What Makes a City Attractive?

I borrowed this blog title from this video on How to Make an Attractive City?

This video presents an excellent example of “Attractive Thinking”. The producers have used one of the most important techniques in understanding what makes things attractive to people.  The video is all about using the insights to turn cities into places that people love to live in and to visit. The producers at The School of Life have identified the six characteristics that define cities where people love to hang out.

These six characteristics are what I would describe as the Power Drivers. By which I mean the most powerful attributes that characterise places that cause people to choose one city over another.  So what are these things

  1. Not too chaotic yet not too ordered. We like symmetry and order, but not too much. The best cities often have ordered buildings, squares and layouts. But not overwhelmingly mono in style. This is an ordered chaos. e.g. Paris, Rome, Bath, New York
  2. Has visible life. Whilst people claim to like privacy, we actually like to be around others and see other people enjoying themselves. We congregate in squares and streets where things happen. We do not visit sterile suburbs or anonymous business parks.
  3. Are compact. Cities are big but they have parts of cities you can get around easily by foot or public transport. These parts are not too big. They are broken up into squares and public places. People live in densely packed areas but have public parks and squares. The squares are just the right size whereby you could recognise and see someone across the other side
  4. Have orientation and mystery. Cities are big but they have places with lanes and streets where you can walk and get a bit lost and make discoveries. Alleyways feel homely and intimate. There is something to discover. We need wider boulevards to allow for mobility and fast access. But it is best when these are combined with warrens of streets
  5. Scale. Many cities make people feel small as the buildings and the transport roads dwarf them. Often the biggest buildings are devoted to large corporations and financial firms. These are not things people love. The most attractive cities have limited most buildings to 5 or 7 stories high and maintain regular sizes in any one street. When there is something bigger it is related to what matters to people, theatre, church, museums sports etc.
  6. Make it Local. Create individuality and use local materials not just another skyscraper of office tower that could be anywhere. Think of the stone in Edinburgh and Bath. The Portland stone of St Pauls, the style of Venice.

There is more in the video

The point I wanted to bring out, is that to make a product attractive to people, to make it into something people will love, you have to know the things that are most important to people. Some of that you can find out by talking to people. But some of it relies on your insight and imagination. More on discovering Power Drivers later….

What the election results can tell you about what is important to your customers

The European elections are all over our screens today (Monday 8th June).  This is a pretty big poll of public opinion (15m voters).  I have been having a look to see if the results provide any useful insights for business leaders and marketers.
At Differentiate we say you must understand what drives customers to choose one product over another product.  We call these drivers "Power Attributes".  This insight from Power Attributes analysis helps you develop products, services and marketing messages that are more attractive to customers.
These Power Attributes do not shift every month or even every year, but they do change over time as external factors influence what is important to customers.  2009 seems to be one of those times when big changes are affecting customer motivations.  The recession, the banking crisis and the UK political row over politicians expenses seem to have had an effect on what matters to customers compared to just one or two years ago.
Studying the aftermath of the European elections suggests that the themes that arise and we need toi explore are grouped into three A's – Apathy, Apprehension and Anger
Apathy and detachment is demonstrated by the fact that no party got more votes than last time.  Labour lost because they got a lot fewer votes.  It seems that Labour voters could not only not bring themselves to vote Labour but they also did not want to vote for anyone else either!
Apprehension and fear comes from uncertainty regarding our personal financial futures (will I have a job? will I have a pension? I have lost 40% of my savings etc.)
Anger seems to be directed at banks for rewarding themselves whilst squandering our money and politicians for giving even banks even more money and then fiddling their own expenses at the same time.

How is this relevant to marketers and business leaders? 

These emotions are out there and real.  They affect what really matters to people.  These kind of macro changes and customers' emotional responses means it is highly likely that the drivers of how customers choose what to buy in your market have changed in the past 12 months.
We have been looking for some indicators of what might be changing.  Exploring the Google search terms database is just one way to do this.  Here are some examples, we have compared May 2009 with May 2008.
What is up
Grow your own +500%
Best buy +20%
Green +12%
Good school +10%
Healthy +5%
What is the same
Value is level
Chocolate is the same
What is down
Organic is -25%
Holiday in France -23%
Gardening -20%
Luxury -15%
Banks -15% (a long term trend which has accelerated this year)
Cheap -14%
Security -6% (long term trend)
This brief analysis suggests a return to more basic human and community values and decreased interest in fripperies.  Whilst on the other hand, it shows that some basics will always endure like chocolate and value for money.
Making sure you understand how the fundamental drivers of choice are changing is one important tool to survive the recession.

Boris v Ken – what can we learn about how customers make choices?

Using your existing data?

How can you discover the Power Attributes that
determine why consumers choose your brand without doing new and
expensive surveys?
  Our answer is that you can and should
take a stab at it.  Whilst doing new research will be more robust, you
can understand valuable insights about your Power Attributes by
analysing whatever data or insight you already have or can easily
gather.  This ezine shows you an example of how to do this.  We have
analysed the result of the London Mayoral election to illustrate how
this can work.

Analysis of Boris victory?

Voters’ and customers’ choices can seem a bit odd.
So how come the electorate plumped for Boris, who had been seen as a
bit a bit of a joke and prone to gaffs and offered an uncertain
prospect of being competent?  We have analysed the Power Attributes to
understand how voters made this choice.   

It is possible to take a good stab at understanding the Power
Attributes using available published data.  In this case we have
located two very different pre election polls to help us work out the
Power Attributes.

Conquest’s Metaphorix Poll for ITV London

poll for Unison

Power Attributes must possess both importance and uniqueness.
So Power Attributes for the candidates are ones that are both important
to voters and in some degree are unique to the candidate.  Attributes
will have both functional and emotional elements and both will
influence the customers decision to purchase.  In this case of this
election functional really means policy issues and emotional attributes
relate to the candidate’s personality.  We started by looking at policy
attributes.  MORI revealed the ranking of importance of the policy

Importance ranking to voters

1. Crime/Policing
2. Transport
3. Healthcare/NHS
4. Cost of living
5. Education
6. Pollution/environment

It was difficult for the candidates to get uniqueness on these issues
– even though the candidates were able to offer some differences in
their policies.  Ken had a good track record on transport.  Brian
Paddick had been a policeman.  Boris talked a lot about crime
reduction. When you look beyond crime and transport, the next three
issues lay completely outside the control of the Mayor (NHS, Cost of
living, Education).

The personalities of the candidates offered much more scope for uniqueness

So personality attributes may offer more scope for real power.
When we look for clues about these more emotional attributes, the
metaphorix survey done by Conquest for ITV London was able to highlight
the emotional beliefs about the personalities of the candidates.  If we
start by looking at the importance of the different personality
attributes, we discover that the most important attribute is


However none of the candidates possessed this to any adequate or differential degree.  So despite trustworthy being
important as an attribute, it lacked power as a means to choose between
the candidates.  So we need to look further to find attributes that are
powerful for each candidate.  Conquest discovered there were some
attributes where the candidates differed.


arrogant refreshing boring
confident confident focused
capable approachable honest

We can eliminate confident as this did not distinguish Ken or Boris and
also knock out boring as this is not a positive.  The remaining
attributes provide the clues as to why Boris won. 

Boris won the day by being approachable and refreshing.
Ken’s lead on capable was outdone by Londoners’ desire for a change.
For Brian Paddick, being focused and honest was just not important
enough to Londoners.

Power Attributes for London Mayor

The Power Attributes for this London Mayoral election were to offer a
change from a tired and slightly arrogant incumbent and promise to
address violent crime alongside transport issues.

No doubt the national issues of healthcare, cost of living and
education played a part.  Ken would have suffered by his association
with a struggling Labour government.   But since these issues remain
outside the direct control of the Mayor and were difficult for the any
candidates to discuss.

For an attribute to be powerful you must be able to create some uniqueness.
The most powerful attributes were those where the candidates could
establish some uniqueness.  It is the combination of an attribute being
both important and unique, that creates the power to influence voters
or consumers choices.


Which is more important?

Helping your customers or selling to

The business answer is we need to do both.
But what would the vote be in your business if you were told you could only do
one of these and you had to choose?

My experience of trying to buy a flat
screen TV last week would suggest the answer varies in different organisations.
I tried three different places:

Google: lots of helpful information, no
selling, independent advice (no product experience).
John Lewis: helpful, little selling,
clarity about the solution, real product experience.
Currys:  no help, stressful experience,
plenty of selling, lots of offers, a good credit deal.

Interestingly Google and John Lewis are doing quite well
whereas DSG (Currys) are suffering in these more turbulent
times.  DSG management seem to be blaming the economic difficulties, but I am
left wondering if their problems are to do with too much selling and not enough

Google and John Lewis know that they
must help their customers
whereas in many businesses the
emphasis on marketing and sales has been about getting the message across,
making the offer, closing the deal.  But is this really want customers want?  Is
this what is most important to customers?  Is this the most effective way to get
more growth?

In the realm of business, the importance of adaptability and a professional image cannot be overstated, especially for those operating from a home office. Utilizing a virtual office in a significant city such as London allows businesses to maintain a physical presence in the market without the need for a traditional office space. Services including mail handling, a business phone number and more can be invaluable. For more details on how to secure such an address, visit https://virtually-there.net/virtual-offices/london/.

Businesses sometimes struggle to
see what is most important to their customers.
  Last ezine we
discussed ways around this.  This article takes this one step further and
suggests that by starting with selling as the source of growth many businesses
are distracted from what is important to their customers.   This distraction and
neglect of what is really important to customers is likely to lead to less
growth and less success.

How well do you understand your customers problems?

How do you
ensure your products and services help your customers?  Do you or your
colleagues struggle to see that what customers want is help to solve a problem?
Do you focus on selling at the exclusion of helping?

Increasingly businesses that help are
more successful than those that just sell
.  Google is the
ultimate “help not sell” company and seems to enjoy the highest brand valuation
in the world (BrandZ published today)

How did this work in the case
of my TV purchase.  My problem or opportunity is that I want to be able to relax
with the TV only when really I feel the need.  I do not want the machine in my
face every time I sit down in the living room, so we will put it in a smaller
separate room.  When I go to the internet or the store I am looking for some
help to solve these problems.  So my search extends to appearance, size,
discreteness, on demand TV services, as well as picture quality and sound
quality (the only thing anyone talked about was picture

Customers do not want is to be
sold a product.
  Customers want to solve problems issues and
realise opportunities that they face in their lives.  Features of products and
services that businesses can offer them are only important when they help with
this.  Businesses that help their customers will win. Enhance your beauty brand with our skincare product logistics. Those that just sell to
their customers are likely to lose out to smarter competitors.

So when
you go and ask your customers what is important to them, ask them about their
lives and their problems not just the features of your products and

Now if you were forced to choose
between only helping your customers or only selling to your customers, which
would you choose

you are interested to arrange a free introductory consultation

to help you understand what your Power Attributes might be, then click
to find out more about this. free

If you
think you know what your Power Attributes are but are struggling to get your
colleagues to see it that way, then click
take a look at our marketing influence ideas click

How do you know what is important to customers?

Why is it that once we walk through the door of the
business each day
we are programmed to want customers to believe
that what we are doing is the answer to their problems and that the features and
benefits of our products will be important and useful to them.  Suddenly the
world seems to be centred around the products and brands that we

Somehow the corporate mission or our
own ambition can blind us to insights
we acquire every day.   As
we spend our home and shopping lives being customers and making choices between
products we can develop a good understanding of what it means to be a customer. 
We can understand what is important and how trivial or important different
decisions are to us.

I have been reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book,
The Black Swan,

Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

See our discussion  click here   

He has been reminding me how easily we can get persuaded
by the "narrative" explanations
that exist within the business. 
How easily we tend to seek confirmation of what we would like to believe in the
anecdotes and events around us.  How difficult and more challenging it is to
rigorously assess the evidence. 

How do you deal with this?

As a
successful business person you know you must cut through this

and you should understand what is important to your customers.   

But how
much time and money do you devote specifically to find out what is really
important to customers so you can act on it?   And if you do spend time on it,
what is the best way to discover what is important to our

But you may be thinking that you
already know what is important to customers
.  Why should you
invest more money and time in finding out what is important to customers.  Just
stay with us for 2 more minutes reading this ezine and we will give you the
chance to assess whether you have done enough.

What we have found

We have frequently observed in project after
project and study after study is that successful business people do know a lot
about what is important to their customers.  Especially sales people who are
talking regularly with customers and marketers who choose to spend time
listening to consumers.

We have noticed that
the managers in the business tend to get it 80% to 90% right

Which sounds great.  And would that we could get everything 80-90% right!  But
the problem is the thing you miss out or get wrong is often the important
attribute feature or benefit that could make all the difference.

Here are some examples from our own studies

Examples where managers
think something is important but consumers think is less important than other

Healthy snacks – less than 3% fat, not embarrassing to eat in
Gardening – used by professionals, use less peat
Reinsurance – can
offer independent advice, harnesses innovation.

Examples where consumers
think something is important but managers did not spot it

Healthy Snacks
– is a satisfying eat
Gardening – Is attractive to wild life, forgives me if
I forget to water it.
Reinsurance – Flexible to my needs, fixes problems

How can you know what is important to customers?

Inevitably the most straightforward answer is to ask
and we would be the first to say that asking them in any
form is better than not asking them.  But there are a few pointers that we have

  • We have found the concept of an attribute is valuable to help distinguish
    what is more important or less important
  • Don’t get too tangled up in whether the attribute is a feature a benefit an
    emotion or an image, it does not matter.  What matters is which attributes are
  • Ask the customers/consumers to help you prepare your list of attributes. 
    They will often come up with some attributes that you did not think of.
  • A third party conversation is more likely to reveal the truth, if you have a
    relationship with your customers, this can get in the way of a truly transparent
    conversation.  On line or paper survey tools can also do this very well
  • Plan the approach so you do not lead them to give you the answer you want to
  • Ranking attributes from 1-10 or 1-20 is more revealing than asking for a
    score on a scale where 1 is not important and 5 is very important.

Attribute importance is a fundamentally important
part of helping our clients understand how customers make choices between
brands.  The really useful concept of Power Attributes is based around what is
important to customers and how you can differentiate yourself to

You can download our paper on this click

You can see our website discussion on this click

You can see our case study examples click

You can see our blog posts on Power Attributes click

Why you should worry less about the future?

I was listening to this fascinating discussion on Start the Week on BBC Radio 4 on Monday

We are hard-wired not to truly estimate risk, too vulnerable to the
impulse to simplify, narrate and categorize – and we don’t even realise
it. What we should understand, argues the academic and city trader NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB,
is that our world is dominated by ‘black swans’, highly improbable
events that have a massive impact and are nearly impossible to predict.
Black swans, he says, mean we should ignore ‘experts’, stop reading
newspapers and learn to take advantage of uncertainty. Nassim Nicholas
Taleb will be delivering lectures on
The Black Swan at the University of Oxford on Wednesday 5 March and at the London School of Economics on Thursday 6 March. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable is published by Penguin.

Here is the podcast link  Nassim is in the last 15 minutes

I got 5 points from the discussion

  • What actually happens is often not possible to predict
  • Measuring (empirical?) what is happening is more useful
  • Projecting current trends is more reliable than expert predictions
  • Our assessment of the risks we take will be wrong.
  • Newspapers, colleagues and experts often try to convince us we can predict and manage risk.

It got me thinking, so what does this mean for businesses in pursuit of more growth? 

You should spend less time worrying less about the future.  So reduce the time you spend

  • Worrying about things you cannot control
  • Forecasting future events (since we will be wrong)
  • Predicting competitor reaction
  • Reacting to the latest hot topic in the marketing press

You should spend more time strengthening your ability to withstand unexpected shocks. To do this, measure what is actually happening to the business and assume it will continue until you create change by doing these things

  • Discover your customers frustrations and unmet needs
  • Know and measure what is important to customers
  • Discover how to make this more available to customers
  • Take action based on these insights and measure the results

You can do a simple audit to see where the balance of your time is spent.  Is it more on worrying about the future or could you do more to strengthen your competitive ability.

Corporate teams can easily get sucked into worrying about the future, whereas entrepreneurs tend to focus on things they can do now.

In the meantime.  I am off to the LSE on Thursday to gain some more insight into how we can strengthen our approach to helping you translate insights about customers into practical steps that will create more growth.

If you would like a free telephone audit to discover if you are worrying about the future too much or are doing enough to get on with the present, then email us or phone us on 020 8334 7202 to arrange it.

P. S.  This is exactly what Power Categories and Power Attributes and Power Channels will help
you achieve this action orientation and address the business fundamentals.  The approach is about
translating insights about customers into practical steps that will
strengthen your competitive position in the market.

King Canute, ITV, BA, Easyjet, Google and Zopa

I have lost count of the number of times I have sat in meetings where King Canute reigned and new ideas were put in the trash can because of the risk that they would substitute the existing sales in the business

Meanwhile, some-one else bowls a long, creates the idea and the sales substitution is done by new competition.  The traditional business is left struggling to catch up.

Remember when ITV dominated ad spending and took more ad money than anybody else?  But see what happened last year

An analysis for The Times shows that Google generated £327 million in
advertising between July and September, compared with an estimated £317
million for all of ITV1 across the UK during the same three-month period.

10 years ago just think how inconceivable it would be to
suggest that on airline selling low cost seats on the internet would be the dominant short haul airline out of
Gatwick.  Now Easyjet dominate short haul rather than BA.

Who could have predicted that strangers would trade and trust each other through their computers.  Many retail markets declare their growth or declines and this often excludes substantial trading volumes on Ebay and Amazon and elsewhere that are not tracked by conventional stats.

Growth orientated marketers need to be looking for new ideas to stay ahead and not be afraid to compete with themselves and create new approaches to conduct their business. 

So what are the next markets that will be transformed or at least attacked ny New Internet models.  I cannot be sure these will succeed but they are all doing something very new that could transform the way markets work.


Savings and investments     http://uk.zoba.com


Book buying and borrowing   www.bookmooch.com

Travel guides and hotel bookings  www.world66.com

Book and media publishing     www.lulu.com

These are all ideas that have long legs and real depth.  They are not a retail concept slapped onto the internet.  They do things that only the internet can do by using information and communications.   The have identified a real customer problem and they are solving it.

Lulu – self publishing is so expensive

World66 – how to find out what normal people think (not massaged by journalists or promoters)

Bookmooch – what to do with my old books?

Zoba – banks tend to rip me off and cannot be trusted

Whether they succeed will depend on many things, not least how well they are executed and whether people are ready for these radical new ways of doing things yet.  But the traditional industries they are attacking have to decide if they want to end up struggling like BA and ITV and EMI or if they are going to embrace a whole new world.

For us we need to keep an eye out for new models that attack our business.  or even better stay one step ahead and spot the opportunity.  In the language of the Growth game, if you know the Power attributes of your customers, then you will know what they want that traditional businesses do not supply.  So go find out about your customers’ Power Attributes

How much do you help your customers through the tyranny of choice?

BqTwo experiences in the last 24 hours have  prompted me to think about why less is often more.   What a relief it is when a supplier, manufacturer or retailer helps you to find your way through the amazing choice of products and services that confront us these days.

The first was when I was in B&Q today.  They offer a massive selection in the core home and building products, but have more limited choice in the Garden Centre area.  As some one with a limited appreciation of gardening and in search of quick convenient solutions, this proved to be a huge relief.  Their range was not just limited but very well selected to cover all the task and needs and presented in a way that made it easier to choose.  Three powerful attributes seemed to make the range work.

1.  Limited to a size I could survey and understand
2.  Covered all the tasks and needs so there was something to address each issue
3.  Merchandised by task and clearly explained how to choose.

I have to say my foray into the bathroom and kitchens section was more dazzling and confusing as the choice expanded.

These thoughts on choice were forcefully echoed by some consumers in research groups last night who when examining the array fo products available in the category we were exploring, made a straightforward and simple appeal.

Please simplify our choice, tell us what the product does for me, what type it is and put a window on the front so I can see what is inside.  All this other technical detail can go on the back.

I am sure that offering people manageable choices and helping them choose can be turned into a Power Attribute and can be used to differentiate your offer wherever you do business.

So could you do more to help your customers through the tyranny of choice?

Do you promote what you do well or what matters to customers?

If you want to discover the Power Attributes that
drive your customers
to choose your brand rather than the
competition, you have to have start by generating a list of possible
attributes.  When we help clients do this, we get the initial attribute list
from talking to the customers.  You can only really rely on customers to think
like customers.    However, the business team can think of attributes that
customers cannot even begin to imagine, so we also get some valuable attribute
ideas from the client management team.

We do
this through our facilitated workshop approach. 
These workshop
events often attract a senior audience.   When we work with these knowledgeable
and experienced managers we often find that the list of attributes is a list of
features or things that the company does well.   But that is not always what we
need.  We know that what will be powerful for the customer is a specific benefit
or a special way the business helps the customer solve a problem. 

for example the director of a financial services firm tells us that what really
matters to the customers is "we give independent
  which we translate  into a more customer focused
benefit "has independent advice I can trust", but when we talk to the customers,
this is still not good enough, the most powerful attribute turns out to be "makes my business more successful"

Time after time, we discover that the hot
power attributes are all about the customer
and the cold
attributes are all about the business and the brand.

Experience this week
brought this home to me and showed that directors
may not always be the best choice when we are generating potential insights
about what matters to customers.

In one of our current
projects we are trying to discover some Power Attributes in a whole new category
for the business.  We ran a workshop this week where we wanted to generate a
list of candidate attributes that we plan to investigate with customers.  The
investigation and consumer research will establish which attributes are most
powerful in influencing customers to choose a product. 

The project is being led by the sales director who helped
us bring a fresh approach.
Rather than directors, he invited a
number of the PA’s and front line team to the session and this proved to be an
inspired choice.  They seemed to think more like customers and in a more natural
way.  As a result, we have come up with a list I am confident is much closer to
what customers will suggest.  This means when we do workshops with the customers
we are already part of the way there and we will be able to spend time
discovering why the attributes are powerful rather than just generating the

Our ezine always aims to deliver practical advice, so I would
suggest you can take two things out of this When you are thinking about what is
important to your customers,

1.    always
challenge yourself to think "is this about the brand or about the customer" 
I can pretty much guarantee that if it is about the brand it
will not be that important to the customer.
2.    go and ask some customers or at least a few "real"
around the office, they might just shed some insight on
your thinking.

Our Power Attributes paper discusses how you can come up
with this insight in more detail click here

Do you struggle with too much data or not enough insight?

Tabloid newspapers are powerful communicators and
can exert influence on how people think.  One of the most effective
tools they use (and abuse?) are concepts that simplify reality and
allow people to see what is happening.  So a politician is
"beleaguered", a celebrity is on the way "up" or "down",  a government
is either "on a roll" or "stumbling".  Many people say that the papers
influence opinion and they argue they just reflect it.  But whichever
of these is true they cut through lots of data and create insight.

As marketers we need to create insight and become powerful communicators
to win over the business to our ideas for growth.  There are often many
ideas but this is accompanied by great uncertainty about which will
produce the right results.  This uncertainty seems to derive from two
sources.  Either there is too much data, so it is difficult to sift out
what is important or there is a shortage of real customer driven
insight because there is little market research available or affordable.
Have you found yourself sitting through analytical or descriptive presentations that provide some interesting content, but few actionable recommendations? 
Or sometimes have you found yourself struggling to come up with
insights and unable to justify the investment in high price market
research to create the customer understanding that will bring clarity
to your decisions?

One of the breakthrough tools we have developed to cut through data and create insight
is to develop "really useful concepts" that help you to see through the
mist and bring clarity to decisions about what to do.  We have found it
makes a huge difference and supports a cost effective approach.

  • When there is too much data, the "really useful concept" slices
    through the data to bring out the compelling insights.
  • When there is not enough money for new research, the "really
    useful concept" supports a structured approach to thinking through the
    issues and coming up with answers.  This approach may be done with
    customers or just your colleagues in the business.
You will probably have heard us talk about the concepts we use.
What characterises all of them, is that they are built around an
important business decision rather than just descriptive of an approach
to analysis or discussion.
  • Power Categories – where should we invest to get the most profitable growth?
  • Power Attributes – what features and benefits most powerfully influence customers to choose our products?
  • Power Propositions – products and services that deliver power attributes.
  • Power Channels – where does the product or service need to be seen and be available so our customers will discover it and can buy it?

We also have two additional ideas that have provided valuable support.

  • Rocketing – the tendency for customers to trade up and spend disproportionately on things that are really important to them
  • Internal Entrepreneur
    – describes the skills and behaviours of the people who can make things
    happen and influence the organisation to change and actively create

were recently challenged about why our website and our conversation
does not use the conventional language of the brand marketing world
So why we do not talk about market segmentation, brand positioning,
marketing communications, brand pyramids, brand wheels and so forth?
The question caused me to think about this and reflect on whether by
being different, we are just confusing the issue.  In our experience
this marketing speak can encourage debate, but often does not lead to
decisions.  So we plan to stick to these "really useful concepts"
because they are just that "really useful".
We know that internal entrepreneurs succeed when they become great communicators.
Maybe we can learn from the Tabloid press and use simpler more powerful
concepts.  When our clients adopt these "really useful concepts" they
find it helps to create a common understanding about the decisions that
the business must make.  This helps engage the business team and win
support for the ideas. 

What is it that makes a concept "really useful". It must have the following characteristics

  • It creates insight about an important business decision or action.
  • It communicates.  It is easy to grasp and possible to have an idea
    of what it is about from the title.
  • It is adaptable and can help you derive insight from robust data or management discussion.
  • It has been proven to work through robust analysis or previous practical examples.
What "really useful concepts" do you use to make decisions?  If
you want to share them, you can look at the blog version of this article and post a comment.


Our next due date for an ezine is 25th December, so we will skip
that one and the next issue will be a New Year perspective on 2nd


In the meantime have a great holiday break.  The Differentiate
team will be taking the chance to get some skiing in.  But we are back
shortly after Christmas and will be fired up for the New Year.