June 8, 2017

I’ve always loved the FedEx logo.


I know to ‘normal’ people that’s a bit of an odd thing to say. You really have to have worked in or near design to love a logo.


I’m not even a FedEx customer. Maybe once a year at most. So it’s not like I have any great connection with the brand.


But I still love the logo. The reason is I can remember the time wh...

May 18, 2017

Have you heard the word? Somebody took out Brand Loyalty. Body hasn't been found yet, but it won’t be. This was professional.


No one knows who did it. Or how. Or why. All we have is what we’ve read on LinkedIn and those wise guys seem pretty sure of themselves. Don’t they always?


Only one thing for it. Round up the usual suspects. Get them in a line-up.


May 4, 2017

Honestly, I’ve tried really hard to get my head round the idea of a brand 'purpose'.


It hasn’t been easy because it’s like a moving target. Just when you think you understand what one person means by a ‘purpose’, someone else comes up with a different meaning. It’s like ‘insight’ all over again.


The whole thing seemed to start off in a couple of places....

April 20, 2017

You don’t get to meet them very often in research groups. 18-34’s are almost always in the sample because it’s kind of the law you have to talk to Millenials. 35-50’s too, because that’s family and lifestage is still as big a divide as ever.


Then 50+ is post-family. The lost souls of the newly abandoned or the gay abandon of the newly free. Or more like...

March 30, 2017

There’s no doubt which need has the most heroic-sounding definitions. Knowing your own mind. Going your own way. Holding your course. Keeping your nerve. Sticking to your guns. Staying true to yourself.


Independence is about strength of will. It’s the maverick in all of us, the part that doesn’t worry too much what others think.


Where you find the need,...

March 16, 2017

I think it was Benny, but it might have been Björn. The one with the beard, although now they both have one. Married to Frida with the red hair, not Agnetha with the blond, who was married to Björn. Although no one’s married to anyone anymore.


Anyway, the pianist. I watched an interview with him years ago, where he was asked how you write a song as brilliant a...

March 2, 2017

You don’t hear so much about brand essences these days. You still see them at the top or in the middle of brand models. But no one seems to talk about them any more.


Funny, because they used to be all the rage. The essence was the crowning glory of every brand presentation. “Because in the end, when everything else is stripped away, what this brand is all abou...

February 16, 2017

Sometimes you’re working on a needs research project and you get this sense that something’s missing.


The jigsaw is falling nicely into place - how people see the world you’re in, the central need, the different expressions of that need that you’ve found, how those needs explain the different behaviour, where the brands all sit.


But you stand back and l...

February 2, 2017

Imagine you have a snack brand. And Mark here is one of your potential consumers. He doesn’t buy your brand currently. How would you segment this world to help you get to him?


Mark is 32. He lives with his partner, Sophie, in Reading. They have a 3-year-old daughter called Molly and a dog called Bill. Bill’s his mate. He’s the only one in the house who’ll watc...

January 19, 2017

The best brief I ever got when working in advertising was on Felix catfood. I was at BMP and the client was Quaker.


At the time the ‘wet’ catfood market was dominated by Whiskas with 50% share and it had been like that for years. Felix had reached 6.5% but its position was weak.


So a relaunch was planned including, for the first time, advertising. The p...

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