Latest Posts


Positioning your brand through memories

Reading Time: 2 minutes I think it’s healthy for there to be a direct relationship between memory and frequency for a brand. The more often a customer comes into contact with your brand, the more consistent the memory needs to be. That’s because brands that frequently interact with their customers have the power of habit on their side. In […]

Volume is nothing like intensity

Reading Time: 2 minutes Speculation in recent days about what a “fan” is worth to a business is a timely reminder to separate volume from intensity. Many commentators in the social universe it seems to me remain beguiled by quantity. The more liked you are, they seem to think, the more valuable you are potentially. Not so, of course. […]

The vital (and ironical) difference between brand and identity

Reading Time: 2 minutes Are there such things as brands in much of the Government sector? I don’t think there are. That’s a good thing. And here’s why. I believe brands fundamentally require a competitive environment in which to actually work. I’m sure there’s an economic model that explains why – I don’t know it. But the reason why […]


Reading Time: 2 minutes At dinner the other night, the conversation turned to carpet ads. Why, someone asked, do retailers keep advertising carpet ads when most people only buy carpet once every 7 – 10 years? Because, they don’t all buy them at once, I reminded them. A brief explanation of interruption theory followed. Because so many retailers have […]

What’s a brand strategist?

Reading Time: < 1 minute There are two answers. You can be exactly what the words describe. The person who decides what the branding is, what it represents, how it will work and how it will be communicated. It’s a key part of planning effective and inspiring communications. Or you can develop strategies for brands. You can be a person […]

Finding an obsession

Reading Time: 2 minutes When you apply the concept of provenance to brands, it becomes a concept centred on systematically and competitively ‘localising’ what you’re about rather than diversifying to try and meet the generalised needs of the wider world. So it’s about having a narrowcast brand: one focused to the point of obsession on a specific area of […]

Turning your brand into the authority

Reading Time: 2 minutes In this article in Business Week, Howard Schultz talks about how the mighty Starbucks brand lost its way – mistaking aroma rather than coffee for the core of its business and embraking on a strategy that saw it shift seriously off-course. The problem, as Schultz explains, is that by the time the company realised that […]

Brand loyalty: do you have customers or passengers?

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s amazing who we forget and how quickly. I don’t remember any of the people on the bus last week. Who did I ride home with last Thurday? My mind goes blank. It’s nothing personal – it’s simply that I have no reason to remember them. Or they me. Most brands have the same levels […]

Does efficiency jeopardise brand?

Reading Time: 2 minutes In the hunt for more streamlined businesses that are less resource intensive, how real is the risk that brands are actually putting people off dealing with them? When does an efficient process become so rationalised that it loses its humanity and therefore its appeal? On the face of it, brand and efficiency have similar objectives. […]

Absolute quality loses to perceived quality

Reading Time: 2 minutes This post by James D. Roumeliotis and Violetta Ihalainen of Whitefield Consulting, absolutely challenges my worldview as an unabashed meritocrat, but includes some fascinating points – particularly that absolute (objective) quality is far less important for consumers in their decisions about brands than perceived quality. As the authors explain, “perceived quality” is your customers’ view […]