Selling a Lie

Tiger Woods was once the epitome of the all-round American good guy. He was a devoted family man, uber-successful sports star, and brand figurehead for the likes of Nike, Accenture and TAG Heuer. He’d won a total of 71 official PGA Tour events, including 14 majors, and was hailed as the world’s most marketable athlete.

But in 2009 things changed. Tiger crashed his Cadillac into a fire hydrant, yards from his Florida home. The crash set in motion a chain of revelations, in which fans learnt that Tiger had been a very naughty boy; cheating on his wife with over a dozen women, ranging from porn stars to cocktail waitresses.
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Shattering Expectations

Picture the scene. You are the chairman of a major British corporation. You’ve arrived promptly at the offices of a new supplier, eager to hear their pitch for your prestigious business.

You hate incompetence and command respect. You have very exacting standards. You’ve even been knighted for your services to British industry. People address you as “Sir”.

As the office doors open, you can hardly believe your eyes. Your expectations are shattered. Instead of an enthusiastic welcome, you are greeted by an unoccupied, scruffy, smoke filled reception.
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Purpose or the Paycheck?

In 2010, Kirsty Henshaw appeared on the popular TV series “Dragons Den”. She had invented a healthy alternative to ice-cream, and was looking for a £65K investment in exchange for 15% of her company.

Kirsty successfully secured dragons Peter Jones and Duncan Bannatyne as her new partners. Granted, her product is innovative. At a feature level, it’s bang-on trend by being low fat, and low calorie. It’s also free of dairy, sugar, gluten, additives, soya, cholesterol and nuts. But watch the clip and you’ll realise it’s not just Kirsty’s product that catches the interest of the multi-millionaire investors, it’s her story. This exemplifies branding through storytelling. Read more

Steve Jobs and my Dad

I’ll never forget the day Steve Jobs died. As one of the true visionaries and personal heroes in my lifetime, I’d followed him with unfaltering admiration for his passion, attention to detail, and ability to inspire. In fact I’d followed him for so long, I almost felt like I knew him personally. Like many others on the day he died, I learnt of his passing on the actual device that he had invented.
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Tweet, Tweetboy, Tweet

Anybody who’s ever participated seriously in an endurance sport such as running or cycling has probably experienced “hitting the wall”. It’s a term that’s commonly used to describe the devastating feelings of fatigue and confusion that can occur in the final stages of a race.

Lately, I’ve started noticing a trend with Twitter that can be likened to “hitting the wall”. A point at which a user feels confused, or even disillusioned with it’s value. At this stage their volume of Tweets decreases, often going days without sending any at all. They stop following anybody new, and nobody follows them back in return. Many people who hit the “Twitter wall” slowly disappear from the platform altogether.
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Brand (You)

For any fellow Apprentice fans, you will no doubt remember the infamous Stuart Baggs gracing our screens during series 6 of the award-winning TV show back in autumn 2010.

Baggs entertained viewers with a blend of relentless enthusiasm and humourous remarks, but above all a referral to himself as a “brand”. He was constantly ridiculed by Lord Sugar for this self-styled reference, and was completely shot down by Sugar’s sidekick Claude Littner during the interview round.
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