Experience from my previous books tells me that at some point I will be asked, “So why did you write this book?”
I thought I would try and get my answer in early.
The answer is two-fold: the first being my addiction to telling brand stories and the second being how I have found myself repeatedly telling one of those stories time and time again.
I love stories of all shapes and sizes. I’m a sucker for sci-fantasy, thrillers and love both Disney and Pixar. I’m not sure I’ll ever write a novel but over the years my love of stories has been combined with my day job of being a brand consultant and I’ve collected, told and re-told countless marketing tales.
I’ve told all sorts of brand related stories but the one I have found myself coming back to time and time again begins on an aeroplane.
It is the late 1960s and a young chemist is travelling by plane to a meeting.
Sitting next to him is a woman, who as they come in to land, begins putting on her make-up.
The young man finds himself fascinated by what she is doing; the way she applies her lipstick, twisting the tube to push the lipstick up so that she can easily apply it to her lips. No fuss, no messy colour on her hands, and a smooth, even finish.
The proverbial light bulb goes off.
He is a chemist for Henkel, the German chemical and consumer-goods company and he realises he may have found the answer to a problem – the application of glue, traditionally a messy and difficult job.
Pritt Stick, the world’s first glue in a stick, was launched in 1969 and is still going strong today.
I gave it a short moral – how inspiration can strike anytime, anywhere so to be a good innovator you should remain constantly curious.
Thinking about why I’ve told this particular story so much, it struck me that one of the reasons is that it is about innovation. Finding new ideas and bringing them to market is one of the most important roles a marketer has to play and it is also one of the most difficult.
So I decided that for this collection of stories I would focus on innovation.
I hope you enjoy them and, perhaps more importantly, get inspired.