Any marketer not working backwards from a deep understanding of their customers' needs, lives and the cultural milieu that surrounds them, is failing at the most elemental part of the job they are paid for.
Scandinavian brands bear a stamp of open duality. They embrace the extremes of individual genius in their creation and ubiquitous benefit in their application.
"Love" is a short word but a huge one, which seeks to convey the profound emotions that give meaning to close human relationships. Can it be justifiably extended to brands?
In the face of unreliable colleagues, unpredictable events, mercurial consumers, vicious competitors, rampant disrupters, lurching currency movements and shaky supply chains, any success we gain as marketers will be hard won and at least partly down to luck.
Some of the most insidious branding problems start out as virtues. Familiarity is one of them. Without it, where would a brand be?
The dystopian narratives of the 20th century encouraged in entire generations a healthy dread of state surveillance. Turns out it's not Big Brother doing the snooping. It's us - marketers - "lensing in" on personal privacy.
Marketers with portfolios suffering flat sales and poor recent growth tend to resort to a standard riposte - they're "building brands for the long term".
At its best, work is a noble thing - an enriching part of a fulfilled life. That said, for some, it will never be more than a means to an end, a transactional life necessity. Either way, brands have no business adding to the list of life's dreary, unpaid chores.
Interesting things can happen when originators put up a sustained, impassioned defence of their ideas in the face of hostility or indifference.
Chest-beating CVs that boast about high-risk repositioning strategies sit at odds with the slow-nurturing subtlety that would benefit most brands.
With the awards season upon us, what qualities do the people behind the winning brands share?
More than ever, we need brands that reflect our identity even as we change.
There is something noble in the persistence that keeps global marketers going in the face of all odds.
M&S needs to focus on the over-fifties, the age group that is, according to statistics, behind more business start-ups than any other.
Online user ratings and the extent to which consumers trust them as indicators of objective quality aren't as closely related as marketers may think.
Could cars be driving towards banking levels of consumer contempt?
Labour has chosen Krow and the Conservatives are in talks with M&C Saatchi, but what's the difference to voters?
Knowing what people don't want is more important than you think.
United found out what can happen when brands betray their values.
All marketers can learn something by working in 'resistance' categories.