Every brand must dream

Reading Time: < 1 minute Brands need to inspire, because that optimistic prognosis of what lies ahead holds real opportunities in terms of engaging and involving people. Belief humanises brands. Which is why every brand must dream. Optimism aligns directly with our worldview. In other words, what we look forward to is a world that is most like the world […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Story myths

Reading Time: < 1 minute Great brands have great stories. But a great story doesn’t automatically create a great brand. For years we’ve told ourselves a story about what story is and how it works: develop a product; build a story around that product to give it value; sell that product at a greater degree of profit. We’ve allowed ourselves […]

Words always have a wider context

Reading Time: 2 minutes [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzgzim5m7oU] Perhaps you’ve seen this video about the power of words, perhaps not. The storyline itself may have been attributed to David Ogilvy, nevertheless, it is a powerful story that offers critical insights into how we should think about words and their influence in this age of storytelling. The clear intention is to demonstrate that […]

Don’t just provide reasons to buy. Change the reason for buying.

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s tempting when your product all but parallels that of your competitors to be drawn into a meaningless war: a fight for market share that revolves around devaluing (looking to price the other guy out), trivial pursuit (nit-picking on features in a bid to show technical advantage) or overshadowing (spending up large in mainstream media […]

Brand language is volatile

Reading Time: 3 minutes Linguists will tell you that language is constantly evolving and that a number of factors drive the speed and extent of those changes. Language changes as it is passed on; it adapts to movements in society and technology; it reflects shifts in social attitudes as a result of social, economic and political pressures. In the […]

What makes a great brand story?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Storytelling is of course very much an idea whose time has come. And brands are increasingly using story formats to express themselves and to explain their place in the market and the world. But, if I may reference Sheryl Sandberg, what gives a story “lean-in” value? In this 2012 TED talk, filmmaker Andrew Stanton explains […]