The client is not the enemy


They are not trying to ruin your creative. They are not perpetually toothless, timid or trivial. They have no deep-seated desire to undermine the agency. They do not secretly wish to do mediocre work. Do they want to keep their job? Who doesn’t? Do they have objectives they have to meet? Would it be better […]

EXERCISE: Brand Telephone


Most companies have numerous messages they want to get out about their brand. Their mission, vision, company values, USPs, value proposition, product features, awards, charitable activities, sponsorships. It goes on and on. Realistically, people will only remember a small fraction of a brand’s communications. And it’s usually the messages that are most relevant, unique and […]

All branding is heuristics


Brands are merely shortcuts for people. They help them solve problems quickly and minimize the thought process. If we want to get a coffee, we normally don’t want to look at all the options available; narrow down to stores that are in the general vicinity; look at reviews for which ones serve good coffee at […]

Focus: Your brand’s perception


The next time you walk into a marketing meeting, think about this. What you focus on is what people perceive your brand to be. It’s an obvious thing. But, for some reason, we so often forget. Brands, like people, can’t help but be, who they truly are inside. If someone is a prick, no matter […]

CHASM: 5 Frameworks for Idea Generation


Every week, I share a marketing tool that can help you in developing new ideas for your marketing. Typically, I provide step-by-step exercises. But they’re based on a few core frameworks. Context – Apply unique and challenging situations to the problem. Example: You only have a $10 budget. Handoff – One person starts an idea […]

Brainstorm: Marketing Poker

marketing poker

Use this creative brainstorm technique with your marketing or advertising creative team to generate new ideas. 1) Make 4 decks of index cards: Target Audience Deck – write down all your different target audiences on multiple cards (at least as many as you have players) Selling Points Deck – write down all of your company […]

The purpose of advertising forevermore


Anyone who’s taken a Marketing 101 class knows that the 4P’s of marketing are: Product, Price, Promotion and Place. Promotion referring primarily to advertising and PR. The purpose of advertising used to be to promote a company and its products. That was when it was difficult for people to find all the options available to […]