Words

More than a style guide: what goes into a Brand Bible?

I love launching new brands. At any given time, I’m helping multiple startups either conceive their brand identity from scratch, or rethink their current branding for traction and to position themselves more effectively. One of my favourite parts of this process is brainstorming all the elements of the core brand. This includes things like the

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Marketing solutions to problems that don’t exist?

Can you think of one thing that really revs you up? For me, it’s teaching. I’m a brand consultant. I’m an entrepreneur. But nothing beats the thrill of teaching. When I was teaching at the university level, I teamed up my students with several tech startups to make the course more relevant. The goal? To

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Do sustainability and real estate marketing mix?

Spirit Bay is a whole new kettle of fish when it comes to real estate marketing. The village, on the southern coast of Vancouver Island in Canada, was developed based on traditional principles of community design: Building light on the land, with homes following the contours of topography, Designing narrow roads with plenty of twists

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How to evaluate creative ideas

How do you evaluate creative ideas? In my 25 years of presenting creative ideas to clients, I’ve come across many methods – some intuitive, some analytical, and some are downright goofy.  Listen to this… One of my clients used to evaluate our presentations by how many sample designs we brought. Anything less than a foot-high

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Solar lighting: unleashing the brand

Solar lighting as a brand is beset by misperceptions. People still overwhelmingly believe the lights break, the batteries don’t last, the whole category is a cheap, Home Depot novelty. Winning hearts and minds over to solar may be a big challenge. But the reward for breaking down the misperceptions will be huge. Justin Taverna, co-founder

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How to build a top tech city brand

Quick, name two top tech cities. San Francisco, and, ummm… Exactly. Being a top tech city and being known as a top tech city are two quite different things. It’s an important difference, too. In a world where tech workers are in high demand, and cities are falling over themselves to secure tenants like Amazon

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The rise and fall of podcasting

To me, podcasting is a passion – I simply love bringing guests on who have an interesting perspective on brands, marketing and communication, and I love sharing their ideas with my audience. If someone gives me business because they enjoy my podcast, that’s icing on the cake. Nice, but not necessary. So it was very

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Effective outdoor advertising: the art of constraint

Alright, I’ll say it – this story on creating effective outdoor advertising is entirely self-serving. I’m writing it is because a partner and I are launching a new outdoor ad offering, putting ads on vending machines. These ads, by their nature, demand a disciplined, stripped back approach to stand out. Enough with the mea culpa

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