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History, Hallmarks and Habits of Luxury Brands: the iconic markings of great luxury brands

By in Branding, Customer Experience, Customer Personas, Guest Posts & Interviews, Marketing, Messaging, Stories | 0 comments

Since time immemorial, our attitude to gold and silver has been inexplicable.   Of the 118 elements in the periodic table, both metals are chemically boring and have few special qualities. And yet… for the last 5,000 years they’re the ones we’ve tended to use for personal adornment and currency. Why? They’re valuable.   They’re also storied, scarce and special – like every luxury brand. Part of a series on Luxury Branding, this article explains the hallmarks of a traditional luxury brand and how the myth of luxury has evolved.     Since ancient times, gold and silver have been connected with money. Both ‘noble’ metals, their malleable nature and rarity made them the perfect choice for currency, but purity proved problematic. Without set standards, unscrupulous silversmiths debased the currency by melting down coins, reducing the silver content, increasing the...

The Taylah Swift Method of Brand Domination

By in Brand Tone of Voice, Branding, Business, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Customer Personas, Guest Posts & Interviews, Marketing, Messaging, Stories | 0 comments

She’s a branding superstar … dressed as a popstar.   Why? Well it’s hard not to notice the impossibly perfect red lipstick. Then comes the obvious talent and fashionista looks.   But it’s the loyal relationship she’s built with her fans, that makes her a brilliant businesswoman.     Yes, we’re talking Taylor Swift. And it’s all true. Her bigheartedness and obsession with surprising her fans – the Swifties – is in large part responsible for her swift (pardon the pun) path to world domination. At just 25 years old, she helms a brand more profitable than most companies: she earned $64 million in 2014 – with her album, 1989, selling 1.287 million copies in its first week and bringing in more than $7 million in sales and counting. Any business would be envious of those numbers, and there’s more. A single post on Instagram clocked 670,000 likes in under seven hours, and...

Rebuilding the ad break: more disruptive content marketing from LEGO brand

By in Branding, Content Marketing, Marketing, Stories | 0 comments

I’ve said before, that I love to play.   And that telling a great story – especially a brand one – is an art.   For me, the LEGO brand fuses those two loves with some of the most innovative and disruptive content marketing that’s going around today.   If you want a case study for brand story creation, consolidation and expansion, there’s no need to go much further than LEGO. Having reinvented themselves out of their near bankruptcy in the early 00’s, LEGO have forged a new path with Hollywood tie-ins, going back their roots and most of all, tapping new technology and online marketing techniques. With the hilariously entertaining LEGO Movie launch approaching, they needed a new way to extend their brand reach. They turned to content marketing. As David Wilding, Head of Planning at Ad agency PHD,  explained in a Media Week post on the subject:   “While Lego is a...

Wandering, wondering and wordless

By in Creative Life, Stories | 2 comments

I’ve been absent.   In mind, if not body – following paths. And in doing that, I became a visitor to my blog, not its roommate.     It’s tricky … noticing absence. At first you notice it. You feel foggy and slightly uncomfortable. Then the transition smoothly glides from presence to absence.   And after a while you don’t notice it. Then it’s forgotten. *** I‘ve been trying to write this for some weeks. Finally it appeared for me – perfectly written by Erika Napoletano in a recent post, Your Messy, Messy Life … “It’s been awhile since I’ve written … a combination of self-doubt and blinding excellence, all muddled together in a strange stew of here and now where I can’t seem to get the seasoning right.”   I couldn’t serve a dish to my roommate that didn’t taste, look or feel right. So I didn’t. But after giving myself the space of absence, I’ve...

Give me your handbag – and I’ll find your story secrets

By in Brand Tone of Voice, Stories | 8 comments

A handbag (or manbag) is the ultimate private space.   And that makes it juicy territory for story hunting.     What’s in your bag right now? What stories does it hold, hide or hint at? Are there secrets lurking at the bottom … along with the bobby pins, scraps of paper and long forgotten flotsam and jetsam?   Will it unravel you? Leave me (or any curious person, really) alone with your bag for an hour and it’s incredible what I can say about you. It’s not the obvious – phone, tissues or money that says much. Look at the small everyday objects. They hold great power in revealing your personality.   What story secrets will your handbag tell me? Share it … in the comments   Photo credit: Evil Erin via photopin c Get blog updates & newsletters Get blog posts as soon as they’re posted and fortnightly newsletters on how to write meaningful...

We’re born to create. Are you leaving something worthwhile?

By in Copywriting, Creative Life, Quirkies, Stories | 5 comments

Have you ever woken up in the morning and felt an ache inside?   A feeling that there’s something more you need to do? That you’re destined for something greater? So go do it. Make a mark. Or even … just begin.   But sometimes you need a kick-start. Here’s a few for you: What creative legacy do you want to leave? Look for places to make a difference.   What mark you want to leave as a unique reminder of your life? Find people and places where you can add, not take away.   What undiscovered treasures have you dreamt of finding? Open new eyes to hidden gems.   How wide is your life right now? Make sure you live life’s width as well as its length.   What’s your passion, something you’re always talking about everywhere you go? Make you heart sing.   We’re only here once (that we’re sure of). Make sure you’ve left something.   What can you add?...

The evil truth about contrast and conflict in all great storytelling

By in Branding, Copywriting, Stories | 4 comments

Our everyday life and language is built on opposites and contrasts.   I hate you … I love you. You’re beautiful … I’m ugly. We’re rich … they’re poor.     And if you ask someone how things are going, you’ll typically get a conflicting message “Oh, it’s up and down” or “I’m so cold, but my feet are warm.” Thinking about it, our lives and surroundings are based almost entirely on binary oppositions, or paired contrasts – night and day, left and right, man and woman. And their very co-existence is essential for us to understand the world, events and emotions. For understanding to occur, things need their paired opposite. Their very opposition creates and gives meaning. We get it.   Darkness proceeds daylight That means we don’t actually learn and derive meaning from what things are, but from their relationship to other things. Have you ever considered how you’re able...