Big M Marketing 2018. T. +31 (0) 611534349 E. info@thinkbigm.com 

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We think brand should drive decisionmaking.

Last week Philip Morris International (PMI) launched a campaign in the UK called Hold My Light, encouraging people to go smoke free for 30 days. The campaign, unsurprisingly, was met with cynicism and negativity. After all, what gives a company who profits from selling cigarettes, the right to tell people to stop smoking cigarettes? Cancer Research UK called it “staggering hypocrisy” and it has a point.  

But this wasn’t a one-off campaign. In January, PMI took out full page adverts in the UK press, announcing, incredibly, that it was giving up smoking. In fact, creating a “smoke-free future” is now PMI’s glo...

May 9, 2018

I'm always telling my son that the most important thing in life is to be kind to others. He always says, “Yeah Mum … and also to be a millionaire.” Hmmm. Right.

Charlie is a fairly savvy ten-year-old. His (current) master plan to becoming a millionaire is to sell professional fingerboards from our basement. He’s set up his workshop right next to the washing machine and Christmas decorations, where he has already finished a small inventory of boards. And just like that, Tiger Fingerboards is ready to take the world by storm.

Like most new businesses, Charlie is keen to get going. He has a nice-looking product,...

I'm sure the person who wrote this advert was just trying to be different and stand out. But honestly, I think this could be the worst job advert I have ever seen.

Aside from the obvious poor spelling and grammar, it’s a perfect example of where tone of voice can go very wrong.

I understand that the brand wants to "challenge the status quo” as it says on their website, but instead of sounding edgy and interesting, the brand comes across as arrogant and rude.

A tone of voice can be hard to define. Putting it into practice can be even harder. But it's important to get it right. It is, after all, a reflection of w...

At this time of year, it’s natural to be thinking about what we want to do differently in the new year. And for Marketers, the urge to reinvent may be even greater. 

Marketers are restless creatures, drawn to new ideas, new thinking and new technologies. All too quick to change course, even if it's just for the sake of change. It’s natural of course, sticking with something is not nearly as sexy or fun as adopting something shiny and new. 

The reality, however, is that consumers don’t get bored as quickly as we do. They don’t spend hours thinking about our brands like we do. They...

A few years back I showed a CEO, who I was working with at the time, the now pretty legendary “How to start a movement,” TED talk by Derek Sivers. He was amused and after he watched it, said, “So what do you want me to do? Take my shirt off and dance barefoot on a hilltop?”  My response was, “well actually, yes.”

Not literally obviously. But I did need him to be prepared to be that “lone nut,” to put himself out there and do something that would inspire those first followers. Or to be the first follower. Actually, I just wanted him to do something. Truth was, we had a great company story t...

It’s amazing how many companies invest significantly in building their brand externally and yet expect their brand to come alive internally as if by magic.

Successful companies put their brand to work everywhere. They tend to do these four things really well: 

1.     Define a clear brand purpose, vision and values.

2.     Use their brand as a strategic filter for decision making throughout their entire business.

3.     Deliver a consistent brand experience across all touchpoints.

4.     Have employees who live the brand...

Did it go something like this?

OK. Settle down everyone.

Oh god. Have you all been on the Milk Caramel Sea Salt again? Look, we’ve talked about this.

You’ve all had far too much sugar haven’t you?

Remember what happened last time we brainstormed PR ideas when you were all on a sugar-rush.

OK. Right. Here’s the thing. We’re opening a new shop in the old stock exchange building next week.

Got any good PR ideas?

And so, the Tony's Chocolonely team came up with the brilliantly simply idea of putting out a press release saying they were “going to the stock exchange.”

And then all hell broke loose.

Media, serious media, st...

The key to communicating anything effectively is brevity.

Yet brevity is hugely underrated.

Probably because it’s really hard.

Brevity requires us to make choices and we don’t like doing that.

We read a lot of company stories and we write a fair few too.

The stories that come alive are often the simplest, told in the language of the brand.

They succinctly sum up a company’s reason for being and bring it to life, beautifully.

Warby Parker does this brilliantly.

So, could you articulate your story in 100 words? 

(Which is also the exact length of this post – sort of coincidentally)

If culture is "what your people do when no one is looking", or if culture is "your brand values in action" -  then you might want to check that you aren’t heading for a brand culture collision.

Lately, we’ve seen numerous very public examples of where the actions of a company employees or leadership don’t match their stated brand values.

And while Uber and American Airlines might draw all the headlines, the truth is that many companies fail to properly embed their brand values internally. Which is a problem, because these days how your brand behaves on the inside is just as critical as...

It's hard to believe it's been a year since we left the corporate world to start Big M Marketing.

We've been fortunate enough to work with great people from amazing brands.  We've helped create new brands and rejuvenate established ones.  We've helped develop Marketing strategies and consistently bring them to life.  We've worked with sports manufacturers and financial service providers.  We've advised small start-ups and large global players.  Our work has taken us from Amsterdam to Nairobi, via Seattle, London, Pisa and Malaga.

And along the way, we've learned a few things about star...

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