Here’s how to run a brand.

Any brand.

Using only your bare feet.



Take your shoes and socks off.

Then grab a black Sharpie.

Bend down, and on your right foot, write:


Then, reach across and on your left foot, write:


Then, stamp your right foot.

Your ‘brand’ foot.

Stamp it over and over and over.

Shouting out loud what your brand stands for.

Shouting out the change you’re trying to make.

Shouting out your reason for actually being in fucking business.

And do this knowing that you really, really, really own that brand position.

(You’ll know if you own it. 

Because if people just say the brand position. 

Without saying the name of your brand.

They will still know who you are. 

“No Loss of Suction” for example. 

We all know who that is. 

Without having to say the brand name).

Your Brand. 

That’s the first bit.

The stamping bit.

The bit where we make sure you actually are a brand.

So if you can’t do this first part.

Put your shoes and socks back on.

And don’t waste anyone’s time with part two.

Part Two. 

Part two is quite precise.

First, root your ‘brand’ foot.

Your right foot.

Root it firmly to the ground.

Your right foot must now never, ever move.

It’s fixed.

Then, depending on how flexible and creative you are.

You can do what the fucking hell you like with your left foot.

Your ‘Marketing Communications, Including Creative, Messaging & Design’ foot.


Point your toes.

Wiggle it.

Do whatever it is that feels appropriate for your firmly rooted ‘brand’ foot.

And try not to fall over as you do.



Brand comes first.

Everything else in your business that is – or comes anywhere near – how you communicate yourself.

Is subordinate to brand.

It always follows brand.

Prancing About.

And never, ever move your brand foot.

Because if you do.

Or if your Creative/Brand/Full-service/Whatever agency does.

(And that happens a lot!

Because Agencies rarely understand how to build, communicate and integrate a brand properly).

You are not building a brand.

All you are doing is prancing about.

Looking stupid.

Wasting money.

Eroding profitability.

And jeopardising not only the growth of, but the very existence of your business.

Shoes and Socks. 

Do it.

In your next Board Meeting.

The next time your MD comes up with yet another random, bullshit suggestion that she or he heard on the golf course or down the gym.

You know what to do.

Stand up.

Take your shoes and socks off.

Grab your Sharpie.

Jump up on the board table in front of the assembled suits.

And stamp!

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