Tag: brand

Nice branding

Do No Comments

After our post on 7-Eleven, we spotted this…

tesco express shop









Given the ubiquity of Tesco Express (in the UK at least), what about this for a striking rebrand from a popular local convenience store?

Tesco should be flattered by the ‘steal with pride’ approach.


University is not a business – discuss

Plan No Comments

university protest


Most charities, hospitals and university departments have a ‘business plan’ and ‘business cases’ these days.

Yes, we know that in many ‘noble purpose organisations’ these trappings of commerce can be disliked and quite a few would agree with the sentiments of the pictured Cambridge academic.

However, what it takes to be ‘business like’ is important if you think things like customer focus, efficiency, rigour, accountability, etc matter in public and charity organisations with finite budgets.

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Bigger than you think

Think No Comments

7-ElevenIt is interesting what you notice when travelling.

7-Eleven is not a brand we see much in the UK any more, with Tesco, M&S, Spar and others occupying most of the convenience store market now.

However, in Australia and Bangkok the 7-Eleven brand is pretty much ubiquitous – often with a couple on the same city street.

Reading here you can find a little of the story that makes this franchise the biggest in the world.




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Viral marketing

Think No Comments

This is the first bit of viral marketing we recall. The clip is now labelled as coming from Pixar, which is where this bit of self-promotion by Navone led him to.

And now this festive one with an ad agencey behind it selling a web product.

A couple of questions:

1) Do the negative comments added by viewers distract or damage the marketers?

2) Where will viral marketing go next?  Flash mobs have been around for a while (probably since Spike Jonze produced ‘Praise You’ for Fat Boy Slim).

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Which flavour of CSR – pure or impure?

Plan No Comments

One way of thinking about corporate social responsibility is to ask:

– what a business must do?
– what a business could do?
– what a business should do?

What are the reasons for adhering to ‘ethical’ values? If managers make the link to business goals (ie to help make money by pleasing customers or improve the experience for staff) then the CSR interests are aligned with those of the shareholders. Alex Oliver at Cambridge University calls this ‘impure’ CSR. Milton Friedman describes impure CSR as “hypocritical window dressing”.

Friedman says the social responsibility of for-profit businesses (as opposed to businesses like Divine chocolate who are set up with more than shareholder return in mind) is “to increase profit”. That is their utilitarian role and how they bring most benefit to society. So if a business pursues profit and stays within all laws and regulations, have they fulfilled their CSR? It can also be argued that a focus purely on shareholder interests is the legal obligation of the executives – their fiduciary duty laid out in company law.

‘Pure CSR’ sees the managers go against the desires of the shareholders in spending their money for social good. Friedman says this is taxation (of the shareholders) without proper representation.

Or maybe it’s ok for CSR to be ambiguous? Machiavelli would say its about looking good in the eyes of different audiences – telling them what they need to hear. So the City gets told one message and customers and staff another.

Perhaps that is the difference between the nature of ethical decisions for a company (the ‘collective corporate mind’) in contrast to the ethical positions we are able to take as individuals?

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Quality and value: chocolate reindeer anyone?

Plan No Comments

Aldi adThis festive advert from the discount chain Aldi (who interestingly vies regularly for top spot in the Which? ‘retailer of the year’ against  John Lewis and is rated a top 5 place for new graduates by The Times) reminds us that the search for quality and value spans all sectors! 

Successful companies are passionate about these two themes.

The NHS Institute uses the same phrase . 

One of the principal methods for achieving these potentially competing goals is ‘Lean thinking’.

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Making an impression

photos, Reflect No Comments

Stephen FrySee these pictures of Stephen Fry.

Same story.

Two papers.

Two photos.

Two impressions?


The independent organisation

Plan No Comments

Are you in an independent organisation? 

What does that mean?  Try this test:

1)    Do you own your own Brand – or can a boss (politician, Group CEO) take it away?

2)    Do you have a diversified Income Stream  – or are your ‘customers’ all in one sector or even mainly from one organisation?

3)    Do you have a choice about how you organise internally – or is that dictated by Governance?

Whilst many achieve 1 and 3, number 2 is the fundamental basis of organisational independence.

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National treasures

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“Oh, they really are a national treasure.” 

Who would you agree on?

1. Absolutely they are (for the moment at least) – Gary Lineker, Bruce Forsyth, Eddie Izzard, Michael Portillo, Delia Smith, Alan Titchmarsh, Gary Barlow, David Beckham, Felicity Kendal

2. Maybe – Peter Tatchell, Ann Widdecombe, Simon Cowell, James Corden, Dawn French, Johnny Rotten, Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards

3. Possibly, but not yet – Neil Kinnock, Chris Moyles, Piers Morgan, Cheryl Cole

4. Might be losing it – Jonathan Ross, Cliff Richard, Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, Helen Mirren

5. Was and no longer – Bob Geldof, John Humphries, Bono

 What do these  characters share in common? Well they have moved from being a  figure of hate or fun (or irrelevance or especially narrow interest) to someone who most recognise and someone who doesn’t polarise opinion very much.

And many have done something special beyond they classic role – showing a bit of passion, doing something different or just being resilient with staying power in the face of a challenge.

So the choice is: change or continue the same; show humility or demonstrate no self-awareness.

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On the train #2

Reflect No Comments

On the train.

I see an old contact.

Maybe he could become a new client.

I think of approaching him.

Then he puts his feet on the seats, and starts moving in ways that disturb those around him.

And begins eating an unbelievably smelly item of food. 

I decide to leave it.

We all choose who we work with?  Do we choose well?  Are these valid reasons?

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