BRANDING COMPANY IT PAYS TO EXPLORE.
Branding company. it pays to explore. As Ferris said in the film, 86′ the beautifully written cult classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”. He was wrong. If you don’t look around in business, you will miss it with certainty.
I like walking about, especially in big cities, sucking it all in. City’s are the melting pot of change, early adoption, competing and cross-pollinating brand cultures. They help you see the hints of future possibility the business opportunities large and small. Hoover it, or nowadays Dyson it all into a bagless no loss of suction vortex. I always take a backpack with my mobile office and walking boots, and after I have done my morning client meetings in London. I go for a walkabout. It’s good for my burgeoning waistline – gosh – how did I get so fat?
It’s immersive, voyeuristic and addictive. So def the tube, the taxi, the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California, simply walk, look and listen. I always take my camera my trusty battered GX1; the images jog the mind the later date. Branding company it pays to explore. I like the transitions of London, moving through, from the city, Kensington, Westminster to Camden. Business districts, retails districts, entertainment districts, and the different hangouts.
The gathering of ethnicity, the differences in food, language, and outlook. B2B, B2C or B&C. A concentration of advertising. Saturated messaging, competing retail and business environments, echelons and subcultures, individualism, trend and lovely progressive change. The old and historical mixing with the new. The colors the type, textures, shapes, signs and smells some good and some not so good but not quite The Great Stink of 1858 and how we thank you Joseph Bazalgette.
The latest tech, being used and adopted. How I and they feel about competing brands, which brands fail which seem to appeal to a niche, or other that have broad appeal. The information revolution, where am I going for Lunch, I will dig out trip advisor. Augmented reality. Collecting Pokemon for my children. Secretly I enjoy Pokemon, but a 43-year-old man, fighting to capture a Pokmon waving my phone around in space while London onlookers give me a wide ‘weirdo’ birth.
Read this book: Talk to Strangers: How Everyday, Random Encounters Can Expand Your Business, Career, Income, and Life. Which is a great read on how to network and meet new people, like minded people like you way from the contrived and cohesive ‘networking’ environments?
While we are on about books, this: Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed by Michael D. Eisner, Aaron R. Cohen, I have read this book four times, I love it that much. Often great new partnerships and opportunities I meet on my random encounters, enriching my world and experience. So, Ten Stories, Ten Magical Partnerships contained in the book:
Michael D. Eisner and Frank Wells (Disney)
Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger (Berkshire Hathaway)
Bill and Melinda Gates (The Gates Foundation)
Brian Grazer and Ron Howard (Imagine Entertainment)
Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti (Valentino)
Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell (Studio 54 – Discotech)
Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus (The Home Depot)
Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken (restaurateurs)
Joe Torre and Don Zimmer (New York Yankees)
John Angelo and Michael Gordon (finance)
MEET STRANGERS. MAGIC HAPPENS.
I travel with the purpose to meet new people; I expect nothing from them, and they expect nothing from me. It’s great to break you our of your bubble, test ideas, find new insights and tips that come from personal experiences, likes and dislikes and alternative world views. I have had some great partnerships, friendships, tips, introductions, invitation and ideas. In fact I am going back to London just to have coffee with a stranger I met. A stranger the happened to be a high net worth venture capitalist. A short meeting where we just clicked, same page, same world view. He said is goodbyes and asked for a business card and jumped into a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce a lovely thing. He emailed me last week to meet up for a coffee in Pall Mall.
I walk around Birmingham too, I like Birmingham, It’s like the blank canvas that is now being filled in, finding it’s identity, finding it’s zeitgeist. Professional services district Colemore Row, down to St Pauls Square, The Jewelry Quarter. With about 6000 people moving from London to Birmingham a year, that’s an influx with expectation, imagination the culture is moving with them. This combined with Birmingham manufacturing DNA, things are moving fast, but they are going to move faster. It ripe for new partnerships.
DON’T BECOME ISOLATED.
When I am brought in to diagnose a business, I am still taken back by the isolated some leadership teams have become, existing in a business bubble of disconnection from reality in a faux utopia. I think to myself, when did this lot last to get out other than to the golf course with their friends of similar demographic? When did they last speak to a stranger under 25?” When did they look around and live and breath in the zeitgeist? When did they immerse themselves in their market, their current consumers, their next generation of consumers? Stats are one thing, but feeling it as a personal experience is quite another.
Branding company. Terry Leigh walked all of his stores and immersed himself in the whole experience from the perspective of his workforce and his customers. He went as far as to employ his customers to improve the Tesco’s experience. The marketing team was the board. Yep, another great book called Managment in 10 words by the man himself.
LARGE ORGANISATIONS NOW LOOK TO THE SMALL.
branding company. Large organisations now look to the small, nimble, fast moving smaller organisations for influence. Not the other way round like it used to be. Branding company. The great business leaders that I choose work with, get out, intermingle with their organisations workforce, market and they understand exactly what to do to remain the leaders in their market sphere, they understand what is over the horizon and are ready. Why do you think Toyota are so successful in making the most reliable cars your can buy?
GREAT LEADERS THRIVE ON INTERACTION AND EXPERIENCE.
Branding company. They are immersive that thrive on experience type of beasts. They are the hipster from the ‘C’ suite – CEO, COO. They are not necessarily young, some people I deal with are well into their 70’s, they act with and open mind seeking experience. The read and study broadly, constantly seeking insights. Look at Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger, veracious academics that just happen to like the investment business.
Last year for instance I took a ordinary open top bus tour with one of my clients in London, a chap in his 80’s a CEO of a company worth at the time of writing a cool $2,400,000,000,000. “The key to my success is meeting new people and taking an interest in what is going on in the real world!” He remarked, as we ate fish and chips from the paper for lunch.
SEEK HAPPY PEOPLE, WITH GREAT SHOES.
I look for happy people, and you know you are on to something. You end up having amazing clients that you click with. Amazing relationships that have powerful business outcomes. You will create brands that resonate.
Just get the hell out and walkabout.