Author: Mark Di Somma

How to be a challenger

The absolute need to challenge (even if you’re not a challenger brand)

Every day, business owners are pitched opportunities to take their brands in a ‘new’ direction or to stay the course—by colleagues, by their agencies, because of the actions of competitors or by delegations of customers or suppliers. When everyone has a tactic and everything is presented as a panacea, how do you sift the wheat from the wonk? How should brands commit to their future? The secrets I suggest here are singularity, over-commitment and a fundamental drive to keep challenging.

Fear as a customer buying motive

Fears are powerful buying motives. Should we be scared?

Plenty of companies have built their brands on promises based on addressing fears – the needs for protection, for reassurance, for status, for achievement, recognition and so on – in a world where so many of those things are portrayed as being at risk. But how successful is fear as an emotive driver today and should we still be using it as a motivation to get people to buy more stuff?

Entrepreneur articles

Should you scale or should you grow?

In our latest article for Entrepreneur, Pete Canalichio and I explore the different demands of scaling your business vs growing your business. Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses. Each works better in some sectors than others. Each has its own dynamics and makes its own demands. The full article is available here. Hope you enjoy it. Feedback welcome. Other articles I’ve written/co-written for Entrepreneur: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Disruption Don’t Brand for Now, Brand for “Then” Why Branding Experts Need to Step Out of Their Silos  

Escaping business loops

How to unthink the loops and deliver astonishing creativity

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.

Innovative ideas have varying levels of success

Why some innovative ideas work, and most don’t

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.