The economist John Maynard Keynes said, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” Brands are the antidote to that. After the emissions-rigging scandal, many people predicted the demise of Volkswagen. I saw it differently. Brands are a shortcut to a view. In psychology terms, a brand is a heuristic – a ready-made shortcut which saves you the brain-ache of having to think about things and weigh up options every time. Read More
Do you care who wins the Premiership this season? You would if you had a £250,000 bet riding on it. That’s the potential pay-out for a £50 bet placed before the first match was played, when you could get odds of 5000 to 1 on Leicester City Football Club.
Now imagine the bookies are offering you the chance to cash out that bet, today, for £72,000. Take the money? A return of 1440 times on a £50 stake that you kissed goodbye. Read More
The best reason to read this short book is to spend time in the company of the author. Dan Ariely is funny and wise, thought-provoking and outspoken, prejudiced and playful, and not afraid to stick his neck out (for example, on the merits of marriage, and how to decide whether to get married). The book is an entertaining collection from his Wall Street Journal advice column, each question and response complemented by a witty cartoon. Read More
Age UK are in trouble for doing a deal with an energy provider that raised £6m a year for the charity. It’s tough, and probably feels unfair to them. But this is what happens when the operational needs of the business get dissociated from its core purpose. Fundraising is essential but it is not why Age UK exists.
The charity aims to help everyone make the most of later life. Undoubtedly some older people are confused by energy tariffs, Read More
“Happiness in your career is about independence and freedom, and vital engagement with one’s craft in a productive way.”
Luke Johnson, entrepreneur
John Lewis Opticians have just launched. How will they do? JLP’s mutual ownership model is much loved and admired. It’s working well. The total group’s revenues have grown by 50% in the past six years, through a recession. With profit distribution to all employees, known as partners, John Lewis has become the new Virgin, champion of the customer. I would love to buy a car from them, or have them sell my house. But the world of opticians doesn’t need John Lewis. Read More
“Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions.”
attributed to Wallace Earl Gray Stephens, American poet
Everyone’s talking about insight. So what is an insight? It is a discovery about the market which can be acted upon to create competitive advantage. It’s usually a realisation, not a direct data point. Numbers may prompt this realisation, but it has to be thought and articulated before it starts to be useful. It’s the “aha” statement that gets passed around, and enables a business to create shared understanding and take action.
It seems like everyone’s doing insight too. Read More
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
George Bernard Shaw Read More
We seem to be moving from a words-dominated world to a picture-led one. YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine (its owners Google tell us). It’s never been easier to take and share pictures, and it’s happening a lot. See Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, et al. Marketing tech start-ups that do something with video are springing up all over the place.
That could make us think words don’t matter any more. Who reads when they can watch a Vine or YouTube it? Read More