Brexit or No Brexit ?– It is a true tragedy

9 years ago, when I decided to move to the UK, I didn’t know what made this country truly unique.

It is only by living and breathing the British culture that one fully understands the true foundation of this country’s uniqueness.french dog in love with english dog

In the humble opinion of an‘outsider’, it is this very uniqueness this country is on the verge of losing.

The values – what makes (made) Britain, Great Britain? 

Liberalism + Conservatism working as one – Great Britain thrives on the effective handshake of ‘new meets old’. It is enough to look at its governing power, its architecture, its industries…and one can see perfect harmony between progressive thinking and conservative values delivering economic and cultural synergies.

Leadership – leadership is a team effort. Leadership is about influencing people towards a better good. This country exercised great power in tricky international conflicts. It managed to turn the tide in challenging economic and political situations. This country is needed to make an ‘insider’ impact within the EU institutions.

Respect – whilst people might not talk to each other on the tube, it is also a country where one can learn what real respect is. Respect towards hard working people (it is nevertheless a meritocracy based business culture), respect towards the minority, respect towards the vulnerable. Giving up on the idea behind a Union where countries push and pull each other towards a common and shared value system projects the exact opposite message

Just by listening to some of the discussions and arguments raised as part of the ‘Leave’ campaign, Britain is not doing justice to itself as far as the above mentioned principles are concerned.

Border control, economic and political independence are going against everything that this country stands for.

Opting for independence, means giving up on exercising smart power from inside. Opting for independence means a very clear message: Britain wants to believe that the country is stronger on its own.

People in Britain underestimate the harm this referendum can do when it comes to what this country really stands for, in the eye of anybody who fell in love with this country for its value and belief system.


























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Shots – the City that sometimes sleeps


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If I ever had a bar – top 10..11.. names for my cocktails

  1. Petite mort
  2. Petrichor
  3. 58 – Tui
  4. Purple zone
  5. bb chou
  6. Go away closer
  7. Star drunk
  8. Golden hour
  9. Untogether
  10. Duchenne smile
  11. Schaukel
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We are worse than goldfish! – the increased value of 1 second of your attention

Have you ever thought about the value of ‘1 second’ of your attention? 

Humans’ attention span is getting shorter and shorter. (In fact, according to much promoted statistics about ‘the web,’ I already lost 80% of the readers by now… (80% of browsers spend less that 4 seconds on a page)

The ranking – winners and losers 

We are officially worse than goldfish (You and me, in 2000, we had an attention span of 12 seconds…10 years later, we are at 8 seconds, which is officially worse than a goldfish (9)… though I am not entirely convinced how they measure a goldfish’s attention span, it should still be considered a relatively poor result)attention span

Have you ever noticed that books are getting shorter and there are more and more TV series…?

Books are getting shorter. Now, this is a LIE. Most books are getting shorter, according to the Guardian, if you want to be successful at selling a book, you have two choices: either you have to write something that is shorter than 250 or quite the opposite…longer than 800. (just think about the Luminaires, this year’s booker prize winner)

Talk to me – only in pictures please! 

Most people cannot even read documents anymore… In fact, most people when they ask for a report, quite often the only thing it should not feature is




T. People cannot concentrate on reading documents… (but we do check our emails 40 times an hour!!!! Well, an average person does) Instead, we want to look at pretty pictures… (I am praising the day when people will be sick of info graphics… these days, if it was most people’s choice, they would put a poem into an info graph) BTW, after 20 min of research, I could not find ANY poem ‘written’ in an info graphic… so it looks like with poems we are on safe territory.

Positive realism 

BUT… Let’s put the sarcasm aside, and focus on the silver lining….

Short attention span also means..

• We have to grasps complex concepts much quicker.

• Which also means, we have to present complex concepts much simpler, if we want to be heard.

• Only the best marketers will survive – humor, gamification, unexpected turn of events … pictures…

• TV series are actually better than most movies anyway

• And as far as I am concerned, it made the world of World Cinema more appealing (because one needs to read subtitles, that makes us concentrate more and the best movies I have seen recently were all foreign movies…

Cinema Paradiso, Blue is the Warmest Colour, Hunt, Side Walls, Grand Beauty, Headhunters…just to mention a few)

AIDA is out, IPIAAEPF is in.

So where does this take marketers..

Anybody who sat in to any marketing class for at least 5 minutes will be familiar with the concept of AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action). These are (were) the stages that a consumer would go through as part of the buying process and is considered to be the holy grail for advertising.

According to new theories about Attention Economies, in addition to the AIDA concept, we should also look at other ‘intangibles’. These intangibles were identified as

1. Immediacy – priority access, immediate delivery – just remember The Times’ campaign from two years ago saying ‘guaranteed delivery by 6.45am’ (which apparently the average time a Londoner would get up)

2. Personalization – tailored just for you

3. Interpretation – support and guidance

4. Authenticity – how can you be sure it is the real thing?

5. Accessibility – wherever, whenever

6. Embodiment – books, live music

7. Patronage – “paying simply because it feels good”,

8. Findability – “When there are millions of books, millions of songs, millions of films, millions of applications, millions of everything requesting our attention — and most of it free —being found is valuable.”

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Tall, skinny, extra hot…

… Latte.

aka the surge of modular selling …

Starbucks was one of the first brands to give people the perception of power by letting them’design’ the exact coffee they want. By allowing them to specify size, temperature and the intensity  they gave the perception of making not one but three consecutive decisions to people who otherwise would not have any decision making power in real life….

Empower your customers to design the product they want

End of last year, Motorola announced that they are ‘almost ready’ with a mobile phone (Project Ara), of which the user will be able to choose each component… (and recently the project got Google’s blessing) Choose your camera, keyboard, processing power… The owner will be able to have a Lego-like purchasing experience at a cost of potentially as low as 50$.


The concept of building bespoke was – and still is- twinned in most people’s mind – and in reality too – with the painful consequence of paying a premium price.

Everyone remembers Nike’s failed initiative of allowing people to design their own shoes… It was expensive and at the end of the day it didn’t really add any value for the customer…

Easy and competitive pricing

Starbucks works because the consumer experience is easy, the customer actually creates added value for himself and the price level was accepted as the market standard.

What can we learn from these companies?

  • empower your customers – most people like power or the perception of power… Think about which items about your product or service you could let your customer ‘control’ when it comes to delivery. This has to make sense both for the business and for the customer.
  • in order to do the above, you have to itemise your value proposition (think about your whole offer) and break it into the tiniest organic components  (people used to sell coffee … When J.B., G.B. & Z.S.  started to sell milk type, intensity, temperature, size… mixed with coffee)
  • test with your clients if giving control on certain things would actually deliver them any extra value.
  • develop your products accordingly…itemising your value proposition will have a direct impact on what you will need to prioritise in your product development cycle, bearing in mind that it will also have a  impact on your supply chain.

M&S’ ‘dine in for two’ approaches the same concept but from the opposite angle. They already had itemosed offers (starter, main. desert, drink) based on which they went on and created package offerings but still preserving the idea of ‘empowering the customer’ to construct the ideal food palette for their evening.

Pure product development and standardisation is clearly driving the margin comversations, but whilst 80% of the requirements might be the same, 20% will always be different and when that 20% is the bit that keeps you in business or increases your market share, it will be worth every penny in your innovation strategy because at the end of the day… some people will always just like it hot.

ps- side research… What your taste in coffee reveals about you…

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