Keep Asking Why

On a routine visit to one of his factories, Ricardo Semler collapsed and passed out. He was just 25 years old.

For the last 4 years, Semler had been at the helm of his Dad’s company Semco; a São Paulo based supplier of major shipbuilding equipment.

When Ricardo took over, Semco’s earnings were in free-fall. The Brazilian shipping industry was in deep decline, and senior management had voted against diversifying into other businesses. So Ricardo got to work on re-igniting growth and putting the company on a path to profit. Read more

Belief

Like any major brand, it started with humble beginnings. In this case, it was a one-day rail excursion from Leicester to Loughborough.

Fast-forward 170 years, and the company that still bears its founders name has evolved into an industry giant. Thomas Cook has over 30 tour-operating brands, 2,000 travel agencies, 60 aircraft and 30,000 staff. However, big doesn’t necessarily mean best. It might be large, but it’s in trouble.

Thomas Cook’s share price is in free fall. And its debt pile is threatening to bankrupt the company. Read more

What are you Selling?

I got a call this week from a customer of mine. He was ecstatic. His company had just scooped IBM’s prestigious Business Partner of the Year award; a real testament to the sheer grit, determination and passion that his entire team brings to work every day.

As part of collecting the award, he got some time with one of IBM’s Marketing Execs.

The Exec shared a story of getting his bathroom redone. The usual happened. Plenty of workmen came; some huffed, some puffed, some quoted sky high, some quoted rock bottom. But the one he selected didn’t talk about baths, sinks, or even price. Read more

Gone in a Flash

It started life over 130 years ago as a single chemists shop in Leicester. After years of trading, its owner Frank began to see an unusual demand from customers; they wanted to buy raw ingredients for photographic chemicals.

Frank’s son Alan immediately spotted an opportunity. In 1930’s Britain, photography was a pastime solely for the wealthy. Alan’s dream was to make it accessible to the masses.

He set about transforming his father’s chemists into a haven for photography. With prices at an average of 25% below his nearest competitor, Alan attracted immediate attention. The idea grew, and it wasn’t long before the father and son duo had opened a huge facility in Hinckley Road; later crowned the largest photography store on earth by Guinness World Records.
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The New Brand Guardian

There is no doubt that the Internet has revolutionised how we all shop. We’ve kissed goodbye to the endless stress and queues, opting instead to spend our hard-earned cash from the comfort of our own armchairs.

Our only concern when it comes to buying on-line is making sure that we are home when a courier calls. For one FedEx employee however, it doesn’t matter if you are indoors or not. He’s delivering regardless.

In this incredible clip snapped on a home security camera, the thoughtful driver carelessly tosses his delivery (an expensive computer monitor) straight over his customer’s fence. Read more

Rediscover the Soul

It was meant to be THE launch. The event that would help rescue ailing telecoms company Nokia from its perilous slide into brand irrelevancy.

Last week to a packed audience in New York, Nokia Senior VP Jo Harlow unveiled the Lumia 920 smartphone; the device many predict will either make or break the struggling Finnish company.

Harlow beamed as she proudly proclaimed that the Lumia is ‘the most innovative smartphone in the world’. Unfortunately, the markets didn’t quite share her enthusiasm. Nokia’s share price slumped by 11.4% to a meagre $2.51 following the announcement.
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