The Reception


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Working with a designer (four paths)

Most of us want to look good online, need a website, maybe even a logo. More and more individuals and organizations are discovering that they need to hire a professional. It comes down to doing your homework. Be clear with yourself before you spend a nickel or a minute with a designer. This difficult internal conversation will save you endless frustration and heartache later. Here are four postures to consider in working with a good (or great) designer: I know what I want. Bring your vision. Bring in your folder of typefaces, images, copy. Be very, very specific. The more you paste it up and sketch it out, the more likely you'll get exactly what you were hoping for.

Targeting behavior

The model behind most advertising relies on a seemingly common-sense cognitive cascade. If a company can get access to an audience’s attention, it can then attempt to persuade them, through rational and emotional messaging, to change their behavior. This behaviour is usually at some point in the future — otherwise, all advertising would work like ‘as seen on TV’ direct response. Despite the much-used adage of ‘right place, right person, right time’, the vast majority of customers for any brand or product are not actively in the market at any given point and mass media is only efficient when speaking to mass markets. So the objective is to alter perceptions in order to change behaviour later, which is why we measure brand awareness and preference using surveys and seek to understand what about a product is most interesting or emotive to craft an appealing message.

Laziness by Seth Godin

The original kind of lazy avoids hard physical work. Too lazy to dig a ditch, organize a warehouse or clean the garage. Modern lazy avoids emotional labor. This is the laziness of not raising your hand to ask the key question, not caring about those in need or not digging in to ship something that might not work. Lazy is having an argument instead of a thoughtful conversation. Lazy is waiting until the last minute. And lazy is avoiding what we fear. Lazy feels okay in the short run, but eats at us over time. Laziness is often an option, and it's worth labelling it for what it is. This article originally appeared on

Intelligence every time

We have just moved house. It has been a major hassle, because we have relocated to another part of the country from where we have lived for many years. Virtually all arrangements have had to be changed: HMRC, bank, utilities, stores, phone and broadband, doctor, TV, credit cards. We have also acquired a completely new stable of tradesmen, craftsmen, removers, local shops, furniture and carpet suppliers, kitchen and bathroom specialists. And the difference? Staggering. Automated bureaucracy versus the personal touch. When you have been dealing with helpful, talented individuals, whose motivation seems overwhelmingly to offer great service, the frustration with computerised process becomes massive. Endless keying of email addresses, passwords, multi-digit numbers – and still our instructions are disregarded, we don’t get what we asked for, and it has to be done all over again.

6 things on challengers

With "challenger brand" returning 118,000 results from Google this morning, it's no surprise that some myths and misunderstandings surround the topic.  As a consultancy specialising in this subject, we've compiled a list of six of the most common we've encountered, and our experience of the reality. Misconception #1: Challengers are always startups Oatly, only perhaps a recognisable name since re-launching in 2014, was actually founded in 1985. Ikea, which continues to challenge itself, as well as advertising norms, was founded in 1943. And Tillamook, the dairy cooperative prodding Big Food in the gut with 'Dairy Done Right', was founded in 1909.

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