The fact that we’re exposed to thousands of marketing messages every day is old news. Our lives are now designed to mitigate against being interrupted by things we don’t care about and never respond to. And yet, we often fail to acknowledge that the people we want to reach feel the same way. If we’re…

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You don’t know for sure that the broccoli at the local organic store was grown sustainably or without pesticides, but you trust that it was and you’re happy to pay more for it.  You have no proof that like the label says the bread gluten-free until long after you’ve eaten it, but you don’t question…

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Nobody who read the pre-match reports or the post-match statistics would have predicted a one-all draw. Iceland, a country with a population of 334,000, was fielding a team of semi-professional players, in their World Cup debut against Argentina, one of the world’s best footballing nations. There was no way Iceland could compete with the experience…

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Before we create a product, design a service or build a business we want to be certain the idea will fly. We want to know for sure that if we build it, people will come. If we only did the things we were certain would work, we’d never create anything original. Originality is a leap…

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Keeping a customer is more valuable to your business than courting one. Fred Reichheld, from Bain and Co, points out that return customers buy more products and refer more friends. Yet the majority of our marketing is devoted attracting more customers. When startup Dollar Shave Club launched in 2011, the brand had some stiff competition in…

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The billboard outside the old cemetery read like a real estate advertisement. ‘Last remaining graves for sale.’ It seemed to scream inappropriately at the traffic roaring past. In the past, these local burial plots would have been acquired by neighbouring families who were getting their affairs in order. Now even essential products and services have…

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The menu at Fumi’s restaurant is identical to every other sushi restaurant in town. The ingredients come from the same fish market, and the prices are similar. On the face of it, there’s nothing to set the restaurants apart and no reason for a diner to favour one over another. The difference is only apparent…

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No bookstore can stock more books than Amazon. No local clothing designer can launch a new range faster than Zara. No artisan chocolatier can sell chocolate cheaper than Cadbury. If there’s nothing your bigger, faster, cheaper competitors can’t do, how will your business keep up? How will you survive, let alone thrive? Your sustainable advantage…

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As vulnerable humans, we’re brilliant at paying attention to threats in our midst. We are experts at mitigating against failure, which we trick ourselves into believing is the way to optimising for success. This tendency might explain our willingness to devote our resources to averting risk, solving problems and fixing mistakes. When we focus on…

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Every sustainable business was built in response to an unmet need. These responsive businesses endure because they evolve with the customer they intended to serve. The likes of fidget spinner manufacturers don’t count. You can rattle off a dozen responsive companies that have launched in the past two decades, particularly in the digital space. Brands…

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