Things Worth Reading

The Upward Spiral of doing the right thing:

It’s not just individuals who can improve their behaviour and become better, more moral people – corporations can do the same. Here’s a look at how…

Year ahead for brands: A taste for sustainability and fairness:

How changing global culture is making brands rethink their strategies.

Tapping the strategic potential of boards:

Three questions to get you and your board thinking beyond rubber-stamping and unlocking your board’s potential.

Should your company be a Benefit Corporation, AB Corp, or what?

When you want to give back, how do you structure your company’s social investment? This article looks at the methods and consequences.

Why Semco doesn’t want your company to be like Semco:

Using the story of Semco, Ricardo Semler’s pioneering company, this article makes the case for companies to develop their own unique management theories.

Ricardo Semler – Rebel with a Cause:

An interview with the remarkable Ricardo Semler, author of the bestseller Maverick.

Don’t be scared about the end of Capitalism – Be excited to build what comes next:

The old -isms that made for explosive conversations in the past are quickly making way for new ways of thinking about economics. This article explores some of the new ideas and practices in the evolution beyond capitalism.

First, P&G rejected him for an internship. Then they made him the CMO:

That’s the remarkable story of Jim Stengel. The full interview with Ray Cao is available embedded in the article.

Using Customer Journey Maps to improve customer experience:

Don’t know what a customer journey map is? Read how this simple tool can help marketers understand and improve how customers engage with a brand.

How the Starbucks Experience became “Contagious”

A slide presentation about Jonah Berger’s book Contagious which is a must read. It’s a look at the story of Starbucks and how the company achieved it’s success.

Unilever’s Marc Mathieu: brands must become a chosen interuption

Mathieu addressed the ISBA conference in 2015 and spoke on how digital and social media requires marketers to take seriously consumer’s power to filter out or invite a brand into their attention space.

What Terry O’Reilly knows about marketing:

A positive review and taste of Terry O’Reilly’s book This I Know: Marketing Lessons from Under the Influence.

Why your brand doesn’t need anyone to particpiate in anything:

How chasing “relationships” with consumers has gone horribly wrong and a reminder of the basic principles of brand-management.

6 blogs that can teach you more than an MBA:

Learning from other people in business is essential to continuing your education.

Why successful people spend 10 hours a week just thinking:

Being busy is not always a good sign of productivity. This article makes a case for considered time management and especially thinking time. It also offers some steps to help you create thinking time in your schedule.

Brand Storytelling: Narrative Theory

Storytelling is a vital tool in marketing. This article looks at some of the most successful brands and the stories they tell.

8 “must have” traits for the person who facilitates your strategy:

A really thought-provoking list of things you might not expect to nee in the person tasked with guiding your strategy.

5 Business Lessons from Wolfgang Puck:

It’s always good to hear some sound brand-building basics from someone who has actually used them to build many valuable businesses – here the famous Chef Wolfgang Puck gives his advice on building a brand.

6 Social Media Tips:

Some great, simple but high impact things to change or remember when using Social media as a marketing environment.

Advice from Facebook’s Head of Tech Comms:

A really great piece with practical advice on how to think through your communications and make them clear and useful.

And if you want some help with what she calls the “brand lens” (and what I call the Brand VP), then let me know!

6 Steps to Redefining Your Brand:

Another great summary of key things to remember when you think (or re-think) your brand in 2014, and beyond…

The 10 Commandments of Content:

A fabulous article from Fast Company (yet again!) about story-telling and how to approach social (and other) media in an era where you have to earn your right to be read and loved.

Bringing Your Brand Values to Life

A great article touching on the shift from “perfect” to “real” brands, and how sharing your stories honestly and openly can really bring your values to life and help people – inside and outside your organisation – know you and love you for who you are.

Mike Abel: In defense of the great pay-off line

A great reminder that the “simplest” things can work really hard for you if you’re prepared to think through them well.

What You (as the GM or CEO or Owner) Need To Know About Branding:

Simply my favorite article about Branding ever. I love the straight-forwardness and the simplicity of it.

If you only read one article on this list, make it this one!

Girl Scout Badges & Raising Leaders:

A really engaging case-study with great insights about both leadership and design.

Divisions & Dependencies: OpEd by Mike Freedman

Nice challenging OpEd about how hard it is to stay true to your brand.

The Key To Long-Term Dominance?

Thought-provoking article on what really makes for a sustainable differentiator. I love the very last idea from Mats Lederhausen…

Brand Early Not Often

A great article on why it’s worth investing in your brand up-front.

In fact, there’s so much great advice on this truly impressive list of articles collated by Fast Company, it’s really worth reading them all!