The principle of iteration is central to design thinking. Just as evolution allows complex structures to develop over time in nature, iteration is at the core of good design, building on simple foundations to develop more complex designs. This is achieved by progressively exploring, testing and refining a design over time, often with very fast cycles of iteration. Iteration is often broken into two phases: design iteration and development iteration. Read more »
In Copy, Copy, Copy, Mark Earls argue that creativity in marketing (or anywhere else) is essentially about following the success of the theory of evolution outlined by Charles Darwin. Although the title of the book focuses on the copying part, the truth is that his central argument is that the essence of progress is “loose” copying, following the are of an idea but introducing variations into it. As Darwin demonstrates, if you do this enough times then eventually what emerges is superior to what came before.
The beauty of the book, which I highly recommend, is that in arguing the case for copying as a creative strategy, Mark Earls also manages to integrate a lot of behavioural thinking into the strategies and approaches he outlines and gets away from the arguments about which marketing strategies work best. He argues that the first question to ask is “What kind of thing is this?” and from that then find an appropriate strategy to address the specific challenge. Read more »
I’ve written a few pieces on the psychology of pricing recently, so now it’s time to turn to the business of pricing. The Price Advantage is definitely one of the best books on using pricing to create commercial advantage, and avoiding common mistakes that businesses make. While it doesn’t touch much on the psychology of individual customers it does provide a great overview and frameworks for thinking about pricing strategy and maximising profitability through price.
Story is about eternal, universal forms” - Robert McKee
What can brands and marketers learn from myths and fairy tales?
Many writers have described the role of archetypes in storytelling. Aristotle, arguably the first literary critic, described the structure of comedy and tragedy, and remains a great source for understanding how story works. In Seven Basic Plots, Christopher Booker described seven templates for telling great (brand) stories. Read more »
Is Pantone’s choice of Emerald (Pantone reference 17-5641) an inspired read of cultural shifts and green shoots of recovery or a slightly naive hope for the coming year? [Read about the different meanings of green here.] Read more »
The brain science of marketing
In his recent book Brainfluence, Roger Dooley shares 100 tricks for persuading and convincing consumers based on a wide range of evidence from neuromarketing and many other fields such as psychology and behavioural economics. The examples are well documented and overall this is a much more practical, structured and sound guide to brain science of marketing than many other books (including notably Buyology which is less structured and poorly documented). Read more »
The circle of life
All products progress through a sequence of four stages of life, from introduction (birth) through to growth, maturity and finally decline and death. Firstly the product is envisioned and developed; after launching (if lucky) popularity will grow, although ultimately sales will plateau and finally decline. Each stage has specific implications and priorities for designers and marketers, as the demands will evolve and change over time. The classic work on product diffusion models is Diffusion of Innovations by Everett M. Rogers, which follows on from and builds on the original Bass model of product diffusion which continues to be the basis of most new product forecasting. Read more »