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The100: Long term thinking, mental reframing and Haddon Salt Esq.

Flipping failure

It’s good to be back in the hot seat after a couple of weeks on holiday (and see that no-one had filled my drawers with balloons… it happens here).

One of the trip highlights was a 3-day hike through the Atlas Mountains with the saucepan lids. You see, walking is about 498th on the list of things my daughter likes to do. So I rated our chances of completing it as slim to none. How wrong I was. We finished the walk with just 4 utterances of “are we there yet?”

My pessimism reminded me of this brilliant (and short) piece by Adam Westbrook on reframing failure. The quote from Derek Sivers is superb:

It’s impossible to fail if your only goal was to see what happens.

Institutionalised impatience

Here’s an interview with ex-Unilever CEO Paul Polman. Of particular interest is when he discusses responsible business models and kicking some institutionalized habits: 

If you want to make the company grow longer term, you have to get out of this rat race of quarterly reporting and quarterly behavior.

The importance of long term thinking is also highlighted in Martin Weigel’s latest post.

He argues that short termism is negatively impacting effectiveness, reducing quality and being outpunched by long-term (truly) creative campaigns across key brand and business metrics.

…when we insist that marketing’s priority is not the longer-term health of a brand and business but the short-term, we are in the business not of value creation but value destruction.

Helpfully, he goes on to outline 15 pieces of evidence-based advice to help us argue for longer term thinking.

Dreams we sell & chances in hell

Cheryl Calverly, CMO of Eve Sleep, argues that some marketers, who should be “insanely curious about people and what makes them tick”,  are missing true customer insight. The issue: they are becoming increasingly removed from the human contact once implicitly relied upon.

We’ve thrown focus groups out for online forums. We’ve thrown ethnographic studies out for trends in platform data. And we’ve thrown one-to-one customer contact out for being ‘too busy’. The modern marketer is less able to conduct the orchestra of the marketing mix.

She’s got a point.

Prepare for the future by looking to the past

John Sills looks at 4 elements within brand activity that are the source of much head scratching: dry skin, allergies, politics (these days) and errant wasps…

Kidding – couldn’t resist – sorry 🙂

The 4 brand areas he discusses are really: Understanding your customers, innovative propositions, brand building and customer service. And how, in fact, history has been there before.

Those endless lists of ‘things that a mobile phone have killed’ are misguided. The phone hasn’t killed the camera, the calendar, the TV, or the land line. It’s just offered a new way for customers to access the things they’ve always wanted.

And it hasn’t killed market research either 😉  

Battle of the extracts

For the non-cricket fans amongst you, The Ashes is a 5-match series between England and Australia, widely regarded as the best and most highly contested within the game.

So much so that even some brands have got involved, with Vegemite starting it off with some nicely crafted sledging.

(c) JunkyardsparkleThe Lost King of Fish & Chips

Haddon Salt Esq. should have been an icon.

He built a fish & chips (fries) empire with 500 locations across the US. Cashed in on an eight-figure deal with one Colonel Sanders. And yet, here we are, with not a clue who this man is.

Well, this is his story.