Mimicry Is Not A Strategy

Tweet   Quick show of hands if you’ve ever heard this in an off-site, Planning or Strategy meeting. “We want to be the Apple of X” “Can you give me a NIKE-style version of Y?” The reference point is always the latest envogue organization, talked-about creative piece or Fast Company magazine article. For a while […]

HR versus Marketing – The Next C-Suite Confrontation

Tweet   This post originally appeared on Branding Strategy Insider As business has become more complex and more digitally-driven, the traditional roles and responsibilities of the C-suite have become increasingly interwoven and even confrontational. In recent years C-suite titles have proliferated beyond all recognition and spurred many debates – Do organization’s really need a Chief […]

“Do, THEN Say” – Action Is The Cardinal Business Rule

Tweet   It is Monday April 24th 2017 and I’m anxiously waiting for which poor organization is going to run headlong into the societal wood-chipper known as social media this week. After all, we’ve had almost an uninterrupted six weeks of some poor CEO or beleaguered CMO doing the Texas-two-step when their organization has publicly […]

Corporate Culture In An Age Of Unicorns and Disruptors

Tweet   Poor, poor Travis Kalanick, CEO of UBER. The last time I witnessed a senior executive combust so quickly and so publicly it was Jeff Skilling. And, remember, Skilling was being ousted for the largest bankruptcy in US history, the loss of billions in investor dollars and over 20,000 employees losing their jobs, and […]

Purpose Begins (And Ends) With Principles

Tweet   Say what you want about the Scots but they have a pretty binary worldview on many things. Growing up with a Scottish mother meant I would get unvarnished and unapologetic missives on a daily basis. Paraphrasing slightly but her two favourites revolved around two basic opinions: “Talk Is Cheap” and “You’re known by […]

The Dangerous Dichotomy of Disruption

Tweet   Last week I posed a question on LinkedIn asking my connections to list what they considered the genuine disruptions of the past decade. In a week filled with the frothy tsunami of CES updates and trend reports AND the 10-year anniversary of the release of the iPhone, I received a spirited number of […]

$50Billion Disappointments & Runaway CEO Expectations

Tweet   For the record I’m not angling to become some latter-day Naomi Klein but I would hate to be Tim Cook today. His organization delivers $50 billion in revenue and remains the world’s most valuable company by many accounts, yet Apple stock is hammered on the heels of a disappointing quarter. $47 billion (about […]

Can You Create An Immortal Brand?

Tweet Nothing quite like sitting through 151 minutes of DC Comics-inspired testosterone to set your mind spinning about brands and businesses. Not the obvious elements like how fans flocked to this movie despite the panning it got from critics. The power of social media and Influencers versus the establishment? Nor the discussion on licensing power, brand portfolio […]

Stop Being More Digital, Start Being More Human

Tweet These days I read the word digital more than almost any other word in the dictionary. That includes pronouns. Perhaps ironically, I’m going to add a few more instances as I pen this post.  There’s an overwhelming desire to bring digital and digital thinking to the forefront of every conversation. Digital something or other has become the almost […]

What Are You Doing To Deliberately Kill Your Brand?

Tweet   When you begin your career in marketing, one of the headiest and most intoxicating feelings comes from “leading” an actual brand. A feeling of invincibility. A certain sense of immortality. I’m sure the brand managers for Pet Rocks, L.A. Gear sneakers, Palm Pilot’s and De Lorean cars felt exactly the same immortality. Here’s […]