A recipe for marketing failure?

Poor, beleaguered BBC. Only our Eton Mess of a Government would think it needs bringing down a peg or two. The rest of us (and much of the world) think it’s a bloody amazing institution that we’re all very lucky to have (much like the NHS, but that’s another story). My TV license is half the price of my basic Sky subscription but provides immeasurably more information and entertainment every month. However, this week’s online [...]

Deep Fried Crickets and Beetroot Yogurt, Anyone?

One of the things I love most about working with the hospitality sector is their constant drive to innovate. Bars and restaurants are always on the hunt for the Next Big Thing, and even those extreme ideas, which start life in the scientific kitchens of chefs like Heston Blumenthal, eventually filter their way down to more everyday establishments. I’ve been looking through some trend reports to see what’s predicted for 2015. Baum & Whiteman’s excellent summary [...]

Time for a New Way of Working? (Part Two)

Back in 2011, I wrote about how I thought The Apprentice was really missing a trick. A golden opportunity to showcase all that’s great about teamwork and entrepreneurship replaced by a focus on bitching, back-stabbing and rewarding bad practice. The new series started this week and in its 10th year, we have the same old (enjoyable) nonsense. A bunch of sharks so focused on ‘the sale’ that they don’t care who they trample on in [...]

By |2017-01-04T19:51:29+00:00October 16th, 2014|Business Strategy & Development|0 Comments

Time for a New Way of Working? (Part One)

A blue skies, out of the box, brainstorm, yesterday. A recent house move prompted a long overdue clear out of my office. Leafing through a folder of old team ‘training’ documents from my days in corporate life, I was struck by how little impact these sessions had had on the day-to-day running of the business, being so disconnected from what we were actually trying to achieve as a team (“you’re a blue person, [...]

By |2017-01-04T19:51:29+00:00October 6th, 2014|Business Strategy & Development|0 Comments

It’s The Summer Holidays! Where Are We Going?

Now here’s a funny story.  Recently, I was discussing a brand strategy project with a client and one of their (non-marketing) board members - who wasn’t directly involved in the project.  As I outlined how a marketing strategy must to be aligned to the broader business strategy to be fully effective, he turned to his colleague and said, “What is our strategy, anyway?” Aside from the *ahem* obvious concern that a board member was questioning the existence [...]

RIP Orange, We Loved You. A Eulogy.

The future was bright... Now that EE have admitted they are 'phasing out' the Orange brand, I thought I'd repost this blog written in September 2012 - when EE were carefully denying any such plans. It's just unbelievably sad that corporate 'squabbles' and egos led to the demise of one of the most amazing, customer centric brands of the 20th century.... (Original Post 12/09/12). So yesterday, ‘Everything Everywhere’ started their about-turn on the [...]

And The Award Goes To…!

Some men, winning the best MEN award - This week, Twitter was abuzz with companies congratulating themselves for appearing in the annual ‘Times Top 50 Employers for Women’ survey. Any survey that takes equality in the workplace seriously is to be applauded, of course.  The list features a great mix of different businesses – not just the ones you might traditionally assume to be ‘female friendly’ – lots of Financial and IT companies [...]

It’s not the weather, it’s not the ads. It’s the customer experience.

So here we are again.  Time for the annual ‘retailers post disappointing Xmas trading results’ headlines.  This year, I’m not looking at the correlation between their results and their ad campaigns, I’m having a think about the relationship between their results and the in-store experience. With retail sales overall up 5.3%, and some brands delivering up to 20-30% growth online, it shows just how badly the poor performers have done. Over at M&S (down 2.1%), [...]

Sorry sisters, equal pay isn’t simply a feminist issue

In the news again this week is the recurring topic of the ‘gender pay gap’.  Yet again we read that men earn around 25% more than women, and their bonuses are, on average, double. If you read my last blog, you’ll know I wear my feminist colours proudly on my sleeve, but here’s the thing.  This isn’t simply a ‘women’s issue’.  It’s more a working parent issue, and I’m a little fed up with all [...]

How To Be A Good Client (aka Top Tips for Marketing Directors)

Having previously written about how agencies can improve their pitch performance, I thought it was high time I wrote a guide for clients. Working as an interim and consultant, I regularly see examples of (often unintentional) poor client practice, so here’s my Top Tips for Marketing Directors.  It's not a comprehensive list, just a starter for 10, so if you have any top tips (or horror stories) of your own, I'd love to hear them... 1. Employ [...]

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