Retail Design Expo: The Role of Retail

Retail Design Expo: The Role of Retail

Exactly one week ago today saw the Retail Business Technology Expo, Retail Digital Signage Expo and the Retail Design Expo combine to bring a showcase of the latest designs, features and thinking in retail to London. There was plenty of interesting exhibits with impressive features of a retail space, proving just how much detail goes […]

Read

Toasting the Tower: The Brandy of Napoleon

Toasting the Tower: The Brandy of Napoleon

Probably the drink most associated with the launch of something is champagne, so you would perhaps expect that the opening of the Eiffel Tower would have been toasted with a glass of the bubbly stuff from the North East of France. You would, however, only be half-right, because on the night of 31st March 1899, […]

Read

Does feminism need rebranding?

Does feminism need rebranding?

Today is International Women’s Day. To celebrate throughout the week, we have been writing about brands’ role in forwarding equality through feminism. At The Value Engineers, we believe in building brands that drive change, and so for us brands can play a key role in IWD 2017’s #BeBoldForChange initiative and beyond. But as we discuss […]

Read

#femvertising: a step in the right direction

#femvertising: a step in the right direction

Few could disagree that ‘Femvertising’ has been hugely positive for women, society, and the public mindset. From Dove’s ‘real beauty’ campaign and Always’ #LikeAGirl, to H&M’s Like a Lady and Sport England’s #ThisGirlCan, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t seen one of the ads supporting the feminist agenda. However, the recent trend for […]

Read

What part do brands play in breaking down gender roles?

What part do brands play in breaking down gender roles?

There is no denying that women are still held back by traditional gender roles. Instead of the advances in equality allowing the genders to fluidly mix & match to achieve the most efficient running of a household, women are often expected to ‘have it all’, stretching themselves to succeed in their career whilst also taking […]

Read

Mine’s a Pint: Beer, Brands and Feminism

Mine’s a Pint: Beer, Brands and Feminism

Here are three facts about me: I’m a woman; I’m a feminist; I absolutely love a good beer. In the six years that I’ve legally been allowed to while away my weekends in pubs and bars, I’ve grown reluctantly used to the shocked faces of men as I order myself an ale, and the way […]

Read

How Coca-Cola took over the world

How Coca-Cola took over the world

My new book of stories “How Coca Cola took over the world… and 100 more amazing stories about the world’s greatest brands” will be published in April. The story behind the title tells one tale of how Coke celebrated its worldwide fame. This is a different story but on a related theme – so as […]

Read

Profit and Purpose: It Pays to Do Good

Profit and Purpose: It Pays to Do Good

It’s not news that sustainability is on the agenda, but a recent influx of statistics triggered by a new Unilever report has changed the conversation. Rather than the desire to be more sustainable being immediately handcuffed by the fear of cost implications, we now have hard evidence that sustainability pays, and that having a purpose […]

Read

25. Adidas: Adidas x Parley

25. Adidas: Adidas x Parley

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… It’s hard to make sustainable raw materials sound sexy. It’s even harder, however, to integrate them successfully and […]

Read

Post-truth and post-trust?: The Role of Purpose-led Brands in 2017 and Beyond

Post-truth and post-trust?: The Role of Purpose-led Brands in 2017 and Beyond

It’s no secret that 2016 was something of a shambles. Against an already gloomy backdrop of many much loved cultural figures leaving this world (always in our hearts, Bowie), we witnessed the development of a vehemently turbulent political landscape, characterised by emotion-based decision-making over evidence-based reason. In November, post-truth became the Oxford Dictionaries Word of […]

Read

24. H&M : She’s a Lady

24. H&M : She’s a Lady

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… On 13 October 2016, the Swedish sustainable business association NMC awarded H&M’s CEO Carl-Johnan Persson with a sustainable […]

Read

Defining and expressing your brand: A ‘Quite Interesting’ example

Defining and expressing your brand: A ‘Quite Interesting’ example

This post was first featured on www.marketingsociety.com. I was listening to John Lloyd on the radio the other day. Not the ex-tennis player, but the television producer and writer who is best known for his comedy television programmes such as Not the Nine O’Clock News, Spitting Image, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Blackadder. […]

Read

23. Canon: #selfieless

23. Canon: #selfieless

As the Stop Funding Hate campaign makes headlines, people are putting the Christmas TV ads we adore and await like a child on Christmas morning under harsh scrutiny. A lot can be said about John Lewis’s Buster (and a lot has been…) and Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot, but it is Canon’s new Christmas ad and […]

Read

America Rocks the Vote on Tuesday 8th

America Rocks the Vote on Tuesday 8th

With brands like Tic Tac and Skittles forced to issue statements as a result of being (unfortunately) touched by political scandal in the past weeks, it is heartening to see a brand take an active stance on the election process more broadly.

Read

22. Puma: The Clever Little Bag

22. Puma: The Clever Little Bag

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… This year, Puma have put a new top dog in charge of sustainability, Michael Bennet, breaking Dr. Reiner […]

Read

21. Pampers: One Pack = One Vaccine

21. Pampers: One Pack = One Vaccine

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… Iconic nappies brand Pampers are all about ‘better for baby’, a core brand purpose which extends throughout everything […]

Read

Cauliflowers for Tourists – A Fair Exchange?

Cauliflowers for Tourists – A Fair Exchange?

They say fair exchange is no robbery, and trading tons of cauliflowers for thousands of tourists seems to be a perfect example of the idiom. It was an exchange inspired by a visionary Breton, Alexis Gourvennec. Gourvennec was a Breton pig farmer who became an economic and social leader and would play a major role […]

Read

20. Budweiser: Friends are waiting

20. Budweiser: Friends are waiting

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… The sustainability space can be a difficult one for alcohol brands; how can they get involved with, and […]

Read

The brand named after a tattoo

The brand named after a tattoo

The sources of inspiration for a brand name are many and varied. The most obvious is to use the founders’ name and examples include Woolworths, Kellogg and Birds Eye. A slight variation is to use the name of the founders’ son or daughter, as is the case with Mercedes. Other brands are also based on […]

Read

Imbibe Live: Sour power keeps on growing

Imbibe Live: Sour power keeps on growing

Last month saw the return of Imbibe Live!, Europe’s largest on-trade drinks exhibition. With exhibitors from the category’s biggest brands rubbing shoulders with the freshest start-ups, and industry experts sharing their wisdom, Imbibe Live! Is the place to discover the products and trends shaping the future of drinks. The Value Engineers sent along a couple of our […]

Read

Imbibe Live: Age can be a virtue

Imbibe Live: Age can be a virtue

Last month saw the return of Imbibe Live!, Europe’s largest on-trade drinks exhibition. With exhibitors from the category’s biggest brands rubbing shoulders with the freshest start-ups, and industry experts sharing their wisdom, Imbibe Live! Is the place to discover the products and trends shaping the future of drinks. The Value Engineers sent along a couple of our […]

Read

Imbibe Live: Cider gets the craft treatment

Imbibe Live: Cider gets the craft treatment

Last month saw the return of Imbibe Live!, Europe’s largest on-trade drinks exhibition. With exhibitors from the category’s biggest brands rubbing shoulders with the freshest start-ups, and industry experts sharing their wisdom, Imbibe Live! Is the place to discover the products and trends shaping the future of drinks. The Value Engineers sent along a couple of our […]

Read

The Tinkerman: From Stealth Bomber to Super Soaker

The Tinkerman: From Stealth Bomber to Super Soaker

So, what do you do with your evenings if you’re an Air Force engineer and working on the Stealth Bomber during the day? Well, if you’re Lonnie Johnson, you invent a new type of high-powered water pistol and give it to your daughter. “I gave the plastic gun to my seven-year-old daughter, Aneka, and watched […]

Read

18. Red Bull: Amplifier

18. Red Bull: Amplifier

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… Everyone knows that Red Bull ‘Gives You Wings’. The brand carried this central brand mantra through to the […]

Read

Imbibe Live: Global is the new local

Imbibe Live: Global is the new local

Last month saw the return of Imbibe Live!, Europe’s largest on-trade drinks exhibition. With exhibitors from the category’s biggest brands rubbing shoulders with the freshest start-ups, and industry experts sharing their wisdom, Imbibe Live! Is the place to discover the products and trends shaping the future of drinks. The Value Engineers sent along a couple of our […]

Read

Imbibe Live: Premiumisation – People are willing to pay more… but need a reason why

Imbibe Live: Premiumisation – People are willing to pay more… but need a reason why

July saw the return of Imbibe Live!, Europe’s largest on-trade drinks exhibition. With exhibitors from the category’s biggest brands rubbing shoulders with the freshest start-ups, and industry experts sharing their wisdom, Imbibe Live! Is the place to discover the products and trends shaping the future of drinks. The Value Engineers sent along a couple of our consultants to […]

Read

Imbibe Live: Craft beer continues to rise

Imbibe Live: Craft beer continues to rise

July saw the return of Imbibe Live!, Europe’s largest on-trade drinks exhibition. With exhibitors from the category’s biggest brands rubbing shoulders with the freshest start-ups, and industry experts sharing their wisdom, Imbibe Live! Is the place to discover the products and trends shaping the future of drinks. The Value Engineers sent along a couple of our consultants to […]

Read

17. Marriott: Canvas

17. Marriott: Canvas

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… Today marks the UN’s International Youth Day – aiming to celebrate and encourage the contribution that young people […]

Read

Nice TUI meet you! Rebranding in the slow lane

Nice TUI meet you! Rebranding in the slow lane

In what has been described by Thomson & First Choice Marketing Director Jeremy Ellis as “arguably the longest brand migration in history”, Thomson is next year coming to the end of its so far 14 year transformation to TUI. But Thomson is a perfectly good brand; well-known, trusted and loved by millions of British holidaymakers, so […]

Read

Bounce-back Barbie

Bounce-back Barbie

At the beginning of 2015, there were a number of jokes going around about a new Barbie – Retirement Barbie. Mattel had just announced that sales had fallen by 14 % in 2014, the third year running where sales had dropped by more than 10%. Barbie, who had been unveiled during the New York Toy […]

Read

16. Bacardi: The Champion’s Way

16. Bacardi: The Champion’s Way

With the Olympics fast approaching, this week’s Brand Driving Positive Change has a sporting focus… Bacardi, faced with the challenge of advocating responsible behavior without demonising alcohol consumption, were looking for a way to make a social difference in the category whilst staying true to their brand. The result was ‘The Champion’s Way’: In conjunction […]

Read

15. Heineken: #brewedbythesun

15. Heineken: #brewedbythesun

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… It feels like summer has finally arrived this week as temperatures in the UK have soared to unimaginable […]

Read

14. Toms: Social Entrepreneurship Fund

14. Toms: Social Entrepreneurship Fund

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… Thanks to the brand’s founder Blake Mycoskie, Toms has always had social sustainability at its heart. A serial […]

Read

13. AkzoNobel: Unexpected Courts

13. AkzoNobel: Unexpected Courts

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… AkzoNobel are a consistently rated leader in the world of sustainability; September 2015 saw them ranked number one […]

Read

12. Lifebuoy

12. Lifebuoy

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… Unilever have become the industry poster boy for brand-led sustainability, wholeheartedly embracing the potential of a proper commitment […]

Read

What will Brexit mean for Brand Britain?

What will Brexit mean for Brand Britain?

As featured on www.marketingsociety.com There is lots of comment about the immediate political and financial implications for Britain, and whatever you and I might think of the result personally, as a marketer my mind turns to wondering what the implications for Brand Britain will be. How will the decision be viewed in the wider world? […]

Read

11. New Balance: #UseYourRun

11. New Balance: #UseYourRun

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… There’s the sound of running footsteps pummeling the street. The camera pans up to the faces of the […]

Read

10. Cusquena: Telar Billboard

10. Cusquena: Telar Billboard

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… A popular Peruvian beer with origins in the ancient city of Cusco, SABMiller’s Cusqueña brand has a rich heritage, […]

Read

The difference between surviving and thriving – B2B branding

The difference between surviving and thriving – B2B branding

The business world is currently experiencing multiple pressures – barely had we emerged from one recession before the siren voices are starting to warn about the next. Over the past few years, the lesson has seemed clear; businesses need to be leaner, more efficient and above all focused in what they do and where they […]

Read

9. Chipotle: Sustainable Sourcing

9. Chipotle: Sustainable Sourcing

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… Burrito chain Chipotle has multiple restaurants across the USA and Europe. Offering all manner of Mexican culinary delights, […]

Read

8. Comfort: One Rinse

8. Comfort: One Rinse

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… One in nine people worldwide lack a steady supply of clean water. With increasing climate change, some of […]

Read

Build brands. Drive change. What’s next?

Build brands. Drive change. What’s next?

30 years ago today, The Value Engineers opened its doors for business. First through those doors were Marlow Foods, who wanted us to help them turn “Mycro-protein”, a revolutionary new food technology, into an internationally successful brand. 30 years on, Quorn has changed the world of meat-free eating for millions. Fast-forward to 1999, when we […]

Read

6. Etihad: In-flight Amenity Kits

6. Etihad: In-flight Amenity Kits

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… Whilst travelling to far-flung places may offer a rich cultural experience, the flight itself rarely does the […]

Read

5. Ben & Jerry’s: Caring Dairy

5. Ben & Jerry’s: Caring Dairy

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… Whether donning a chef’s hat, strumming a guitar or simply standing in the background, look at any […]

Read

3. G-Star: Raw for the Oceans

3. G-Star: Raw for the Oceans

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… Happy World Earth Day! Sustainability has evolved in recent years to include a huge range of issues […]

Read

B2B branding: The third age

B2B branding: The third age

Led by a greater recognition of the power of a consistently and coherently delivered brand experience, B2B branding is now entering a third age. A third age which focuses inside-out; still recognises and respects the importance of sales and price in short-term decision-making, but also understands and values the role of relationships, emotion and the […]

Read

Brands driving positive change | New Series

Brands driving positive change | New Series

Brands are powerful. When harnessed correctly, this power can be used to drive impactful positive change: brands can be a force for good. “Sustainability” has grown and evolved in meaning over the last decade to encompass a broad range of issues affecting both people and planet. To be sustainable is to be a long-term force […]

Read

2. Patagonia: Worn Wear

2. Patagonia: Worn Wear

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… It’s World Recycling Week and brands all over are getting involved in the action to encourage consumers […]

Read

1. Whiskas “Protect a Tiger”

1. Whiskas “Protect a Tiger”

This blog forms part of our wider Brands Driving Positive Change blog series, we’ll be uploading a new post every week so keep checking back for the latest thoughts on what it means to be a force for good… This week saw the announcement of some pretty good news for the WWF and the Global Tiger […]

Read

Sweden: Uncensored! Your Brand: Uncensored?

Sweden: Uncensored! Your Brand: Uncensored?

In this age of transparency, and to celebrate the 250th anniversary of becoming the first country in the world to introduce a constitutional law abolishing censorship, Sweden has, thanks to the Swedish Tourist Association, become the first country in the world with its own phone number. +46 771 793 336. The number connects callers to […]

Read

Halos or horns? Brand-led sustainability in the arts

Halos or horns? Brand-led sustainability in the arts

Once predominantly a way of brands securing their (and the planet’s) futures, sustainability has taken on a whole new role, increasingly recognized as a means of driving significant brand equity and loyalty. The strength of brand-led sustainability over corporate-led is attributable to the ‘triple-win’:  when successful it can, and does, benefit brands, consumers and wider […]

Read

‘On Purpose’ by Smith and Milligan: a review

‘On Purpose’ by Smith and Milligan: a review

Originally posted at www.marketingsociety.com   The best bit in the new book “On Purpose” by Smith and Milligan is their brilliant three-point framework “Stand up, Stand Out, Stand Firm”. Stand up for something: define your reason to be; as they say identify “an authentic and credible sense of purpose – a reason ‘why’ you exist […]

Read

Evoking an Emotional Response: The Birds Eye Way

Evoking an Emotional Response: The Birds Eye Way

The best brands should appeal to more than your rational self; they should evoke an emotional response. So while it might have started with a Birds Eye Beef Burger and gone through an awkward phase over a Ready Meal, who could have thought that the humble Fish Finger could end a romance? In the 1970s, […]

Read

The Purr-fect Model for the Sophisticated Sell

The Purr-fect Model for the Sophisticated Sell

The latest high-earning French model has long, silky, white-blonde hair and brilliant sapphire-blue eyes. She has over 100,000 followers on Twitter and like all the best models appears regularly on Instagram. She is very particular about who she works with, “She doesn’t do foodstuffs, she is too sophisticated for that” says her manager. In fact […]

Read

Why do I visit McDonald’s on holiday?

Why do I visit McDonald’s on holiday?

Barcelona. Istanbul. Paris. Rome. I’ve visited these four cities in the past two years, and sampled each of their distinctive and rich food cultures. Each is filled with a plethora of markets, restaurants and cafes. As a food enthusiast, I have trawled through spice bazaars, lamb kebab in hand, sat on the end of piers […]

Read

When Armand met Octave: Two Famous Belgians

When Armand met Octave: Two Famous Belgians

It is often jokingly said that there aren’t many famous Belgians and that the most famous ones are only fictional – Poirot and TinTin. There are, however, two other Belgians who deserve some recognition – Armand Desaegher and Octave Aubecq. Both were successful industrialists in the early twentieth century, but their claim to fame arose […]

Read

Mr Bucket’s Mascara

Mr Bucket’s Mascara

In the British TV comedy, “Keeping up appearances”, the lead character is a social-climbing snob called Hyacinth. She insists her surname is pronounced ‘Bouquet’ even though it is spelt ‘Bucket’. However one Hyacinth, or rather Hyacinthe, who could more rightly have claimed ‘Bouquet’ as his surname was Hyacinthe Mars Rimmel. Hyacinthe was trained by the […]

Read

Two Countries Divided by the Same Brand

Two Countries Divided by the Same Brand

“Two countries divided by the same language” is a saying credited to George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and Winston Churchill, but whoever said it, I’m choosing to paraphrase them as “Two countries divided by the same brand” for a story about Mars’ Milky Way. Click here for the full story.

Read

Hoovering Up An Unbelievable Offer

Hoovering Up An Unbelievable Offer

Store janitor, James Murray Spangler, invented the first upright vacuum cleaner in 1908. Spangler suffered from asthma and suspected that the carpet sweeper he used at work was triggering attacks. He decided he would have to do something about it. He mounted an electric fan motor on a Bissell carpet sweeper and added a soapbox […]

Read

Don’t blame it on the bunny: why Playboy is covering up

Don’t blame it on the bunny: why Playboy is covering up

In a world of digital news and digital views, in which eyeballs on pages are rapidly being replaced by iBalls (sorry, Apple) on screens, it’s no wonder that the print magazine industry is struggling. For one segment of the market in particular, online access has brought about the disappearance of much of its readership: the adult sector. While […]

Read

I Vont a Zoot Like Zat!

I Vont a Zoot Like Zat!

“SWIM 2.4 MILES! BIKE 112 MILES! RUN 26.2 MILES! BRAG FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!” Sounds like quite a challenge but, on February 18 1978, 15 people decided they were up for it and they descended on Waikiki to attempt the feat and compete in the inaugural “Hawaiian IRON MAN Triathlon”. Honolulu-based Navy couple […]

Read

P&G may well have created a new genre in Sustainability advertising: the sociomercial

P&G may well have created a new genre in Sustainability advertising: the sociomercial

P&G may well have created a new genre in Sustainability advertising: the sociomercial Unilever was the first to reframe the way genders are portrayed in mass advertising, with Dove’s celebrated Evolution commercial. After last year’s first trial with hugely popular Like a Girl campaign from Always, Procter & Gamble has noticeably built on the genre […]

Read

Why ALPHABET should be a good investment

Why ALPHABET should be a good investment

On Monday August 10th 2015, Google announced a major restructuring, creating what was effectively a new holding company with Larry Page and Sergey Brin at its helm. The new entity would represent a collection of companies. The largest of which would be Google, slimmed down a bit. The others would be further away from the […]

Read

Music On The Move: Thanks To The Opera Loving Chairman

Music On The Move: Thanks To The Opera Loving Chairman

Created to answer a personal request of the honorary chairman, deemed unlikely to sell because it lacked a key product feature, with a name that senior management actively disliked, it went on to be a worldwide success that has helped shape the music industry, selling millions and millions of units worldwide. The name, like Hoover […]

Read

A Very Russian American Brand Icon

A Very Russian American Brand Icon

One of the most famous American brand icons of all time wouldn’t exist today if it wasn’t for the Russians, or more particularly one specific Russian – Jacob Youphes. Even those amongst you who might have correctly guessed at the brand being Levi’s 501s and who know their jeans history would be forgiven for still […]

Read

Brand Japan

Brand Japan

When someone asks you to think of Japan, you might imagine futuristic urban scenes, complete with Pokémon hats and technology in all its geek finery. The days of samurai warriors and sitting cross-legged on the floor seem far in the past. However, we often forget that Japan is still firmly rooted in its culture; something […]

Read

Tell Them To Go Do Something Else – The Pinterest Story

Tell Them To Go Do Something Else – The Pinterest Story

Most companies don’t have a mission statement which explicitly states that their aim is to get you doing something other than what the brand is about all, but then Pinterest isn’t ‘most companies’. Its origins, however, can be traced back to Des Moines in the early noughties when Ben Silbermann abandoned his long held plans […]

Read

When a Brand Nearly Stopped the Band

When a Brand Nearly Stopped the Band

It is May 1970 and the classic pop song “Lola” by the Kinks is about to be released. A lot is riding on the song; the Kinks haven’t had a top ten hit for a number of years. But on the eve of its release, the band are informed that the BBC are going to […]

Read

Building a Truly Great Construction Company

Building a Truly Great Construction Company

The fact that D-P-R aren’t the initials of the three founders’ surnames is the first of many differences of the DPR brand. They are in fact the three initials of the founders’ first names – Doug Woods, Peter Nosler and Ron Davidowski – a more personable and accessible way to name your brand. Doug, Peter […]

Read

It’s not a Problem, it’s an Opportunity.

It’s not a Problem, it’s an Opportunity.

As featured on www.marketingsociety.com.   Henri Alméras, the legendary perfumer of Grasse, was getting exasperated. Over the previous two days he had taken designer Jean Patou and his confidant Elsa Maxwell, the society columnist, through just about everything in his workshop. Picking up one last sample, he said, “If you don’t like this, I’ll get […]

Read

Advertising for Good

Advertising for Good

Advertising has a mixed reputation. For some people it is manipulative, even evil; persuading people to buy what they don’t need at inflated parties. Many in the industry would however argue that advertising per se is neither inherently good nor bad; it is what it is used for and how it is used that defines […]

Read

The Eyes Have It: The Alternative Origins of Maybelline

The Eyes Have It: The Alternative Origins of Maybelline

The origins of some brands have been lost, while for other brands they are blessed with a number of alternative stories of their beginnings. One of these brands is Maybelline, which has two stories. Both stories have similarities, including the presence of Tom Lyle Williams, sometimes referred to as T.L., and his sister Mabel Williams. […]

Read

Land Rover: The Significance of Brand Equity

Land Rover: The Significance of Brand Equity

The academic argument for the significance of brand equity goes something like this: Brand equity is a marketing asset* which can engender a unique and welcomed relationship differentiating the bonds between the business and its stakeholders** Below is a vivid illustration of what the challenge looks like for Land Rover’s Range Rover brand: Land Rover […]

Read

Don’t Mention the Lady Days: The Origins of Kotex

Don’t Mention the Lady Days: The Origins of Kotex

Even 100 years on, it is hard to imagine the true scale of death and injury caused by World War One. During the heaviest periods of fighting soldiers were getting wounded in such large numbers that the medics often ran out of bandages. To try help overcome this problem, Kimberly-Clark offered the army a new […]

Read

A Story about Storytellers with a Storybook Ending

A Story about Storytellers with a Storybook Ending

About a decade ago, Disney Animation nearly came to a premature end. After a series of poorly performing films, the corporation was considering closing down its famous studio; instead, they bought the newer kid on the block, who was on perhaps the hottest streak ever in animation – Pixar. Now, 10 years later, Disney is […]

Read

Wearables: a Perfect Demonstration of Brand Values

Wearables: a Perfect Demonstration of Brand Values

Nowadays, if you don’t know your heart rate, current calorie count and steps taken at any given point in the day, you are soon to be in the minority. The rise in popularity of wearable technology and in particular, fitness and health monitoring devices, is unprecedented. These sensors and their accompanying apps allow people to […]

Read

How Peugeot Took a Detour via the Kitchen Table

How Peugeot Took a Detour via the Kitchen Table

The story of how Peugeot travelled from corset supports in dresses to motor cars is one of the better-known tales about the brand. However, a detour via the kitchen table that led to the development of a design classic and the acquisition of the famous lion logo is another enjoyable trip… To read the full […]

Read

A Family Obsession – Spreading a Little Luxury?

A Family Obsession – Spreading a Little Luxury?

Everyone in Piedmonts had hazelnuts, lots of hazelnuts. The region has long been famed for its production of the delicious nuts and, even just after the war, they were available in abundance. Reflecting that human truth that you don’t always value what you have and instead covet something that you can’t have, what many of […]

Read

Lego Builds Wall of Resistance through Powerful Brand

Lego Builds Wall of Resistance through Powerful Brand

Back in October I started drafting a blog on Lego getting caught in the crossfire between Greenpeace and Shell over the former’s objection to the latter’s drilling into the Arctic for oil, but I had to let the moment pass due to more pressing commitments. A quick reminder as to what the saga involved: Greenpeace […]

Read

A Sprout By Any Other Name

A Sprout By Any Other Name

Picture this if you may, your company has come up with a ground breaking product that is going to revolutionize the category or industry as we know it. After years of investing significantly in R&D, prototyping, design and engineering, you have come up with something that you know is going to change the game. Everything […]

Read

Managing your Brand Portfolio: What would you have done with Maybach if you were Mercedes?

Managing your Brand Portfolio:  What would you have done with Maybach if you were Mercedes?

Many brand houses have built a portfolio of brands structured across an axis of cost, from low-cost’ to super-premium with brands aligned to different parts. Think Skoda-VW-Audi, Daz-Bold-Fairy-Ariel or even giffgaff-O2. While the three-tiered good-better-best structure has been used by a number of companies, there are many more who have proliferated the layers even further. […]

Read

A Logo Does Not A Brand Make

A Logo Does Not A Brand Make

Andy Murray’s has done pretty much what most athletes in their prime tend to do: he has launched a new logo. Judging from what I’ve heard and read, the logo is Marmite. Some people love it and others don’t. I have my view and opinion of the design but I will keep that to myself because that […]

Read

My favourite Christmas present: Nudie Jeans

My favourite Christmas present: Nudie Jeans

The Christmas period is a fascinating time for a brand consultant. There are a lot of brands on display, ready to be observed and analysed along with the various ploys brands use to ensure the promise of the December spike in their revenue forecasts is fulfilled. The brand that caught my eye this year was […]

Read

Monster Munch and the Attack of the Zombie Brands

Monster Munch and the Attack of the Zombie Brands

What do you do when you have been given a portfolio of brands to manage but no budget to do it with? Is it time to look for another job? Not necessarily. The single most effective piece of marketing I’ve ever seen was done without any significant budget – the 2008 relaunch of Monster Munch. […]

Read