Big brand dynamics: the rise of the super-platforms

Reading Time: 4 minutes Some thoughtful work by John Hagel in this article in which he suggests that economies are increasingly divided by two dynamics – those sectors that are scaling, and those that are shattering. As those dynamics become more radical, the pressures they exert on businesses are also becoming more extreme.

Measuring purpose. The next key business imperative

Reading Time: 5 minutes In the first article in this series on purpose, we looked at the nature of purpose and espoused the view that purpose has two facets: functional (where it describes what the company must get done); and intentional (where it articulates what the company would like to see change in the wider world.) In this article, […]

Why consumer brands are increasingly personal (and what that means for you)

Reading Time: 2 minutes This is the year of wearables it seems. Morgan Stanley are predicting shipments will top 70 million this year and grow to 248 million by 2017. But the thought that wearables themselves will feature in consumer and business spending across areas ranging from fashion and fitness, healthcare and insurance also points to escalation of another […]

Is brand differentiation still possible?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Short answer – yes it is, but not in the way it was. I haven’t met a brand manager yet who didn’t tell me that they had a differentiated product. I’m not surprised. It’s part of the job description of any brand owner to be marketing something that is disruptive, market-changing, blue-ocean, category-killing … 15 […]

Brand experiences as coincidences

Reading Time: 3 minutes Marketers can be surprisingly heavy-handed. The temptation, especially with big brands, is to thunder out answers that let customers know, in unequivocal terms, that they have been recognised. Think about the almost coarse way in which airlines greet their frequent fliers – with a bunch of features dressed up as privileges and a tiered recognition […]

Follow the brand insights

Reading Time: 3 minutes At his presentation at The Un-Conference, Chris Wren included this deceptively simple observation: “Follow the insights,” he suggested, “Wherever they may lead”. I was struck immediately by the extent to which brands don’t. Too often it seems research functions as something of a confirmation bias – reinforcing beliefs that are already deeply held.

Why we still need people to manage brands (even though machines can do all the work)

Reading Time: 3 minutes In 2000, an article in Wireless called into question whether machines were quite the panacea we hoped they were. It was possible, said the author, that this dependence on machines was not going to a good place.