[Miscellany] The power of the brand, lack of diversity in marketing, and a planning tip

January has been busy! Paper revisions, new paper deadlines, a funding application for a doctoral workshop, classes, marking, talks… But good busy! The kind that energises you.


Here are some marketing news that have caught my attention, lately.


  1. The power of the (Calvin Klein) brand

In a Q&A at The Oxford Union, Calvin Klein shared an amusing example of the power of a brand. Replying to a question from the audience (at 19’53’’) about the decision to put his name on clothes, he said (at around 21 minutes and 55 seconds):

“I don’t like wearing someone’s label on my body. So, (after 5 years) I decided to take the label off the jeans. And we did. We convinced the stores to buy them. And it tanked. Sales went to almost nothing. (…) I guess I had to learn the hard way that some people need that identification. So, the name has been on the products ever since.”



2. Lack of diversity in Marketing

Marketing Week conducted a career and salary survey, which revealed a shocking lack of diversity in the industry: 88% of the respondents are white; 61% were middle or upper class; and even though women outnumbered men in the survey, men were much more likely than women to old a senior level position.

Image source

You can read an overview of the results, here and here. You can also can read about the impact of these trends on creativity and influence at board level, here; and on making marketing an aspirational career, here.


3. Tip: look out for something nice, each week

Here is a tip that I learned some time ago. I don’t remember who told me this, or where I read it, but I have been doing this for several months, now, and I love it: Every week(end), when you are planning the week ahead, find something – just one thing – that you are really looking forward to.


For me, it has been quite varied. Sometimes it’s meeting up with someone; other times, it’s having a nice block of time to write in an otherwise busy week, Once, the highlight was trying a new stretching class at the gym. On another occasion, I was really chuffed to realise that a recurring meeting had been cancelled and I would have 2 hours to work on a personal project that had been on the back burner for too long. This week, I am really, really looking forward to a session on Wednesday, where various colleagues (me included) are doing short talks about their work in Artificial Intelligence.


Whatever it is, find something every week, no matter how small, that will cheer you up. It’s great to see that even the @£$%^^&&*^% week has something to look forward to.



How is your January going?


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