Category Archives: Strengths


Positive feedback equals recognition, reward, motivation and satisfaction.

On the other hand, negative feedback means something’s wrong.  The current method or strategy isn’t working.  The plan isn’t rolling out.  A new course needs to be charted.

One hears a lot about positive feedback and the need to feel “loved”.  Articles abound that theorise the need for positive reinforcement as a route to engaged staff and teams.
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Rejected? Try Hippo Skin!

A hippopotamus has skin that’s an inch and a half thick and is 25% of its total body weight.  For an animal that weighs 1,800 kilos, that’s a lot of skin.

It’s almost impenetrable (some say bullet proof) and yet a hippo’s very survival out of water depends on a coating of oil it secretes that acts as a moisturiser and sun-screen.  So even though a hippo sports some of the best body armour in the animal kingdom, it still needs to adapt when called for.

It occurs to me that when it comes to dealing with rejection, sometimes hippo skin would come in very handy.
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Creativity is a virtue of the stupid

Think about that for a second.

The process of logic can (and does) deliver great outcomes that make significant economic and social impacts.  People who just get things done through running the logical process to its end are more often than not thought of as being smart.  So by definition, someone not following logic is stupid (the opposite of smart), right?

However it’s from illogic that most real creativity flourishes, so isn’t creativity then, a virtue of the stupid?
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The most exciting boring you’ll never want to know

Confused?  Don’t be.  This post is about sharing, because I’ve just read the most exciting column so far this year, its central theme was on becoming boring and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Lots of ‘marketers’ these days don’t want to know about this because they want to think of themselves as being at the cutting-edge.  They want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to new and exciting ways to use media and creativity to get their brands up and rocking. Make big noise to get quick cut-through.  Not a lot of longer run thinking going on.

They also often act at the expense of fundamentals and this column is exciting because it talks all about them.  They’re too busy trying to be cool and be seen that they miss why they’re there in the first place.

Naturally, social media and digital are where most of this loss-of-focus occurs though not exclusively.  In this column, the writer (Pete Blackshaw) puts forward the very same argument I’ve been banging on about to clients (and anyone who’ll listen in the marketing and communications game) if they’re to make any kind of difference to their brands and the consumers of them.

Read this great column then go back and make sure these things are covered in your marketing strategy.

Asset leverage

Very financial sounding for a marketing blog, so what’s “asset leverage” got to do with marketing?

Everything.  Because great marketing (strategic, campaign-based or tactical) is just that.  Asset leverage.

The best campaigns I’ve ever seen and been involved in (particularly the fantastically successful guerilla-style ones that get amazing cut-through) are the result of maximum leverage of assets.

Every business, venture, company or brand has assets.  Existing brands have massive assets (brands that falter, in my opinion, do so partly because of a failure to leverage them, but that’s for another post) though new brands do too.

I’m not talking about the product either.  While products can, technically be assets, your most valuable assets are the things competitors can’t own.  Things like the owners profile or background, the brand experiences & systems you’ve developed, your unique value proposition, location, market position and a whole host of other things.

The other great thing about the term “asset leverage” is that it’s a good pitch to get  buy-in, not only from the more financially and ROI-focused team-members or C-levels in corporates but from SME’s as well, who are less cashed up (generally speaking) and understand the concept of leveraging financial assets.  It can help to cut-through with potential investors too.

This concept of leveraging assets for greater returns in financial investments is as valid for getting great returns from your marketing plan.  A strategy that knows and successfully leverages marketing assets will amplify returns and win in the brand and bottom-line stakes.