The strategic difference that really counts

Difference, as we know, is at the heart of strategy. In any realm – business, politics, military, personal – it is about walking a different path to the others around you.  Indeed we might say that’s its very definition: Strategy is that which only you do. Naturally, you will be the same as others in […]

Sugar, sex, and the supernormal

Following my piece a few months back on the phenomenon of concentration – the great invisible force shaping pretty much everything right now – I wanted to do another similar piece on a different macro-trend. The purpose of such pieces, which of course aren’t strategy how-to guides like some others, is to give you a […]

How successful brands die

Understandably we talk a lot here about growth.  That’s what most founders are interested in.  However, this is should only be one part of their agenda.  The other, less discussed, is survival.  Simply sticking around and maintaining your brand’s position – hopefully long into the future. When it comes to the growth side of the […]

Hattable brands – what makes a business a cultural icon

Arguably there are two types of brand in this world: Those you could put on a hat, and those you couldn’t. Harley Davidson, Mountain Dew, Jack Daniels, Levis, Marlboro, Fender, Porsche; all “hattable” brands.  Dell, Audi, Dove, Pepsi, Cadbury’s, FedEx; all great brands, yes, but not “hattable”. To be the sort of brand who an […]

The danger of knowing too much

Consider the following paradox: The more news you consume, the more ignorant you may become. How can this be true?  After all, clearly the person who reads the paper regularly, watches a 24 hour news channel, devours current affairs podcasts, and spends hours on Twitter will end up knowing an awful lot of stuff.  Certainly […]

The Toilet Paper Rule

We want to be the Apple of dishwasher tablets. We want to be the Nike of accountancy software. We want to be the Tesla of bathroom grout. We want to be the Supreme of clingfilm. We want to be the Netflix of medical waste disposal. Recognise statements like these? We all want to be the […]

Strategy can never be “scientific”

When you’re facing a task that doesn’t have a solution that you know will work at the outset. There is no “strategy” to fixing a muffler, or flying a jet, or tying pigtails; there is just a method. Strategy is reserved for the many walks of life where there are no neat and tidy solutions […]