Refreshing your brand promise

Reading Time: 6 minutes If you need to change how you are seen in the market, refreshing your brand promise (and committing to what it now requires) could be a powerful and effective solution. It’s tempting to believe that great products will sell themselves. Or even that having a great product is enough. Producers and entrepreneurs sometimes believe their […]

Know thy brand enemy

Reading Time: 7 minutes It’s healthy to adopt a brand enemy. Handled well, having such an adversary works for your customers and your culture. Brand enemies are a powerful source of motivation and focus. It’s human nature to be united by the things we have in common and those we want to see change. But choose your enemy carefully […]

The invisible language

Reading Time: 3 minutes Mark’s friend Simon used to be a designer. One of his favourite lines was “Great kerning will save the world”. Chances are if you’re an art director or a designer or, if like us, you work with art directors and designers every day, you’ll find this amusing because it references a whole bunch of things […]

Challenging a brand category

Reading Time: 5 minutes Sectors have conventions. In fact, a brand category is really a set of vertically-held behaviours and attitudes. That’s what you’re really confronting when you set about challenging a brand category. As Paige Lansing Valle of Emotive Brand identifies in a white paper on brand category creation, “People hold on tightly to their established understandings of […]

Successful brand expansion

Reading Time: 5 minutes Several years ago, brand strategists Pete Canalichio and Mark set out to develop a framework for brands that were looking to expand. Both were intrigued to know why some brands were able to successfully grow within and beyond the sector they started in, while others struggled or even declined when they attempted to expand their […]

Managing unexpected brand success

Reading Time: 7 minutes Marketers are relentlessly judged on performance. Growth is everyone’s KPI. And yet, as every direct marketer knows, be careful what you ask for. One of the biggest challenges any brand can face is managing unexpected brand success. In this post: Dealing with unexpected success Too much, too little, or both Controlling unexpected brand interest Building […]

Setting your north star purpose

Reading Time: 6 minutes Keith Yamashita started it – companies and brands finding their northern star. At least, that’s where we first heard it. The term isn’t astronomical, it’s aspirational. Your north star purpose is an ideal of your company or brand that burns bright in front of you and your staff, that leads you on, that fires you […]

Brand affinity: 10 ways to build a truly likeable brand

Reading Time: 4 minutes Most brands would say they want to be as popular as possible, and many of them would see social media as a way to achieve that. But as David McInnis commented: “You can have all the social pieces in place but doing so does not make you likeable. Most companies that have a social strategy […]

Choose an emergent strategy

Reading Time: 4 minutes Do you remember when you were a child the first time someone made you a paper plane? If your recollection is anything like ours, you couldn’t believe how it left your hand and made its way across the room. Before long though, it lost height and velocity, and fell to the floor. Your strategy may […]