Words

The LinkedIn ‘Cocktail Intro’

There are few moments that make you lose your faith in humanity more than a board of trade networking lunch. The rubber chicken entree is bad. The cornball speaker (“And now, put your hands together for The Power of You author…”) is worse. But the absolute pinnacle of awfulness is that 5 minute break after

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Fear, Halloween, and Brand Thinking

I love connecting tangents that don’t obviously belong together. That’s why, in honour of Halloween, I did a bit of research into the correlation between fear and brand thinking. Crazy? Actually, I was surprised by how MUCH correlation there was. If you want the whole story, check out this interview. I spent an hour on

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A great brand positioning shortcut

If you market for a living, you understand brand positioning is a complex process where you read the tea leaves on your brand, your competitors’ brands, and (most important) consumer preferences… then bring everything together in a form that gives you a competitive advantage. If you don’t market for a living, brand positioning probably just

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Ten-ish slides that will define your brand

A short time ago, I was called in to help a team of university students in an Entrepreneurial Business Case Competition – ostensibly as a brand guy who could provide guidance on getting their messaging straight. When I started working with them, however, I saw a fundamental breakdown in business basics. One student – whose

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Everything you wanted to know about positioning, but were afraid to ask.

Some brand issues never lose relevance, never go out of fashion, never get ‘solved’ – positioning is at the top of that heap. No matter how shiny your technology, lack of proper positioning can still sewer your brand. It’s a blend of art and science, only somewhat quantifiable, and it has befuddled businesspeople since the

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Is your advertising newsworthy?

The problem with most advertising is that it’s done the same way doting parents describe their kids – with the mistaken belief that everyone cares how pretty / smart / really good at banal s**t  they are. Spoiler: nobody cares. In fact, this major study confirmed that consumers wouldn’t notice if 75% of brands disappeared

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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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