Latest Posts


Participation versus disparity for brands

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s tempting to think that talent and tenacity are all your brand needs to succeed. But the biggest challenge every brand faces is disparity: the ability to forge a profile in their sector that stands them apart from everyone participating around them. Right now, across the world, hundreds of different people are opening a coffee […]

Should your brand commit to a deliberate strategy?

Reading Time: 10 minutes A deliberate strategy is one that locks your brand into an approach for the foreseeable future based on clear data and harnessing the resources of the organisation to make that happen. It is a highly intentional strategy – motivating people to come together and work, in harmony, to accomplish defined goals. But is it the […]

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 […]

Strategic goal setting, water and bicycles

Reading Time: 4 minutes Here’s a salutary little tale about strategic goal setting. It’s no news that there is a global water crisis and that large corporations, which consume 40% of all the water used in the developed world, have an important role to play in being part of the solution. Which brings us to the dichotomy. On the […]

Taking the time to build a sustainable brand

Reading Time: 10 minutes On the face of it, building a sustainable brand looks relatively straight-forward. After all many brands already claim to be doing this. That’s both good news – and misleading. Taking the time to build a sustainable brand requires patience, focus and an ability to rethink priorities. It’s inspiring to see brands addressing their environmental impact, […]

Why linking strategy, culture and stories matters

Reading Time: 5 minutes It’s tempting to ignore linking strategy, culture and stories. After all they seem like different things, and address different aspects of bringing a brand to life. At first glance, strategy focuses on where the business needs to get to. Culture talks to how you bring out the best in people. Stories are how audiences receive […]

How to identify and meet unmet customer needs

Reading Time: 10 minutes Many people believe that an innovation will sell itself; that if they present a solution that is well crafted, brimming with features and solves the problem they have identified, then they will enjoy success. But catering to unmet customer needs, while potentially lucrative, is nowhere near as simple as just presenting buyers with something new. […]

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 […]