Category

CREATIVITY

Category

I help six business a year.

As a brand consultant.

I like working with businesses I like.

Businesses that are focussed on making change that they.

And I.

Believe in.

And about six businesses each year does me just fine.

Brand Consultant.

I’m very good at being a brand consultant, actually.

I’ve been helping businesses for 25 years.

I’ve built ten meaningful brands of my own.

I’ve worked with some of the greatest brand brains around.

But that doesn’t mean I’m great for everyone, of course.

Because just like there’s more than one way for a football team to win a football match.

There’s more than one way for a business leader to win at business.

Taking a brand-driven approach is just one way.

And narrower still.

Taking my brand-driven approach is different again.

Brand Consultants and Football Teams. 

I’ll always tell you what I think you should do.

And why.

But whether you do it or not.

And exactly how you do it.

That’s up to you.

Klopp’s Liverpool.

Fergusson’s Manchester United.

Mourinho’s Chelsea.

They all played football.

They all won the Premiership.

But they all won it in their own way.

Bravely.

The way that I choose to build brand is clear.

In a word, it’s:

Bravely.

Because braver brands are much more likely to be noticed.

They are much more likely to be remembered.

And they are much more likely to be chosen.

Boring, Boring Business.

Business is largely boring, to me.

Businesses colour their logos in the same way as the businesses around them.

Businesses name themselves in the same way as the businesses around them.

Businesses speak in the same way as the businesses around them.

Then they wonder why they’re neither noticed.

Remembered.

Or chosen.

Hmmm.

Building Braver Brands.

Of course, if you are going to be different.

(And you should be different.

That’s not negotiable).

You need to know how to be different.

And that’s where I come in.

But just like there’s more than one way for a football team to win a football match.

There’s more than one way for a business leader to win at business.

Taking a brand-driven approach is just one way.

And narrower still.

Taking my brand-driven approach is different again.

Anyhow.

Whether you work with me or just listen to me and take my advice.

Be braver.

Build a braver brand.

Plan from tomorrow.

And start soon.

You’ll be glad you did.

When I made music in my 20’s and 30’s.

It was fun.

Pete and I wrote songs with great care.

Influenced by The Gin Blossoms.

Oasis.

And Iggy Pop.

Careless.

Sometimes, however.

We cared less than that.

Sometimes.

We relaxed.

And that’s when we wrote songs for Buff Carradine.

And lead guitarist Tommy ‘Salt & Vinegar’ Timpson.

(We never addressed or explained the ‘Salt & Vinegar’ part).

Buff Carradine.

Buff Carradine is.

(In his own mind).

Errol Flynn.

Buff wears smart shirts.

Cuban heels.

Lots of aftershave.

Cufflinks.

And he winks at people.

Sleazy.

Buff sings about magicians.

Pink and yellow balloons.

Black bow ties.

Chandeliers.

And his sleaziness creeps unapologetically into the lyrics of every song.

It’s just the way Buff is.

Up In A Balloon.

Anyhow.

Have a listen.

(Pete (Tommy) sings the first two verses.

I (Buff) sing from the first chorus to the end).

Up in a balloon (original).

Creative is good.

Bravery is good.

But Creative Bravery.

Wow!

Now that’s something else.

1+1=3

Creative Bravery is classic ‘1+1=3″.

The whole being far greater than the sum of the two parts.

If creativity is using our imagination and ideas to create something inventive and (at least in part) new.

Imagine doing that whilst being brave!

Imagine doing that whilst being courageous enough and ready enough to face and endure – or if you want to, ignore – anything that anybody said, thought or did to potentially derail you and that which you were creating.

You’d be unstoppable!

Creative Bravery.

Be Creative.

That’s brilliant.

Be Brave.

That’s brilliant.

But true Creative Bravery.

That is so rare.

And so special.

That is where the magic happens.

If you think you’re good at something.

Do it.

Don’t flounce about telling people how good you are.

Advertising the fact.

But never actually expressing yourself in the way you claim you can.

(There’s a lot of that about).

Get off your arse.

And just do it.

Funny.

Imagine meeting a comedian for the first time.

Imagine they told you they were really, really funny.

You’d feel nothing.

Because a good comedian doesn’t need to tell you they’re funny.

They just make you laugh.

50odd.

50odd is 3,650 stories.

1 each day.

For 10 years.

50odd is a reminder to live the life you were born to.

Inside your short, 1,000 month visit.

And 50odd is proof that.

If you look more closely.

And live more fully.

We each have a story to tell.

Storytelling.

Can I tell stories?

Compellingly?

Consistently?

Well?

I’m not sure.

But one thing I am sure about.

Is that there’s only one way to find out.

It is ‘The Year of the Individual’.

The year where the express individuality of ‘you’ is of paramount importance.

This is year where your difference is what you should be shouting about.

Not shrouding.

This is the year where the fuckups that shaped you should be celebrated, thanked and retold.

Not ashamedly hidden.

This is the year where the only glass screen you should look to for affirmation or adulation is a mirror.

Instead of joining the misguided millions that fish fruitlessly for felicity in phones and laptops.

This year is The Year of the Individual.

An essential celebration that never, ever gets old.

This is The Year of the Individual.

No matter which year you choose to read it.

Don’t be late.

The best way to get better at something.

Sometimes.

Is not to keep on doing it.

It’s to stop doing it.

Just for a bit.

Stop.

When you stop.

It gives you perspective.

Distance is valuable.

Things look different from a distance.

They feel different.

You’ll learn to see it how they see it.

If how they see it matters, of course.

And you’ll learn if you miss it.

Then.

If you do miss it.

When you start it again.

You’ll feel fresher.

More relaxed.

Happier.

Better.

The best way to get better at something.

Sometimes.

Is not to keep on doing it.

It’s to stop doing it.

Just for a bit.

I have to be really careful.

Because it can be such a distraction.

I know it’s been a distraction for me many times over the years.

It’s distracted me from what I really should be doing.

Over.

And over again.

Big Difference.

There is very often a very big difference.

Between doing what makes us the most money.

And doing what we really should be doing.

I can’t explain why that is.

But I do believe it to be true.

Money.

Becomes the distraction.

Money.

I have to be really careful when it comes to earning money.

Because money has distracted me many times over the years.

To the point where.

Sometimes.

I was earning far more money than was good for me.

(Which makes it all the more stupid).

True.

There is very often a very big difference.

Between doing what makes us the most money.

And doing what we really should be doing.

I can’t explain why that is.

But I do believe it to be true.

Money.

Becomes the distraction.

I read more books in 2020.

Than I’d ever read before.

I don’t mean that I read more books in 2020 than in any other single year.

I mean that I read more books in 2020 than I’d read in my previous 50 years.

Reflection.

This is not a positive reflection on how many books I read in 2020.

It’s a negative reflection.

On just how few I’d read before that.

Books. 

The books I read in 2020 were all about brand.

Business communication.

Storytelling.

That kind of thing.

Before that, I think I’d only read two books end-to-end.

One was Catch-22.

(Joseph Heller.

As you know).

The other was Pet Semetary.

(Stephen King.

Again.

As you know).

It’s a miracle I can string a sentence together, really.

Or write proper.

Innit?

Don’t just describe things.

Even if you’re really, really good at describing things.

Tell a story instead.

People like stories.

And they remember them, too.

Creativity.

One of the things that creativity is for.

Your creativity, I mean.

Is storytelling.

Admittedly some people are better at telling stories than others.

But it is within all of us to have a go.

Rules. 

The age old rules will help you.

Tell people what it does – for them.

(That’s a benefit).

Not just what it does.

(That’s a feature).

And the first principle of any business communications.

Of course.

Is to get noticed.

And the best way to get noticed.

Is to be different.

Stand out.

Zig.

When.

They.

Zag.

So be brave.

Don’t explain.

Communicate.

Don’t describe.

Fire the imagination.

Don’t tell.

Inspire!

Readers. 

And write for readers.

Not for you.

Or your boss.

Keep things simple.

Clear.

Engaging.

Eaaaaaasy.

Charming.

Cheeky, even.

Stories Not Descriptions. 

Don’t just describe things.

Even if you’re really, really good at describing things.

Tell a story instead.

People like stories.

And they remember them, too.