Marketing, customers & brands

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” John Wanamaker

Connecting your brand to place, people and past

Thanksgiving was last week in the U.S. and my Instagram feed has been flooded with festive photos of turkey, pies and autumn leaf peeping....

Two frameworks to guide brand stories

This month we have been thinking about storytelling at Square Holes, from why it’s an important marketing tool to how to construct a story...

Design thinking for non-designers

I used to believe that design thinking was intimidating and reserved for brilliant professionals who were charismatic and intelligent, intuitive and analytical, all at...

Brands can be memorable or frictionless, but not both

For the past couple of months, I have been obsessing over a recent research piece published in the Harvard Business Review. Titled “What customer...

‘Playing with provenance’: Anholt’s approach to nation branding

“In today’s global village, where geography counts for so little, countries become like factories, competing for the same broad group of consumers. Naturally, each...

Is your customer experience aligned with your brand promise?

Imagine for a moment you are shopping on Fifth Avenue in New York. (Let’s also imagine you are very wealthy.) There is a Louis...

Write an ‘SMP’ (Single Minded Proposition) to supercharge your creative

Creative ads are effective ads. Say it with me: creative ads are effective ads! Perceptions of creativity in advertising, also described as “divergence”, increase memorability....

Aaker’s Brand Vision Model

When David Aaker developed the Brand Vision Model in 1996 (originally called the Brand Identity Model), it was partially an act of rebellion. In a...

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