Words

BrandDIY 2: Yup, you can be a #1 brand.

If you read my last post, you’re probably here to pick up more tips on DIY brand building. If you haven’t, let me bring you up to speed on the grand brand experiment underway. I’ve been helping clients build powerful brands for over 25 years. Today, more than ever, entrepreneurs with small to medium sized

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BrandDIY 1: What will your brand be when it grows up?

Over the course of 25 years of helping clients build effective brands, I’ve discovered a huge, yawning gap in the market: commonsense brand building techniques aimed at entrepreneurs who want to do it themselves. Which, if you think about it, pretty much covers all of us. With that in mind, I launched the BrandDIY Playbook

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The importance of brands in a lowest-bid-wins world

Brands have been with us since the dawn of humanity. Even in prehistoric times, things like face paint and feathers in our hair identified our tribe. As our world became more complex, the importance of brands steadily increased. A red cross on a white tunic spoke volumes about the faith and politics of a crusader.

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What goes into a Brand Bible?

I love launching new brands. In fact, I’m currently helping four startups either conceive their brand from scratch or rethink their brand as they start to get traction and need to position themselves more effectively. One of my favourite parts of the exercise is brainstorming all the elements of the core brand – things like the

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Hmmm, I wonder how many people I can annoy with this advertising?

The point of advertising is to engage people, in order to sell them stuff. Pretty simple. Yes, there are a number of ways to engage. You can make them smile, make them laugh, pull their heartstrings, even stir outrage that drives them to action. As a general rule, however, annoying people into buying your product isn’t

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The implosion of media. Who saw it coming?

Ian Gill is the author of No News Is Bad News. He’s an experienced journalist, documentarian, entrepreneur and catalyst for boundary-breaking media. According to Gill, legacy media has completely missed the boat when it comes to public discourse. Instead of dwelling on new technology and hedge-fund backed expansion as a panacea, Gill believes we need to rethink the

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Brexit, Trump, and the Brand of Over Simplicity

A brand is designed to simplify complex concepts. But in the real world, simplification isn’t always smart. Britain voted with a simple  Yes / No referendum to abandon membership in the EU, a partnership that had a multidimensional, complex impact on the lives of ordinary citizens – an impact that is just now coming to

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Tim Hortons: a cautionary tale of bean counters and brands.

A recent Globe and Mail story described the ‘brutal’ transformation of beloved Canadian restaurant brand Tim Hortons. The cause of the messy shift? Budget cuts by Tim’s new owners – Brazilian holding company 3G Capital and Restaurant Brands International (RBI). I was invited by Mark Brennae of CFAX radio to chat about this disruption. If

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