How to differentiate your brand? Part 3

Over the last two decades, brands have become 200% less distinct from one another. The ones that stand out, however, have something in common: They integrate two seemingly opposing personality traits. In this series of six blogs, I offer different methods to discovering and leveraging the duality embedded inside your brand. By tapping into these insights,…

Your brand needs tension

When Stephen Hawking was asked, how he has sold more books on physics than Madonna has on sex, he famously said, “Someone told me that each equation I included in the book would halve the sales!” So, he avoided using equations in his writing and became a bestseller. In the field of communications, there is…

Symbolic Meaning of Numbers

Are you considering to use numbers as a part of your brand? Then, you may want to learn about the symbolic meaning of numbers! For instance, why do you think 7 is the world’s most popular number? Or does 5 have a gender? Which of the following is better to convey a sense of uniqueness?…

How to brand a destination?

Is place branding a money trap invented by evil advertising agencies? Is it a fool’s gold for destinations? Has any place ever benefited from so-called place branding? How about this frightening stat?: 86% of place branding projects fail within a year of introduction. Is there a way to break this curse? Let’s figure out the…

Archetypes or stereotypes?

Recently, I have learned that 86% of place branding projects fail. While the research does not explain why, I am willing to bet that one of the major causes of failure is “thinking stereotypically instead of archetypically”, and go even farther to suggest the only way to successfully brand a destination. Case in point: Ottawa.

Are you asking the right questions?

Have you ever left a meeting questioning why you were even summoned in the first place? What was the objective of the session – if it had any? What was the convener trying to achieve? I don’t know about you, but I have been to too many such meetings, in which we, collectively,  wasted valuable time…

Brand Jordan

NBA lockout is about to end. The hot topic of discussion is what’s the damage to Brand Jordan? Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player of all times. But his skills and will are not enough to explain how he became the magnetic person that he is. During his Hall of Fame induction speech,…

You and me: The Brand Relationship Theory

Do you love “the Office?” I do… In one of my favourite episodes, Michael Scott got herpes and wants to know who gave him the disease. He starts working backwards through his partners, chronologically. Michael Scott, being the man he is, instead of informing his past partners of his infection, he asks them relationship-related questions…

Alcohol and Starbucks… Success or failure?

I recently read an article by Mr. Martin Bishop from Landor about Starbucks serving regional wine and beer in some of its Seattle locations. Lately, Starbucks successfully updated its identity and announced that it aims to be more than a coffee company. The brand’s little experiment clearly shows that it means it. But I think such…

What’s in a name?

I love working with a brand named after its founder because they make my life much easy. The majority of brands still communicate merely what they’ve got (their products, their services, or their features.) Only a small number of brands communicate their “promise”, which is definitely a better marketing strategy. A promise is the universally-accepted…

LeBron James: Really a villain brand?

A lot has been written and said about LeBron James and his famous decision to sign with the Miami Heat. So why address this topic now? Hasn’t everything been said about “the decision?” My answer is “no”, because nobody looked at this issue from brand strategy perspective. So let’s put our branding goggles and see…

When to hire a celebrity for endorsement?

Celebrity endorsement is one of the most popular brand building tools. However, more often than not, it does not deliver the desired results. Why some endorsements work and some don’t? Today, I will try to solve this intriguing problem. Here is what I recommend: