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 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, [...]

Twenty lessons from 2020 – Part One: Marketing

Well here we are, the start of a brand new year, although for many of us the only evident change is the number on the bathroom scales…  Ever the optimist, I wanted to look back at some of the events of last year and see what lessons we can learn as we head bravely into 2021.  So here’s part one of my 20 Lessons from 2020, starting with a game on my home turf, marketing. 1. [...]

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 [...]

Did the Labour Party deliberately hire an interim?

Since his election, hundreds of articles have been written about Jeremy Corbyn's  electability and whether he even wants the top job.  But I wonder if the Labour Party, understanding the need for dramatic change after Ed Miliband's performance, have  actually appointed an interim... It takes a brave organization to employ someone completely different from the usual hire, but as Einstein once said, doing the same thing you’ve always done and expecting a different result is the [...]

By |2017-01-04T19:51:26+00:00September 29th, 2015|Interim Management|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 [...]

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%), [...]

Marketing to Women Needs More Than ‘Just The Facts, Ma’am…’

My December blog took a look at the big retailer's Christmas ads and came to the conclusion that the ones that misfired did so because they didn't correctly connect with women.  Not surprisingly, as women are the major organisers - and spenders - at Christmas, this almost directly correlated to those who subsequently posted poor trading results. This topic is high on my agenda at the moment as I’m working with a brand that is [...]

Go to Top