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I have no competitors! Why don’t I make money?

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Historical image from the marketing for Fashion Cafe

Whether you’re an in-house marketer, a consultant, or an agency, hearing the words “We have no competitors” can be the kiss of death for the brand. Competition is good, but here is how young entrepreneurs screw it up sometimes…

How to uncover authentic (brand) values.

A practical exercise in saying something more than “I like good things and dislike bad things”. Thousands of hours of agency and in-house branding, PR, marketing, and miscellaneous “communications professional” work time is spent on trying to dress up the flaccid and the obvious as “brand values”. Marketing and communications… Read More »How to uncover authentic (brand) values.

For Sale: baby peanut shells, never worn.

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What do Groot and Baby Yoda have in common? They both think Baby Nut is a poser.

The Planters Baby Nut ad is an example of poor brand storytelling. The Baby Nut campaign undermines itself and the brand. It makes me not want to buy Planters nuts. More generally, this ad campaign violated a couple of basic brand storytelling principles, taking a risk and trying to make us care, only to roll everything back and strip out any emotional investment in the story, or the brand.

Trusting yourself is dangerous, but trusting experts can be worse.

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Sometimes your instincts are wrong.

A car mirror is a tool designed to give you the ability to perceive what’s behind you while driving. It saves you from changing lanes into a collision with a semi. A mirror is an invaluable tool keeping you aware and safe on the road, and its use seems instinctively simple. Unfortunately, your instinct can be deadly wrong.