It’s been a whole lot of fun writing the posts for this Upheavals blog for so many years. I’ve had a blast, and met some great people (many of whom will be forever friends), but everything must come to an end. I can’t see myself travelling or speaking to groups for some time. So I’ve decided to focus on consulting in my home markets of New Zealand and Australia. If you work for a New Zealand or Australian company, and you would like help with connecting your strategy, culture and stories and/or building a sustainable brand for the times ahead, then please visit The Audacity Group. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to read my thoughts and for all your feedback and kind words. I’ll leave the most popular posts up for a while in case there’s anything you want to refer to. You can still reach me by email at email@example.com.
The current global health crisis has of course generated huge changes in how we think about everyday life. But along the way, this new age of lockdown is also introducing important, new separations into how we view aspects of our economy and indeed the wider global trading environment.
Now that an exit plan looks like it has been hammered out between The Firm and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the question many people are asking is just how much do the married couple and their Sussex Royal brand stand to gain in terms of that much vaunted “financial independence”? Where could the Sussex Royal brand go?
As brands juggle more and more channels to try and interact meaningfully with customers, are all these touchpoints helping or hindering?
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.
Many of us are change makers in one form or another, even if we don’t identify ourselves as such right away. But it’s one thing to advocate for change and quite another to bring that change successfully through to realisation. In complex organisational structures with multiple stakeholders, the make or break, it seems, is socialisation.
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?
It’s easy to see why customer experiences have become marketers’ go-to fix. Like content marketing they are such an accepted part of the lexicon today that many marketers have them on their to-do list as a matter of course.
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
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.