Loops are the things that companies do over and over again. Business as usual. Business as boring. Every business has loops. Some are driven by fear, some by tradition, some by distraction, some by lack of awareness or industry convention. Loops affect how we think, how we work, how far we venture and how we seek to make change. In the process, they stifle creativity. The secret to breaking those loops, and achieving astonishing innovation, is unthinking.
We hear a lot about the effects that technology and developments like AI will have on jobs and workforces. But powerful forces already operate in markets to actively undermine value and drive out distinctiveness. It’s one thing to know that. It’s quite another to develop a broad differentiation strategy capable of stopping it.
We hear a lot about how fast and how much the world is moving. But when companies pursue innovative ideas to cater to what they think is consumers’ fascination with the new and shiny, reactions can be mixed. The trap for marketers in this is that there are different types of “newness”: from the ‘new’ people queue for, talk about, and go mad on social networks over to the ‘new’ that bewilders, confuses, worries, or even confronts.
I read recently that less than one third of businesses undertake regular customer research. They don’t feel they have the time or the budget it seems to wait for answers, and they don’t see the value in doing so. They prefer to trust their own perceptions and experiences. They’re drawn to action plans.
Stories are now such a *thing* even in a B2B context that it’s easy to think that corporate or brand storytelling is just something every marketer can do and should be doing. Effective business storytelling though is harder than it looks. If you back yourselves to tell an extraordinary story that the people who buy from you will want to specifically engage with (at the expense of your competitors), there are three things you need to organise.
In our latest article at Entrepreneur, Pete Canalichio and I examine why now, more than ever, the marketing consulting industry should be promoting an interactive brand ecosystem that more closely aligns the disciplines of brand insights, brand strategy, brand protection, brand licensing and brand valuation. The full article is available here. Hope you enjoy it. Feedback welcome.
Customer value is one of the most talked about aspects of marketing today, but many senior decision makers are hard pushed to articulate how exactly their business is creating meaningful customer value and how that tangibly contributes to their business being more valuable and competitive. Even if they can put that into words, a powerful customer value proposition itself is really just the start. Harder still is maintaining customer value over the longer term. Here’s why.
Dunkin’ Donuts has announced that it is dropping the ‘Donuts’ part of its name in selected stores in order to highlight there’s more to the brand than the products it’s synonymous with. But when you’re this well known, is changing your brand name a smart move?
It’s the next thing out of most people’s mouths the moment I tell them I work in marketing. They hate ads, there are too many of them, and who’s got time to watch television or read mainstream media these days anyway?
Once, it was easy to build brand trust. You used mass media to establish profile and credibility, you became a “household name” and that was pretty much it. No longer of course. The splintering of channels, new levels of transparency and increasing expectations from customers have made just ‘being’ a trusted brand almost impossible. Trust is now far from a given.