Photo credit: Christopher Burns

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Introduction

Purpose is polarising.

There are those who promote it as a paragon of positioning and a silver-bullet strategy for success. Then there are those who refute purpose’s power and dispute its capacity to connect with consumers.

It is clearly a debate that divides. So let’s review the evidence.

In late 2011 Jim Stengel published Grow. The book analysed 50,000 brands, across 28 categories and more than 30 countries. Between 2000 and 2011 the stock prices of the 50 best performing brands grew an average of 393% compared to a 7% decline for the S&P 500. Stengel found that a single…


Photo credit: Jelle Van Leest.

Please note that all new articles are now published directly to my website. To read more and subscribe to my newsletter, please click here. Enjoy!

Introduction

Big data is big news.

Search for it and Google will return 75 million results. That’s a different article for every 100 people on earth. There are also 18 million videos on the topic. At 5 minutes each, it would take 170 years to watch them all. Then there’s the one million books on the subject. Stacked on top of each other they’d form a tower 58 times taller than the Empire State Building.

Clearly ‘big news’ is an understatement.

Big data is a zeitgeist. It has monopolised the corporate conversation. …


Photo credit: Lux Interaction

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Introduction

We believe we work in turbulent times.

A quick skim of the industry press and you’ll learn that ecommerce is upending retail. Social media is uprooting advertising. Private labels are replacing brands. Advertising is dying. And TV is dead.

We believe change is the new normal. That its pace is accelerating. That technological adoption is faster than ever. That unicorn company’s are constantly being born. And that incumbents are being killed at breakneck pace.

So we hyperventilate. We panic. We rush to the new and shiny. We bolt on technological tactics, believing the band aids will save us. …


Photo credit: JC Bonassin.

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Introduction

The advertising industry is addicted to youth.

We are obsessed and possessed. We crave it in our agencies and we covet it in our audiences. We believe younger staff are more creative and younger consumers are more valuable.

But this is nothing more than received wisdom. Dogma upon which we have all been indoctrinated. Spurious beliefs and specious myths; unquestioned, unfounded and ultimately unsound.

By undervaluing older staff we undervalue expertise. By overlooking older audiences we overlook opportunity.

This article makes the case that changing our ageist attitudes is not only a moral decision but a commercial one. A decision…


Photo credit: Benjamín Castillo

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Introduction

The advent of digital media promised so much.

Savvy shoppers would no longer be surreptitiously swayed by advertising alone. The internet would enable them to research products. Social media would allow them to share their experiences. And ecommence would provide the power to compare prices.

Empowered by these tools of transparency, consumers would expose poor products and endorse better brands. Over time, omnipotent brands would cede power to omniscient consumers. With perfect information, shoppers would make perfect purchases. They would find the best possible products at the best possible prices. And with a smartphone in their pocket, they would do…


Photo credit: Cristina Pop

Please note that all new articles are now published directly to my website. To read more and subscribe to my newsletter, please click here. Enjoy!

Introduction

It seems that a day doesn’t pass without another article hitting the headlines exposing the shortcomings of the Millennial generation. Most of them are nonsense. Even the ones from reputable sources. For example, Time believes that Millennials can’t afford to buy houses because they spend too much money on avocados. And Business Insider blames Millennials for “killing the napkin industry”. In fact, at the time of writing, a Google search for ‘Millennials’ returns over 19,000,000 related articles. 71,000 of them have been published in the last week alone. …

Alex Murrell

Strategy Director at Epoch.

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