Latest Posts


Will they or won’t they?

Reading Time: 2 minutes So often it seems to me brand owners hope to bring about change rather than planning to bring about change. They see persuasion as an awareness issue rather than as a behavioural issue – often because they regard their product as the obvious choice that somehow, miraculously will spark a “road to Damascus” moment as […]

Getting real value from your CSR

Reading Time: 3 minutes This thought-provoking article from McKinsey looks at what really drives value in corporate responsibility. As the authors point out, CSR continues to influence how companies and brands go about their business: carbon footprint, ethical and greener supply chains, volunteer programmes and philanthropy are now all par for the course. We all know that not being […]

Seen and not herd

Reading Time: 3 minutes What’s the real cost of the sales seasons on the high street?  That’s the question posed and answered by Laurence Green in this well-considered article in The Telegraph. Green quickly hones in on what he sees as two of the biggest enemies of effective branding today: the impulse to discount; and the compulsion to appeal […]

Transformation secrets: Please don’t try to change your brand

Reading Time: 3 minutes Change is on everyone’s mind at this time of year – or more particularly people are preoccupied with resolutions of change. Hopes of transformation fly high. But most of us will lapse from whatever pledges we make, not because we don’t really want to change necessarily but because the habit of what we have done […]

Human marketing

Reading Time: 2 minutes This highly informative post from James D. Roumeliotis on Customer Devotion introduces to me the expression “human marketing” which I am much taken with. Not only does it speak to the necessity for everyone within the organisation to think and act like a marketer, it’s also a reminder that, ultimately, people deliver some of our […]

For your information: why so many brands are not listened to

Reading Time: 3 minutes The insurance company wrote to me again. That can only mean it’s a bill or a change in policy. Either way it’s more expensive – literally, because I’m paying more, or metaphorically because I’m getting less for the money I do pay.

Participation versus differentiation

Reading Time: 2 minutes Right now, across the world, hundreds of different people are opening an office, a restaurant, a social media company … They’ve sunk everything they have into it. They’ve thrown their life at it. It’s what they’ve always wanted to do, and every one of them and the people who has supported them hopes and believes […]

Market leadership: you can’t lead as a brand if you follow another brand.

Reading Time: 3 minutes Looks to me from this article like Samsung are going down the same competitive route as others before them in their battle with Apple. They’re looking to out-do them and to build a reputation and loyalty for themselves that replicates the following that Apple has. Here’s the thing. As soon as any brand does this, […]

“What are we going to do?”

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s been said on too many occasions that actions speak louder than words. Said so often in fact, that many brands today seem to have a disregard that borders on disdain for taking the time to really think through what could make them outstandingly competitive. In today’s manic, results-driven world, fewer and fewer people, it […]

Sense and Serotonin

Reading Time: 2 minutes Recently in response to a post by David Meerman Scott about the need to apply left and right brain thinking to content creation, I suggested in the comments that brands should apply that same approach to most aspects of marketing. As I pointed out at the time, blending right and left brain signals is critical […]

Rethinking the response

Reading Time: 2 minutes There’s a simple, human reason why behaviours happen time and time again in my view.  We are creatures of habit and familiarity. It is much more comforting to keep hammering away at what we know than it is to stop, reappraise the problem and completely redesign the playbook. Relentless speed and ubiquitous impatience have spawned […]