'There are two rules to staying an expert. 1 - Never tell anyone everything you know.............and that's it.

Forgive me for repeating a somewhat timeworn tale but I’m confident you will identify with it. It’s about what can happen when you become so effortlessly expert at what you do that folk think it’s as easy as falling off a log!

The tale is about the industrialist whose production line breaks down at a cost of many millions per day. After a long search he finds an expert who upon investigating his machine takes …

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'I'm trying to daydream but my mind keeps wandering.'

I am a huge advocate of the compelling power of daydreaming. Finding a comfortable space in which you can drift into superstardom without those all encroaching ‘what ifs’ blotting your landscape. I don’t know about you but when I daydream I visualise myself in a place where I want to be even if attaining that coveted place entails a huge amount of effort and overcoming of obstacles. I’d like to share with you how one of my dreams has …

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If there’s one brand that really knows its onions when it comes to branding brilliance, it’s Pret a Manger. I was reflecting on this last week whilst sitting in the Pret outside Vauxhall Station.

Firstly, you’ve got the Pret passion facts – framed images on the wall with quirky little sayings about the attention to detail and the lengths they go to in order to create a fabulous customer experience. Even the napkins have jaunty slogans and  the food is presented with labels that combine nutritional information with quite charming copy, …

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'Hang on, just have to put this customer on 'ignore'.'

I had an interesting conversation with my mother-in-law yesterday which prompted this blog. She was telling me about a good friend of hers who is very generous, and is always buying presents for friends and family. In particular, there is one shop that she has been frequenting until recently. The shop retails baby clothes – not your usual baby-gros but pretty special top of the range baby clothes. Every month my mum in law’s friend …

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'Employee of the Month, eh? I wonder if they've rumbled me.'

I don’t know whether you watch The Undercover Boss, the series on Channel 4 in which the managing director of an established brand goes undercover working on the shop floor in a number of his outlets or territories. What usually happens is that the boss discovers that amongst his team – the people he has not seen for many years – there are some real gems; employees flying the flag for his brand, often in dire circumstances. …

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Some of you will know that just a few days ago I launched my second book, The     Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book. My book launch was a delightful event; an opportunity to catch up with many lovely people. I was very lucky in that the entire event was paid for by one of my clients keen to raise his profile through being my sponsor.

The generosity of my sponsor enabled me to support two charities – Ovacome and The Cystic Fibrosis Trust. It showed me just how easy it can …

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'Back to Basics - now that's got a good ring to it.'

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of training a group of business people at the British Library in London.  It was my very first Ultimate Marketing on a Shoestring workshop.  Although it touched on social media and whether the attending businesses should be getting stuck in, or simply exploring it with a considered view, the purpose of the workshop was to ensure that the attendees were focusing on being brilliant at the basics.

What do I mean by this?

The basics …

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Listening to Marc Bolland, I said. BOLLAND!

I was listening to Marc Bolland, Chief Executive of M&S a couple of days ago explaining the reasons behind M&S’s sales growth.   Apparently, M&S shoppers are trading up – moving to the next price point on a wide range of goods.  But what I really took away from Marc’s explanation was a fantastic quote which inspired me to write this blog.

He said… “if you want to buy once, you have to buy well.”  And boy did that get me thinking.  Because we all like a …

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'So, tell me just a little bit more about your buying habits .... and nobody gets hurt!

Why You Must Get up Close to the Heart Beat of Your Prospects…

A few days ago I found myself in a motor home park in Eastbourne, interviewing motor home owners to find out their thoughts on air suspension.  Now I grant you it’s not a very sexy subject, but for a motor home owner the mere thought of air suspension is enough to whip them into a positive frenzy.  Eight hours later and after interviewing …

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'Where's my Battenberg?!'

A few weeks ago, I was with a client who orders a very nice buffet lunch each time I visit; a much welcomed refreshment break in an otherwise fast-paced day. On this occasion, at the appointed time the caterer arrived with platters of freshly made goodies.  That is, all except for one important platter – the home-made cakes were missing!

The caterer told us in a very matter of fact way that he had forgotten to bring the home-made cakes.  He then went on to explain that we were the …

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