Bad advertising is caused by lack of deep insight

H&R Block's tax preparation ad is built on a wrong insight

You’ve probably heard the famous proverb: in this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes. As correct as that fatalistic and sardonic saying is, in this day and age- it is also incomplete: During the tax filing season, one must add tax preparation ads to the list of inevitable. They are omnipresent. And, sadly, [...]

How to create a buyer persona?

“Our target audience is 18-48, female and male, C1, B and A.” You might have heard a similar nonsense statement before... The above sentence is a feeble -and rather soulless- attempt to describe a "target" "audience". I am categorically against using such lingo as it's a completely outdated way of thinking. I also believe that in this day [...]

How to Brand a Professional Association?

Back in the day, life was easier for professional associations: Whether you were a lawyer, or an accountant, or a doctor, you wanted to be a member of your professional association. Associations used to be the voice of their respective professions. They had unquestioned authority. Being a member was prestigious. Associations used to connect people through their [...]

Health for all. All for health.

(The below article was written for the city of Izmir to support its bid to host EXPO 2020. Although Izmir lost the bid to Dubai, it is my utmost hope that the ideas in this article will help Izmir in its noble pursuit of creating a healthier planet.)The World Health Organization defines the meaning of [...]

Branding luxury

At first, this article might sound like a book review, but actually, it is about a miserable experience of mine and a much-welcomed solution. Here’s how the story goes. Years ago, my then-employer wanted to publish a sector-specific “best brands” survey. Our plan was to choose a couple of sectors (or verticals), determine the top [...]

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 scary 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 [...]