Latest Posts


Great brands unearth

Reading Time: 3 minutes In his recent post on imputing, Tom Asacker used a single word that for me clinched the mystery and the power of great marketing, and explained why so much money is spent on communication that just inspires a change of channel. That word: unearth. Unearthing is about discovering. It’s about seeing for the first time […]

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 […]

Strategy, or resource budget?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Why have management teams reduced strategy to a compliance matter – something they go away to do once a year. Some have even invented a host of reasons why they can afford to take strategy off their list of tasks. “Strategy is a talk-fest.” “Strategy isn’t real.” “Strategy isn’t practical.” “Strategy is just a fancy […]

Breaking the habit of dissent

Reading Time: 2 minutes Blair sent me this great story about harnessing the power of habit from NPR. It includes an explanation by business reporter Charles Duhigg from his upcoming book “The Power Of Habit” of how companies have successfully altered people’s habits by tapping into what the author refers to as the “habit loop.” According to Duhigg, this […]

Does sponsorship actually work? Driving up likeability through association

Reading Time: 4 minutes Does the passion and commitment that fans feel for their favourite sports and events carry across to the sponsors who often help make such events financially feasible? Previously I’ve examined how advertisers have woven their participation into the very fabric of Superbowl Sunday and contrasted the sentiments that such engagement enjoys with other sponsorship arrangements […]

New article: 5 things to do when social media reacts to you

Reading Time: 2 minutes Imagine being flashmobbed. Suddenly hundreds of people run into your reception area with chocolates and flowers and sing a song in your honour. What would you do? Or a crowd appears at your company’s gate and each person there shakes their fist and jeers everyone entering the building. Then, just as quickly, they’re gone. It […]

The efficiency debacle

Reading Time: 2 minutes I’m continually fascinated by how much companies ignore context. And the irony of that of course is that this is happening at the very time when we have more access to information than ever before. Ask many companies what they are doing and they will happily tell you. Ask them what they are doing to […]

Why women are driving the rethinking of the sales model (amongst other things)

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s extraordinary how so much has been made of the emergence of China and India and of the impact of new technology on the world’s economic wellbeing – and yet a factor bigger than either of these dynamics has been largely ignored. The rise in the participation of women in the economy through full-time work […]

Always be branding

Reading Time: 2 minutes Somehow, it just doesn’t feel right. In fact, to some it feels tantamount to suicidal – spending money on your brand at the very point in time when the company feels like it can least afford to invest in “intangibles”. To all those people who’ve thrown that argument at me over the years, you’re right. […]

The new take on redundancy

Reading Time: 2 minutes In a world where we’ve never been so aware of being watched, everyone wants to “look busy”. Actions are good for that. Actions help everyone look like they’re working hard to get to the answers. And along the way it’s very easy to believe you are doing things right, and therefore you have a strategy, […]

Highs and lows: the new value equation in the social economy?

Reading Time: 3 minutes The dynamics of customer service are shifting. Not so long enough, the ultimate goal was to deliver customers “high tech, high touch” – a highly digital experience that was nevertheless comforting and personalised. Increasingly that framework is becoming a paradox I believe as brands sort new economic models for dealing with cross-channel customers. The current […]