Trust In Me.

You don’t trust me.

In fact, I don’t think you don’t trust anyone.

You’ve got my passport, my credit card, my home address – and yet you still don’t trust me.

Another day, another hotel room. And another clean shirt whose wrinkles and crumples rival those of a dinosaur’s scrotum. So we all know the trick: hang it up in the shower, and steam the creases out (the shirt, not the scrotum).

To do that, of course, you need a hanger.

And there’s the rub.

This hotel, like many others, clearly doesn’t trust me. If they did, they’d have supplied their wardrobe with hangers that I can actually use, as opposed to those infuriating ones that only work inside the wardrobe because all the ‘hook’ bits are permanently attached.

In case I steal them.

For the record, I’m not going to steal them. When I’m travelling I usually only just manage to get all my clothes in my suitcase, let alone some half-inched hangers as well. Anyway, I already have far too many hangers at home.

But even if I did steal them, I’d be nicking something that has a top value of, what, five quid? Stick it on the bill. Include it in the price. I don’t care. Because, within reason, a few extra quid on the bill isn’t a massive deal – but turning up at my client in a shirt that makes Yoda’s neck look like a baby’s bum really is.

Yes, I could probably get an iron from reception. Yes, I probably shouldn’t waste water simply steaming clothes. But that isn’t really the point. The point is that everywhere throughout the hotel room and its reception are those tedious little pop-up notes, telling me how much they ‘care’ about me, how ‘valued’ I am, and how ‘thinking about my every last wish’ is an integral part of their brand promise.

Brand is much like personality. What you say pales into insignificance when compared with what you actually do. Brand is not a load of mumbo-jumbo written down in a book that only the Visual Identity Nazis ever read. It is your behaviours and the way you treat people.

You can tell me all you like how ‘important’ I am to you. But if you won’t trust me with a 49p clothes hanger then, frankly, you don’t need to tell me.

Because I already know.


Nick Jefferson is a partner with advisory firm, Monticello LLP, and a curator of The Library of Progress.

Ice, Ice Baby.

London buses are big and red.

Sometimes they have adverts on.

Normally, you don’t notice the adverts (which says quite a lot about our profession).

But every now and again, you see a cracker: something that really ‘works’.

And so, hats off, Iceland.

Their new campaign goes something like this:

Q: ‘Crème Brulee made in Northern France? Sounds delicious, authentic and somehow terribly ‘smart’. Right up my street. But how can it possibly still be fresh by the time I buy it?’

A: The Power of Frozen.’

It’s genius.

This campaign doesn’t hide from the fact that Iceland sells frozen food. It celebrates it.

Because, you see, the freezing is what enables you (you terribly sophisticated foodie, you) to ‘savour the delicious flavours of wood-fired pizza from the foothills of the Dolomites, freshly caught salmon from the Norwegian fjords or sumptuous, soft gelato from Verona, all in the comfort of your own family kitchen.’

It’s a long way from the ‘prawn ring’, that’s for sure – and it all sounds a lot more John Kerry than Kerry Katona.

This unapologetic appeal to the ‘Lidl Classes’ is as brilliant in its execution as it is ambitious in its apparent aspiration – to put to rest, once and for all, the ‘Bejam’ zombie and to develop a wholly different brand position for Iceland.

Indeed, the German grocers who ripped up the (frankly, class-based) British supermarket hierarchy might just have watch their backs. There’s an old (but seriously reinvigorated) kid on the block.

The power of frozen?

That’s why (yummy) mum(mie)s go to Iceland.

– this piece first published by The Marketing Society

Monticello LLP