Random (and hopefully useful) thoughts at the intersection of Design, IT, Psychology, and Business.

Five branding boo-boos

Here are the top five branding mistakes businesses make: Making empty promises: What does your brand promise your customers? Are all your actions aligned to meet those promises you are making? Does your brand reflect who you are? Or who you think you should be? Do you...

Common innovation myths

It must involve expensive and technical R&D, so as to invent something new. It is about repackaging the same product or service in superficially different ways; such as the use of improved packaging or processes. It is about looking or sounding different, or simply...

Advertising is not the easy way out

See Tom's great post: Style Over Substance. Businesses often see advertising as the easy way out. They effectively stop thinking, and instead outsource this weird thing called "creativity" to advertising (or branding or design) agencies. Creative agencies work in a...

Pull your head out

The article Retail squeeze - the middle is history in the Sydney Morning Herald raises some interesting thoughts. It highlights the sad result of companies like Collins Booksellers that are dying because they can no longer compete on price due to (a) heavy competition...

The 10-second trust test

Here's a quick way to work out if you can trust the company you are about to do business with. Ask yourself this question: Can I leave an elderly relative of mine (that I am fond of!) with this person and walk away for a few hours without any concerns whatsoever? This...

Changing rooms

The marketing department has the cool furniture, the bright colours on the walls. We are creative. Anything is possible. We think outside the square. We are pretty cool. Operations and finance has the dull gray walls and the monochrome functional furniture. We are in...

Hello hello?

A few days ago, I got this phone call: [Ring Ring] Zern: Hello, Zern Speaking … Hello… Hello??? Caller: [click] He-Lo. This-Is-An-Im-Portant-Mess-Age. Please-Hold. [whirl] Zern: [Realisation: It's an f**ing machine! Ringing me to put me on hold!] Caller:...

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