Twenty lessons from 2020: Finding our new normal

My last four blogs have looked at the lessons we can learn from 2020, focusing on Marketing, Business, The Economy and Society. What's very clear is that thousands of people, and hundreds of businesses, will sadly not survive, so we must look for green shoots and silver linings if we are to learn and to heal. This last year, horrendous as it was, provided a unique and incredible opportunity to get off the treadmill, [...]

Twenty lessons from 2020 – Part Four: Society

Following the first three parts of my 20 Lessons from 2020 - on marketing, business and the economy – part four is a slightly longer read, and looks at lessons 15 through 20, what we can learn from society.  The next and final part will summarise what we can all learn from 2020 and where we might go from here. 15. Zoom kept us together I couldn’t write a Top 20 without reference to Zoom. It’s been so prevalent, I [...]

Twenty lessons from 2020 – Part Three: The Economy

The first two instalments of my 20 Lessons from 2020 looked at marketing and business. This piece focuses on the lessons we can learn from the changes to our economy, highlighting three of the sectors, and the one demographic, that have been hardest hit. 11. Will streaming finally kill off the multiplex? In the late 80s, the death knell sounded for cinema as annual admissions hit an all-time low (around 54m p.a). But it [...]

Twenty lesson from 2020 – Part Two: Business

Following on from Part One, Lessons from Marketing, the second instalment of my 20 Lessons from 2020 takes a look at the business world. 7. Flexible Working For many, this is the Covid silver-lining. It’s certainly one of the ongoing changes to the workplace that’s been greatly accelerated by the pandemic. Flexible, remote working is generally positive and here to stay, but it is a delicate balancing act. For those with the space (and appropriate, [...]

M&S. The writing’s on the wall

It’s rare that I write a follow-up piece to a blog, but this one seems to be writing itself.  The willful deafness of M&S is a business-failure case study in the making. Back in July, I wrote a piece about how M&S were committing the cardinal sin of business, which is to ignore the views of their customers. It clearly touched a nerve, proving to be one of my most popular pieces and receiving [...]

To Tip Or Not To Tip? That Is The Question…

A recent survey claimed almost two thirds of Britons were “unwilling” to pay a service charge and many are confused about tipping etiquette. There’s worse news for bartenders, as 98% would never tip for a drink. Is it a cultural thing, or is it down to a generation growing up with fast food and takeaways? I know I always (inwardly) question exactly why I’m tipping my hairdresser or taxi driver, when all they’ve done is [...]

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 [...]

Survival Of The Fittest? Don’t Make Me Laugh!

The horsemeat scandal and an aggressive piece by Mark Ritson in Marketing Week (Kill the Weak: It's the Marketing Way) has again highlighted exactly what’s wrong with modern business practice.  A basic lack of responsibility and morality which has enabled companies to build and abuse extraordinary levels of power. I know Ritson loves to court controversy, but this time he’s stepped over the line.  His ridiculous assertion, when we are knee deep in another breach [...]

The Simple Way to Achieve an 11-Fold Increase in Your Business Growth

I came across an article the other day that stopped me in my tracks.  The latest BrandZ report by Millward Brown has discovered a simple way to achieve a 11-fold increase in business growth, but, amazingly, this tip didn’t seem to have reached the business news. So what was it?  Well, it’s actually quite simple.  Ensure there are women on your board. Whilst the number of mixed-sex boards is still a shamefully small minority, those boards [...]

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