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The100: Brand growth, digital decluttering and inflatable pools

We’re fortunate enough to be growing the team here at Watch Me Think and are looking for another Qual Expert to join our lovely UK team. Here’s a bit more info in case you know of anyone who’d be interested. Much obliged.

The Professor will see you now

How Brands Grow, the book that upturned marketing with a flick of the empirical evidence laced wrist, is now 10 years old. 

Byron Sharp, aka The Dark Lord, aka the author and owner of said wrist, has given a rare interview on his book’s legacy, long-term / short-term marketing and mental availability.

So Google Search, you know, is not advertising, it is physical availability. It’s just like shelf space. It helps you catch your fair share of people who are going to buy the category […] Someone goes, “Finally, I’ve got enough money. I’m going to buy a luxury car.” And if they’ve never heard of Aston Martin, then you’re not in the set. Even when it comes up on the screen, they just don’t know what it is.”

For any marketing hatchlings wanting to become even more au fait with the subject, Morning Brew has made a list of the best resources in the marketing industry for beginners. 

A backlog of inflatable swimming pools

The New York Times has been studying Italy’s (understandable) behavioural shift toward e-commerce. 

Less than 40% of Italians shopped online last year (compared to 87% in Britain and 79% in Germany), with E-commerce accounting for just 8% of retail spending. That alone is a good reminder that Europe as a whole is not a homogeneous market.

You’ve got to feel for those worried small businesses owners. Is the rise of Amazon a blessing or a curse? I’m not sure.

The Mandy Rice-Davies Problem

The bad news: Advertising is ranked 24th out of 25 professions rated for trustworthiness.

The even worse news: Consumers are skeptical of brand messaging as a result. They dismiss it with a “well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?”

The messiah: Comes in the form of one Richard Shotton, explaining how we can use public statements to boost consumer trust. 

Claims made by an advertiser are more trusted if they’re made in public, on a broadcast medium, rather than on a targeted, one to one medium. […] People pick up on the body language of an ad. They recognise what’s a public statement and what’s a private one. And they’re more likely to trust public ones.

Stolen wisdom

Ryan Holiday has shared 33 pieces of advice stolen from people smarter than him. 

Lots of gems in here, but I especially liked number 17 from Steve Kamb, the founder of

The best and most polite excuse is just to say you have a rule. “I have a rule that I don’t decide on the phone.” “I have a rule that I don’t accept gifts.” […] People respect rules, and they accept that it’s not you rejecting the offer, request, demand, or opportunity, but the rule allows you no choice.

There are also some corkers in this article on how to declutter your digital life. 

The most diverse neighbourhood in NYC

Too long has it been since I last included a photo essay in The100. My sincere apologies.

This virtual walking tour of Jackson Heights, NYC should make up for it.

Absolutely stunning editorial design. Best viewed on a laptop. Very, very cool. I seem to be stuck writing in short sentences.

A way to make a few bucks

I love the email from Joe Gebbia to Brian Chesky that started Airbnb. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.

Hello October.