How can brands help build better people?

So I’ve been deep in a fascinating book, Fred Turner’s ‘The Democratic Surround’. It describes how European mass media societies enabled the deeply destructive politics that led to WWII, and what the US did when it realised that it was a very similar kind of mass media society. It’s got a lot of lessons forContinue reading “How can brands help build better people?”

Talking brand storytelling

So I’ve been podcasted – many thanks to Andy from SiteVisibility, who had me on their Internet Marketing Podcast to chat about brand storytelling. Once you start talking about brand storytelling, it’s hard to stop. We discussed how to give your brand a compelling personality, tell it as a gripping story and show your customersContinue reading “Talking brand storytelling”

Sizzle your way to better brand language

So we were down at the Garden Centre the other day, buying a goldfish. That was a lot of fun – but for me, the really exciting part of the trip was finding issue 4 of Weber’s ‘Grill On’ barbecue magazine, because their brand language is fantastic. We have two Weber barbecues – a bigContinue reading “Sizzle your way to better brand language”

So why do we need tone of voice anyway?

Well, you can answer that in three words: Dick Van Dyke If you’re not British, you probably know him as a tremendously versatile actor and light entertainer who’s still hoofing it up in his 90s. But if you are a Brit, when you hear his name you’ll probably mutter something like ‘Gorblimey Mary Poppins’ inContinue reading “So why do we need tone of voice anyway?”

Why business writing should come from the heart

There’s a comment that often comes up when I’m training B2B communicators in better business writing. It usually happens when I say something along the lines of: ‘To write well, you have to think about what your audience are feeling as much as what you’re telling them’. And when I say that, someone usually repliesContinue reading “Why business writing should come from the heart”

Information wants to be far more than free

So that ‘Information wants to be free’ slogan has always annoyed me a little. Partially that’s because of what it’s led to – a world in which services support ‘free’ by turning their users into the product. More importantly, it gets to me because it’s actually only one part of a much more inspiring statementContinue reading “Information wants to be far more than free”

Brand learnings from ‘Super Mario Bros’

So there’s a lot you can learn about how important good brand writing is from 1993’s failed ‘Super Mario Bros’ movie. OK, bear with me here. Dennis Hopper nails it The reason I’m bringing up one of cinema’s more epic turkeys is this article about its troubled production. The shoot looks tough to live through,Continue reading “Brand learnings from ‘Super Mario Bros’”

Distraction is the mother of invention

I’ve just been planning out a ‘creative writing in business’ workshop. As part of it, I’m going to be sending people out for a slightly random wander round the neighbourhood. That might seem counter-intuitive – people usually think of workshops as being tightly planned and very focussed – but in fact purposeful self-distraction is keyContinue reading “Distraction is the mother of invention”

Writing speech for brands

It struck me just now that the best way of writing for brands is to see your words as speech, not prose. That came out of thinking about the difference between writing for brands and writing fiction. I’ve always separated them by saying that, when I write for a brand, I’m trying to sound likeContinue reading “Writing speech for brands”

The Matrix, Experience Channels, and THE WINE PACKAGING OF TOMORROW!!!

Andy Warhol said that in the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes. He was wrong. In fact, in the future, everyone will be an advert for fifteen minutes. That’s because it’s in the nature of experience channels to allow just about anyone to share their impressions of a particular brand in a wayContinue reading “The Matrix, Experience Channels, and THE WINE PACKAGING OF TOMORROW!!!”