November 2020


It doesn’t always have to hurt for it to be good.

This is me I’m talking to now.


Because I am still too stupid.

And unconfident.

And self-doubting.

To accept it.

Maybe one day – I will.


If something takes blood.



And whatever other bodily fluid that metaphor-manufacturers through the ages have wanted us to excrete.

That’s fine.

But none of these things are a prerequisite for the creation of something good.

None of these things are essential for something of value to appear.

Because sometimes.

Your experience.


And ‘you-ness’.

Mean you can produce something good in a heartbeat.

In a second.

In the blink of an eye.

And so it is also important to acknowledge the converse.

That just because you created something in a heartbeat.

In a second.

In the blink of an eye.

That does not mean that it must not be good.


It doesn’t always have to hurt for it to be good.

This is me I’m talking to now.


Because I am still too stupid.

And unconfident.

And self-doubting.

To accept it.

Maybe one day – I will.

Segment your audience.

Understand each segment.

Hone your offer for each segment.

Tailor your words for each segment.

Then give each of them gifts.

Give willingly.

Give generously.

Give openly.

And consistently.

Help them.

Support them.

Give them little things they may find useful.

Take the time to get to know them.


And by personally I mean go beyond the segment.

To each and every person.

In each and every segment.




Message them about the precise part of your offer that is most relevant to them.

(And the better you get to know them.

The better you will be able to do that).

But do this only when you and they feel ready to have that conversation.

After you connect.

Really connect, I mean.

And if you have really connected.

You’ll know exactly when the right time is.


But that takes you and your brand so much bloody time.


So here is a different option.

The ‘Splat!’ option.

For the Splat! option, combine all your offers into one single, complete, more easily manageable clump of aggregated and layered blob of information.

Everything you want to say to everyone you want to speak to.

All in one place.

Then imagine that you are holding this blob of information in your arms.

Imagine this blob as a great big heavy ball of shite, if you like.

Then imagine all of your various targets stand in a ring around you.

Loads of them.

Beckon them closer with a nod.


Nod of your head.


When you are sure they are stood in the right place.

Raise your arms.

Lift your blob of shite.




Drop your one, single clump of aggregated, layered and all-encompassing blob of shite.

As hard as you can.

Onto the floor.


You got them!

Now you can feel amazing.

Because you hit all of them.

With hardly any effort.

You hit every single one of them with every single bit of information you have about your business much faster than the fannying about that I mentioned earlier.

It saved you time.

It saved you money.

Your hit rate was pretty much close to 100%!

So now you really can feel great.

Because the reach, precision, speed, scale and completeness of the task beats my earlier approach a hundred times over.

That’s the difference between me and you!

You cry.

And then you remember another difference as well.


You cry

That’s not the only difference.

You cry.

Because you just remembered something about your content.

You just remembered that not only did you get your content out there to more people, more completely and much, much faster than the first way

You also remembered the other big difference about your blob of content.

Which took a little bit of the shine off.

It was shite.

It came to me as I watched this.

The one thing I must do.

And the one thing you must do.

To make us truly contented and complete.


I must admit that I am not there yet.

But I do know which of the brands I own that can help me to achieve it.

I can feel it.


And therefore I know where to put my energy.

And by the way.

When I say that this ‘one thing’ came to me.

That’s not strictly true.

I did not invent it.

I heard someone say it.

And that someone was Dennis Potter.

One Thing.

Do this one thing.

Align Your Life’s Work.

With Your Life’s Meaning.

That’s it.

This is worth watching:



Drives me mad.

An industry that facilitates taking money from one group of people to create adverts.

And also facilitates the taking of money from the very people they were designed for.

So they can block them.



That said.

When adverts are brave.

And funny.

And daring.

And memorable.

And different.

So that they actually do make me like and remember the brand.

That, I forgive.


Take a look:


If someone starts an ‘apology’ with,

I apologise if…

Is not an apology.

It’s just a person saying:

I recognise that there might be circumstances under which that thing I said or did might deserve an apology.

So it’s meaningless.


I apologise that…

Normally is an apology.

It’s important to recognise the difference.

(Listen to politicians.

They rarely say the latter).

Here’s the funniest thing I ever heard.

From the funniest man I ever heard.

Des O’Connor.

Des O’Connor.

Who died today.

Was mocked endlessly by Eric Morecambe.

Heart Attack.

When Eric had a heart attack in 1968.

Des O’Connor heard the sad news during a live Des O’Connor gig.

Des stopped the gig immediately.

Told the audience the news.

And asked them all to pray for his friend and tormenter.

Eric Morecambe.

Eric Morecambe.

Eric recovered.

And later.

When Eric was told that O’Connor had asked his entire audience to pray for him.

Eric was touched.

But not changed.

Those 6 or 7 people might’ve made all the difference.

Eric commented.


The funniest thing I ever heard.

From the funniest man I ever heard.



One of the nicest men we ever heard.

Des O’Connor.

Who died today.

The most impressive thing about this interview.

Which was broadcast on Channel 4 on April 5th 1994.

Having taken place a couple of weeks before.

On March 15th 1994

Is how it has stuck with me.

For 25 years.


I was 27 when I saw it.

And I remember still some of the phrases.

Even though I only ever saw it once.

I remember how Dennis Potter confirmed to Melvyn Bragg that he was dying.

I remember the honesty of Dennis Potter in how he explored the idea that he had been a coward.

And I remember thinking that I could never do that.

I remember thinking that I could never say such a thing out loud.

Even though.

At the time.

I did think it.

And I remember wondering.

Way back then.

Whether knowing that I was going to die would change that.

I remember wondering whether a greater awareness of my own mortality would make me brave enough to admit that I was a coward.

How ironic.

The Pen.

Dennis Potter was an amazing man.

I’d wager that there is more beautiful, off-the-cuff storytelling in this 50 minute interview with Dennis Potter than you will hear in a hundred interviews from any other writers.

Listen out for what he says about the pen.

And what childhood actually feels like.

I’ve never forgotten that.

Dennis Potter.

Dennis Potter died on June 7th 1994.

So just 2 months after what you are about to watch.

Do the various behaviours and activities of your brand have a snowball effect?

What I mean is, do they feed into and from each other?

So that their cumulative power.

Magnifies you.

So that the snowballs gets bigger, if you like.

I ask, because The Snowball Effect.

Whether you knew it or not.

Is an opportunity for every brand.

The Snowball Effect.

The Snowball Effect is a big part of branding.

As I say.

Different brand behaviours feeding into and from each other.

So the snowball gets bigger.

Sometime the opportunity is missed.

So the snowball stays the same size.

And sometimes the brand is stupid.

So the snowball melts away.


I don’t dislike DHL really.

I just think they’re funny.

I spoke about the way they make business decisions here:

And now I’m going to talk about how they melt snowballs.

The Wrong Address.

The story I mentioned a sentence or two ago is about what happened when I redirected a parcel with DHL.

Here’s the bit I didn’t mention.

Here’s how DHL melted a snowball.

By having brand behaviours that definitely do not feed into and from each other.

Two Things.

Just after I’d discovered that DHL could redirect a parcel to me.

These two things happened.

First, they politely apologised that I’d have to listen to a 30 seconds(ish) disclaimer.

That they simply had to read to me.

Basically, it said that DHL took little or no responsibility for getting my redirected parcel from them.

To me.

I didn’t listen properly of course.

(Who does?)

I just rolled my eyeballs as they small-printed me to sleep with a tale of about how they’d do their best to get the redirect right.

But that it was not their sole responsibility to do so.


I thought.

But as I really couldn’t be arsed listening to the albeit very nice lady any more.

I said,


And that’s when the second thing happened.

The Second Thing.

Just before you go.

The lady said.

Can I ask, do you send parcels?

Can DHL help you?

Would you allow DHL to quote for you and your parcel sending needs?

I smiled.

And politely said.

To the company that had just taken 30 seconds of my time to say that they would take no responsibility for getting a parcel to their customer’s customer.

Ask if I wanted to entrust them to send Always Wear Red’s £1000 jumpers to mine.


Thank you.

I politely replied.

As before my very eyes.

This particular DHL snowball.

Turned quickly.

And permanently.

To water.

I had a package dispatched to me last week.

From a London supplier.

They entrusted it to DHL.

And off it flew.

The Wrong Address.

The address that the London supplier had on file for me.

Was my previous address.

My fault?


So once we found this out.

The conversation naturally turned to what we should do about it.

The Best That They Could Do.

My London supplier made a call to DHL and was told that ‘the best they could do’ was to hold the parcel at a local depot to me.

So that I could pick it up.

And that’s what my London supplier told me.



With that sorted.

I called DHL to check what identification I’d need to take along with me.

The conversation was interesting.

Because part way through I asked this:

Can you not just have it sent to a new address that I give you now?

My new address?

Here’s what they said:


So that’s what they did.

The Best You Can Do For Who?


It’s just a thought.

Maybe it’s a crazy thought.

But when you are thinking about ‘the best you can do’ as a business.

Make it the best you can do for the customer.

Not you.