Words

Is it time your brand reinvented the ordinary?

Paul Lavoie, an old friend of mine, built an incredibly successful ad agency brand. Lavoie is a brand unto himself, as anyone who has ever seen him or heard him speak will attest. But when he retired to spend more time at the lake, I thought he was leaving the brand innovation game behind. Not

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Nike, Kaepernick, and the power of a bold brand

Nike launched one of its boldest brand statements yet on Labour Day. The campaign, featuring Colin Kaepernick and the rallying cry Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything brought in Nike’s 30th anniversary with a bang. There was outrage, as people burned their Nike shoes and tore the swooshes from their socks. There was

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Could you successfully market yourself on a plane?

I met an interesting gentleman a short time ago, while building out a lead gen campaign for one of my clients in San Francisco. He walked up to my desk at the client office, and politely asked what I was doing. I explained we were expressing his company’s brand on a landing page, in videos,

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How to evaluate creative ideas

In my 25 years of presenting creative ideas to clients, I have come across many methods of evaluation – some intuitive, some analytical, and some downright goofy. For example, one of my clients used to judge the power of an idea by how many layouts we brought. A foot-high stack of ads mounted on foam

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Can you speak your brand in 30 seconds?

People love to connect with other people. We’re wired to pick up subtle cues from their words and body language, which enable us to quickly determine if they’re trustworthy or not. It’s how we forge lasting bonds and community. When you’re building a brand, you want to convey your message in as trustworthy a way

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Putin and the brand of the authoritarian strongman

This week, politics took a turn for the surreal as US President Trump kowtowed before Russian President Putin in Helsinki. What is the allure of Putin? And why are we witnessing the proliferation of authoritarian leaders around the world? Looking behind the headlines, I saw unmistakable corollations between politicians like Putin, and powerful brands. Drawing this

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The selling power of trusted, familiar ideas

New ideas are hard to absorb. Especially today, when we feel besieged by a barrage of new. Our reaction, increasingly, is to duck and cover, hoping the storm will pass. I love marketing new ideas. But I’m also very aware of the fine line between ‘new and exciting’ and ‘new and terrifying’. If you want

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Inspired marketing: the manifesto brand

A focused brand brings simplicity and clarity to your marketing. Like a person, it tells you how it likes to dress, walk and talk. All you need to do is stay on track, and resist the urge to contort it into something new because you’re bored with success. But could your brand focus your entire

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