Good Reads - October Edition

It seems like only yesterday that we were providing you with our first Good Reads of the year, yet we’re somehow in its final quarter and just a handful of weeks from spending a half day discussing what’s terrible or amazing about the next round of Christmas adverts by supermarkets. Until that time comes, we’ve a good assortment of links to keep you busy, from the evolution of brand and success stories/failures of some, to opinion pieces we love and some TikTok videos, just because.



The Making of a Brand (6 mins)
A brief opinion piece looking at what makes a brand. It’s a couple of years old, but with the explosion of rapidly expanding direct-to-consumer brands it’s more relevant than ever.

HelloFresh posts first profitable quarter (1 min)
“Brand makes profit” may not seem like any great shakes, but in a growing direct-to-consumer sector that sees brands frequently posting losses, HelloFresh are proving it is possible to succeed — convenience and usefulness are the order of the day.

BK v McD (2 mins)
A short opinion piece from Mark Ritson asking who’s marketing more effectively, Burger King or McDonald’s, nodding towards the importance of long term consistency in marketing beyond big, flashy campaigns.

“McDonald’s is better at marketing than Burger King. Provided, of course, you see marketing as the connection with and impact on customers.”

The History of Pizza Express (5 mins)
A great Twitter thread spotted by Imperica’s Matt Muir detailing the ups and downs of everyone’s favourite discount voucher outlet.


Holiday Habits 2019 (2 mins)
ABTA’s annual report on the holiday habits of UK travel consumers has recently been published, inevitably touching on Brexit, the nation’s persistence that they’ll still travel and findings that the amount they’ll spend on holidays is likely to be cut.

Thomas Cook — a brand doomed to fail (5 mins)Jennifer Faull at The Drum takes a look at some of the key brand decisions and marketing failures that contributed to the demise of one of the world’s oldest travel brands,Thomas Cook.

“Despite the glaring need for transformation, the brand clung to selling holiday packages without updating its channel and service strategies to move with the times.

We know people still want package holidays, so this is a stark reminder of the importance for travel brands being clear in their positioning and, even more importantly, understanding peoples’ relationships with them.

Creativity and Innovation

Creative x Media (5 mins)
A rallying cry from incoming Apple Marketing VP Nick Law, calling on agencies to embrace the combination of creative and media. It’s really exciting to see weighty opinions like this backing up our agency belief that the route to good work is a combination of creative thinking and media thinking.

“Designers have the power to change minds” (2 mins +)
A great roundup of opinion pieces on how creative thinking and craft can impact people in the face of the global climate strike last month.

Monzo has a cunning plan to stop you wasting money on junk food (3 mins)
Wired look at direct-to-consumer banking brand Monzo’s in-testing merchant block functionality. It’s another great example of how relatively new brands, particularly in the DTC space, are focusing on innovation to solve real-world problems. 

There’s also an open, and refreshing, admission from Monzo’s Co-Founder and CEO Tom Blomfield that he can’t guarantee the brand’s positioning in the long term — “I have the best intentions today, but I might get hit by a bus or turn evil – I hope not – or the whole company might have a whole new set of people in 20 or 50 years,” — acting as a reminder of the challenges many brands face in needing to actually make money and keep investors happy.


Across The Web

A colourful and stimulating site exploring how, why, and where to cut down on waste. At a time when absolute opinions shout the loudest, this is a great example of actually being useful and helping people make changes if/when they want to. 

Glug’s Protest Poster Database
Creativity always thrives in environments where we’re driving for change. This is a great snapshot launched in line with the global climate strike week in the form of an open database where people can view and download posters, as well as being able to upload their own efforts.

Tik Tok Trends
If you can’t face joining and keeping up with yet another social media platform, but equally don’t want to miss out on whatever’s hot across it, Tik Tok’s homepage of trending contents will help you out – and currently give you a nod as to how the platform’s quickly evolving from scrappy, low-budget content spot of general users to new outlet for celebrity content, courtesy of Will Smith.

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