George Bernard Shaw was funny - but not always right - and news about the Great Mystery Branding Event
Over 40 years ago my first book was published.
I sent it to Bill Melton, one of my old teachers at Trent College, with thanks for his help in shaping me.
Modestly he quoted George Bernard Shaw: "Those who can do; those who cannot teach."
I replied that Shaw forgot about those like him who were bloody good teachers.
The other day I got a kind message from a man who helps people pass exams and went to look at his website.
I wrote in my bossy way saying he should not just say what he does, but how he helps people, and I asked why he didn't use testimonials
He replied more or less saying he thought that was a bit too pushy and commercial.
From the abyss created by my years of folly I wrote this:
Don't be so bloody English and "I don't want to sell, it's so vulgar"
So here is advice from the echoing Gorge of Senility.
Ask yourself why people come to you.
What reward do they get? What misery do they escape?
They get the reward of success and escape the misery of failure.
They pass that dreaded exam. They get the job because they're qualified.
They get real, practical benefits - but these have great emotional meaning.
They succeed where they might have failed.
Your work is quite possibly the difference between happiness and despair.
And they will only believe you can do this if they see you have done this for other people.
If you wish to help people succeed (and if not why bother to live?) then you should do everything in your power to do so. You must sell.
If you don't sell what you can contribute, you are limiting your ability to do so - and the good you can do.
In the end you don't feel as though you have done what you could have done with your life.
That's a shame.
On another subject, I plan to run the branding event I mentioned a while back over a weekend in conjunction with De Montfort University.
This will not be one of those hot air fests where big shots from well-known brands stand up and bray about their successes, with dreary presentations put together by their agencies ... then you wonder what exactly you have to do.
It will feature James Hammond, who has written one of the best books about this in the Sunday Times series, Rory Sutherland, President of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, who talks entertainingly about it. Also Andy Knowles, who has more intelligent things to say about design and how it affects sales than anyone I have ever heard.
The highly entertaining Ian Mulingani of Brandscape will reveal some startling facts about how experiential marketing can have an extraordinary impact on attitudes to brands and, more to the point, sales. He has done some remarkable stuff with people like Mercedes.
There are some others I am talking to, all of the same calibre - and bringing up the rearguard, me.
All things are subject to change, but it will be a 2 day event, the first day speakers giving you insights into how you build a brand and the second a workshop, where you go into exactly how you build YOUR brand, following a unique 4 stage process developed by James - a modest man whose work deserves to be better known.
It won't be cheap, but it won't be extortionate.
I'll keep you informed.
Watch this space, then