kiely, Strategic Marketing & Communications Professional
With Digital Technology Expertiser

“We have been organizing Innovation workshops with Robert for over 4 years, always with very good success. Excellent speaker and with strong operational experience. Robert transfers his strategic vision with passion and charisma.”


Davide Dardanello, Director, Specialist Programs,
Training Management and Administration

“Your participation as one of our Featured Speakers at our 24th Indian Wells Valley Economic Outlook Conference held on February 10, 2011 was highly received by our Chamber members, the City of Ridgecrest Council and City staff, and the community members that attended. Your presentation on “Innovate to Thrive” was timely, upbeat, and gave the audience a necessary awareness of how they can apply your “Robert’s Rules of Innovation” as a strategy to develop an innovative business culture to meet their individual business goals in providing products and services to the Ridgecrest, China Lake and surrounding communities.

I strongly recommend “Innovate to Thrive” to all Chamber of Commerce’s of both small and large cities. Both small and large business members of a Chamber will take away pertinent ideas to help them innovate through local and global economic changes that are occurring and will continue to occur in the short and long terms.”


Jay Chun, President of the Board of Directors,
Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce

“Robert Brands was a speaker for our global conference general session and led a separate workshop for our team leaders. We were very pleased with the results. His General Session presentation detailed the competitive need and urgency to innovate.  He inspired our team to think big and innovatively. The workshop was very positive with great energy – it defined innovation and included concrete exercises that resulted in new ideas, collaboration and innovative thought.  He helped break down barriers to stimulate ideas for new relevant products. Even the skeptics were swayed into enthusiasm.”


Stanton Green, Director, CEO
OTR Global

“Robert’s message was timely, inspiring and right on target. Our industry faces unprecedented competition and increased pressure to generate profits. “Robert’s Rules of Innovation” will provide valuable direction. Although only a few days have passed since Robert’s message was heard, I’ve already received comments from members about ideas for new products. PFA members had good things to say about Robert’s presentation, including, “Where did you find such a great speaker?” I thank Robert for making our trade association management team look very good. I especially appreciate the time spent to learn about our industry and the way Robert fine tuned his message for the members of our trade association.”


Robert J. Luedeka, Executive Director
Polyurethane Foam Association

“As a keynote speaker, Robert delivered an amazing performance that both engaged and encouraged the audience to take action to use his ‘Rules of Innovation’ to create long-term, sustainable competitive advantages for their employers and clients. He flawlessly handled every question and took the time even after his presentation to further elucidate his ideas and concepts. Robert is truly committed to learning and applying innovation principles to today’s business world to ensure success in the future. I highly recommend Robert and we would be delighted to have him speak at our next Innovation Summit.”


Jameel Lalji, President Queen’s MBA
First Annual Innovation Conference Queen’s School of Business

“Robert’s presentation to my BIG Breakfast group scores a 10 out of 10. This group of entrepreneurs is tough to impress but he sure did. The collective attention span of this group is normally about 1 minute. He kept them engaged for the full hour. I think the difference is that he has walked in their shoes. They love learning from someone with a record of proven business results. Very very happy. Thank you again”


Chris Roehm, Focus Planning GroupProfessional
BIG Breakfast Series

“Robert was a presenter at the recent Open Innovation Conference which took place in Orlando. Prior to the event, He was instrumental in the development of the overall conference content which touted as outstanding by most of it’s 100+ executive attendees. Robert played a crucial role in presenting at the event when one of our original presenters fell very ill and could not attend at the last minute. In addition to being tremendous well prepared, professional and supportive in coming to plate with almost no notice, Robert delivered content that was timely and of high value to the entire delegation. His presentation received excellent feedback and I would recommend him as a presenter and as business partner to anyone who asked…”


Melissa Morrissey, Conference Director
Open Innovation Summit
World Research Group

“Robert Brands was a leading speaker on Innovation at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the South Florida Manufacturers Association. Robert’s knowledge and ideas were well received by the membership. In uncertain times Innovation is the key to a company’s success! Thank you Robert!”


June Wolfe, SFMA President

  • Very interesting and useful. Clear, easy to understand with lots of examples and real references. Fantastic, on the top
  • Gave me a whole new perspective on innovation.
  • Very interesting technics and tools which directly can be used. Very pragmatic for all type of functions, from HR up to Production and Sales & MKT
  • Very good exchange about the 10 types of innovation as well about the 10 Robert´s rules of innovation
  • Excellent learning tool to distinguish between product and general innovation within the business.


Feedback from recent “Innovate to Thrive” Workshop

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