Articles & Weeknotes

Articles

Longer-form thoughts and analysis.

  1. 25 November 2023

    Is there life in Mars?

    Whether the acquisition of Hotel Chocolat was a Mars masterstroke or a massive rip-off

  2. 22 October 2023

    The future of agencies

    What next for the “big four” communications agency groups, and the smaller agencies that live in their shadow?

  3. 16 August 2023

    Faster, better, cheaper: pick three

    A manifesto for strategy that’s fast, inexpensive, and effective

  4. 3 August 2023

    Buying it brand new

    If you acquire a brand, is it best to merge it with your own, or maintain some separation?

  5. 28 July 2023

    Shaking those assets

    Why the concept of distinctive assets offers a useful way of looking at brands

  6. 14 July 2023

    Numbers and narratives

    The importance of asking “so what?”

  7. 6 July 2023

    Brands are about to get interested

    How much of brands’ behaviour is the result of low interest rates?

  8. 30 June 2023

    Decking around

    Strategy as a discipline is obsessed with slide decks – but they’re a terrible way to convey subtle and complex information

  9. 23 June 2023

    Understanding variation

    How do you know if a change in a metric is a cause for alarm?

  10. 16 June 2023

    Focus on the levers you can pull

    The difference between input and output metrics, and why it matters

  11. 15 June 2023

    Hello, world

Weeknotes

Weekly updates and learnings.

  1. Week 49 — 24 May 2024
    Creative workshops, new projects and growing distribution
  2. Week 48 — 17 May 2024
    New relationships, sweet workshops, buyer meetings and word games
  3. Week 47 — 10 May 2024
    Coffees, serendipity and merch
  4. Week 46 — 3 May 2024
    Sweets, manufacturers, influencers and variation
  5. Week 45 — 26 April 2024
    Pricing data, store shelves and fractal side projects
  6. Week 44 — 19 April 2024
    Whisky galore and winning retail listings
  7. Week 40 — 22 March 2024
    MSG and B Corp values
  8. Week 37 — 1 March 2024
    Big RFPs, filling packs and starting a factory
  9. Week 36 — 23 February 2024
    Cornish trips and transport woes
  10. Week 35 — 16 February 2024
    Workshops, blitzes and conflicts of interest
  11. Week 34 — 9 February 2024
    Bow waves and booze brands
  12. Week 33 — 2 February 2024
    Reflections on an away day
  13. Week 32 — 26 January 2024
    Bandages, Relative lunches and the scarcity of ideas
  14. Week 31 — 19 January 2024
    Consumer portraits, big pitches and the merits of consultants
  15. Week 30 — 12 January 2024
    Ad briefings, pitches, Finnish culture and executive off-sites
  16. Week 29 — 5 January 2024
    Collective genius, bakery ads and dungarees
  17. Week 26 — 15 December 2023
    Six months in
  18. Week 25 — 8 December 2023
    Project completions, schmoozing, strategy offers and setting visions
  19. Week 24 — 1 December 2023
    Mixed bags, Chinese food, productisation and psychotherapy
  20. Week 23 — 24 November 2023
    Focused weeks, Chinese ingredients, brand strategy and Hotel Chocolat
  21. Week 22 — 17 November 2023
    Youthful sweets, tired biscuits and bleak stats
  22. Week 21 — 10 November 2023
    Beans, agencies, sweets and startups
  23. Week 20 — 3 November 2023
    Creating partnerships, investment banks, working time and losing pitches
  24. Week 19 — 27 October 2023
    Agency strategy, gut health, and pack redesigns
  25. Week 18 — 20 October 2023
    Pitching, workshops, filling knowledge gaps and pondering agencies
  26. Week 17 — 13 October 2023
    Recruitment, whisky business, sad films and hot custard
  27. Week 16 — 6 October 2023
    Tissues, pet food, and Scotch
  28. Week 15 — 29 September 2023
    Baileys, birthdays, visual inspiration, and randomness
  29. Week 14 — 22 September 2023
    New offices, new starts, Italian booze, pitching
  30. Week 13 — 15 September 2023
    Beginning weeknotes, emailing, a new startup