The new brand strategy dichotomy: likeable or cult

Reading Time: 2 minutes Some excellent points raised by Carol Phillips in her post The Hostile Brand Strategy on Branding Strategy Insider. I’ve said for some time that the middle market is the muddle market – and that a more polemic approach by brands is, in my view, inevitable.

Is your brand an option or the alternative?

Reading Time: 2 minutes My favourite saying is “Life is not a popularity contest”. It’s a maxim easily forgotten in these days of convergence. But in my opinion it’s more true in business than anywhere, and most true in terms of how companies need to think about their branding. Every brand should be actively looking to put distance between […]

Define your terms of brand, then your terms of business

Reading Time: < 1 minute So many companies build their brand around their business. They establish the tangible assets and processes and look to extrapolate the intangible value of that as brands for their buyers. They transit in other words from the physical to the emotive.

Rising above the noise

Reading Time: < 1 minute It’s hard to develop a brand. It takes enormous effort, huge willpower, confidence, resources, patience and a thick skin. You’ll face doubt, distractions and problems. It’s gruelling …. But none of that is the toughest bit. Far from it. The most intimidating aspect is actually building a brand that consciously and clearly stands apart from […]

Brand strategy: the visible and the invisible

Reading Time: < 1 minute Tactics are like torchlight. You switch them on, they show you a way forward, you act on them there and then. They’re logical, reactive, contemporary. Your customers and your competitors probably see and react to them in exactly the same light. Great strategy is like starlight. What you’re seeing coming out of a company now […]

Tell your customers the history of your attitude

Reading Time: < 1 minute Isn’t this such a great thought? “Don’t build a product, then try to market it.  Instead, build a customer attitude, then build a product to match that attitude.” It’s part of an absorbing and insightful article by Graeme Newell on why you shouldn’t focus your advertising around your product.

Building a better business case for brand internally with CFOs

Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s an old bias but a telling one. Finance people accuse marketers of only spending money. Marketers accuse finance teams of only counting it. It’s another re-run of the analytical versus emotive debate yet it has the potential to carry deep bias into decision-making. As Brad VanAuken observed in this article, “I have found that […]

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.

Brand actions are not the same as brand strategy

Reading Time: 2 minutes Actions are not strategies. Great strategies change more than where you are, what you call yourselves, what you offer. That’s Michael Porter’s thought. Great brand strategies re-invent the emotional context within which your brand competes against others in the marketplace. That’s mine. A great brand strategy redefines the relationship that people have with a brand […]