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 […]

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. […]

The vital (and ironical) difference between brand and identity

Reading Time: 2 minutes Are there such things as brands in much of the Government sector? I don’t think there are. That’s a good thing. And here’s why. I believe brands fundamentally require a competitive environment in which to actually work. I’m sure there’s an economic model that explains why – I don’t know it. But the reason why […]


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 […]

What’s a brand strategist?

Reading Time: < 1 minute There are two answers. You can be exactly what the words describe. The person who decides what the branding is, what it represents, how it will work and how it will be communicated. It’s a key part of planning effective and inspiring communications. Or you can develop strategies for brands. You can be a person […]

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 […]

Seen and not herd

Reading Time: 3 minutes What’s the real cost of the sales seasons on the high street?  That’s the question posed and answered by Laurence Green in this well-considered article in The Telegraph. Green quickly hones in on what he sees as two of the biggest enemies of effective branding today: the impulse to discount; and the compulsion to appeal […]

Transformation secrets: Please don’t try to change your brand

Reading Time: 3 minutes Change is on everyone’s mind at this time of year – or more particularly people are preoccupied with resolutions of change. Hopes of transformation fly high. But most of us will lapse from whatever pledges we make, not because we don’t really want to change necessarily but because the habit of what we have done […]

Market leadership: you can’t lead as a brand if you follow another brand.

Reading Time: 3 minutes Looks to me from this article like Samsung are going down the same competitive route as others before them in their battle with Apple. They’re looking to out-do them and to build a reputation and loyalty for themselves that replicates the following that Apple has. Here’s the thing. As soon as any brand does 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 […]

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 […]