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. […]

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 […]

Do we need to rethink how brands use IP?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Provocative question: Why do IP law firms generally have such ugly identities? I suspect it’s because most of them are about protection rather than attraction. And it’s interesting isn’t it that, for two parties that should work closely together, brand and IP strategists tend to remain curiously separated.

Does corporate responsibility require more social creativity?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Some years back, Deborah Doane wrote a hard-hitting article about the “myth of CSR”. In it, she argued that CSR was a reaction rather than an action; that it was essentially a collective response to uprisings against the behaviours and morals of corporate institutions and that it had been encouraged by an historically weak NGO […]

Brand diversification: extend with caution

Reading Time: 2 minutes In the search for more income, many brands seem keen to broaden their mandate or redefine the sector they see themselves as now being part of. But the hunt for diversified income streams comes with its own list of dangers and the most obvious caution is this: don’t lose the plot. Don’t spread your brand […]

Resisting the temptation of assumptions

Reading Time: < 1 minute “I think we can safely assume …” Actually, I doubt it. You can conveniently assume. You can quickly assume. You can naively assume. But I can’t think of any brand that can safely assume. Because to safely assume how you will continue to compete, you must depend on what you’ve known, or feel you’ve known, […]

The Rule of Three: why profitable brands are usually very big or very small

Reading Time: 3 minutes This article from some time back by Jagdish Sheth and Rajendra Sisodia sheds fascinating light on the business case not just for expanding brands but also shrinking them as well. According to the authors’ “Rule of Three”, the quest for scale is quite literally a race first for dominance and then for survival. But if […]

6 influencers of brand prosperity

Reading Time: 7 minutes There’s an increasing temptation to see technology as the harbinger of hope and hazard. Every day, the trendy press and commentators on social media carry reports of the next “it” technology together with their recommendations on what every business needs to be doing to ride the wave. Many of these wunder-techs seem to live a […]

Business models as tensions

Reading Time: < 1 minute Jez Frampton once summarised great retailing as the perfect mix of finance, space and brand. I find that such an excellent crystallisation of the inherent tensions in that sector – the need to pack enough of the right branded product into an environment displacing the right number of square feet to deliver customers a great […]

Setting responsible goals

Reading Time: 2 minutes Far from increasing the daylight between itself and another brand, companies that are fixated on achieving an objective can do themselves, their brands and their reputations serious harm. Pushing the wrong boundaries can push a brand over the edge. This is of course anathema to conventional management theory which has preached for some time that […]