“You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper”
― Edward de Bono, Use of Lateral Thinking
Brands are built in the mind, and our minds hold many brands. But the foundation of brand and marketing strategy – defining what a brand stands for – is often developed in a limited, linear way: assessing the strength of an idea against a set of direct business competitors; digging a deeper hole in the same general place as everyone else.
I founded Brand Lateral to bring a more expansive and competitive perspective to conversations on brand strategy, to help build stronger foundations for brands.
I draw upon:
Diverse Experience: My branding career began on the prestigious WPP Fellowship Program. I have worked at the world’s leading market research (Millward Brown), advertising (JWT), communications (Grey/G2), and branding firms (Landor) in New York, San Francisco and London. For fifteen years I have consulted across the A-Z of industries – from accountancy and alcohol to Viagra and zoos – winning Landor’s global brand strategy award and being identified as a WPP High Achiever. I wrote the chapter on branding for Landor in The Big Book of Marketing: Lessons and Best Practices from the World’s Greatest Companies, edited by Anthony G. Bennett (McGraw-Hill, 2010).
Unique Insight: I devised, created, and continue to develop The Brand Genome Project. The Brand Genome Project is an ongoing effort to identity, map and track what the world’s most valuable brands stand for, and how they bring their ideas to life. It profiles how the world’s most valuable 179 brands define their vision, what they stand for (their purpose, brand idea, positioning, promise… whatever terminology they use), their values; and when and why they change their brand strategy direction. See more on this here.
I bring all this to bear in my work as a freelance brand strategist, helping to create brands that stand apart from the competition, engage consumers, customers and employees, and lead in the mind and the market. Recent clients and agencies I have worked with include Claridge’s, Sage, Landor, EY (Ernst & Young), Circus, The Connaught, Fera at Claridge’s, Precise, Hélène Darroze.
My blog tells the stories of how brands are defining what they stand for; looking across categories and countries to focus on the spectrum of brand ideas and how they are being brought to life.
My kids have no idea what I do, but wish it involved more Lego and chocolate.