We need to talk

Reading Time: 3 minutes What have you got to say for yourself? We were talking about this today as we discussed how and when a brand should best take a stand. Go hard or go soft? Soft. Taking a stand this way is about clearly and simply stating the things that you cherish and value as a brand, in […]

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. […]


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]