Preparing For The Coming “Age Of The Robots”

Tweet   Its quite amazing to recollect but eighteen years ago I sat in a darkened movie theatre, warm popcorn in my lap, and fidgeted like a giddy teenager watching Canadian acting legend Keanu Reeves (truth!) kick the proverbial ass of Agent Smith in a little movie called “The Matrix”. That little movie, and the […]

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 […]

Tackle Your Brand Vulnerability – or Be Prepared to Lose

Tweet When former US-President Bill Clinton proclaims that the three largest global soda manufacturers have declared their intent to reduce sugary calories by 1/5 within a decade, you can be assured of two things. One, it’s a pretty damn important message. Two, every media outlet imaginable is going to carry your message in their next news cycle. […]

Business Leaders, How Self-Aware Are You?

Tweet     In hindsight I should’ve anticipated there’d be a backlash. You can’t put “Provocateur” into your LinkedIn title without expecting some provocation to come back at ya. Some debate. Some discussion. Some disagreement. That’s just karma. Titling a recent post “Without Purpose Your Organization is Rudderless” wasn’t just an attempt to score highly […]

Hands Up. Who Wants to Be An Innovator?

Tweet Back when I started my career (or when dinosaurs ruled the earth) there was a very different perspective of innovation and innovators. They were an elite group of secret, almost mythical, creatures toiling away in labs far from the prying eyes of competitors or even colleagues without a C-suite designation. As a lowly advertising […]

Brand Purpose and the Ethics of Marketing

Tweet I’m responsible for the global financial meltdown of 2001. Phew. Feels good to finally get that off my chest. In all seriousness though, I did have a very tiny ringside seat into that debacle in 2000. While working at Ogilvy&Mather I was sent to the New York office to run the Enron account. A […]

20 Signs That You Might Be A Redneck Marketer

Tweet Insomnia can be a real killer. Rather than tossing and turning in bed incurring the wrath of my wife, it means late nights watching infomercials and re-runs on the TV. Counter to popular belief, it seldom means inspiration and creative breakthroughs. But then there’s the rare occasion when planets align… 2am the other night […]

Lessons From The Best Challenger Brand Advertising Of All Time

Tweet I have a real emotional attachment to Challenger brands. The brands that look squarely in the eyes of the incumbents, the Goliaths of a category, and say “There is a better way and here it is”. I just love that focus, that chutzpah, that sense of purpose. While Challenger brands can manifest their purpose […]

The rot that is eating your brand from the inside

Tweet Regular readers of this blog will know how passionately I feel about the business of brand building. And how building brands is more than an exercise in communications, distribution, pricing and doing some bemusing stuff in social media. Its about culture too. The strongest brands have a clear purpose and direction. A unifying call […]

Brand value must mean more than Shareholder Return

Tweet A very lively, and somewhat lubricated, conversation ensued last night with several friends in the marketing field. After cheering Canada’s narrow win over Latvia in Sochi, we got into a very philosophical discussion on brand value, worth and purpose. The consensus? We need a better, more consolidated lens to evaluate business and brands today. […]