Finally time to enlist the services of a creative agency to fix that unsightly brand tumour, marketing melanoma you’ve developed?

Before you write that lengthy tender document, RFQ, RFP, creative brief or other — I want to tell you about a simple step that often gets overlooked. It’s painless. Has minimal associated costs and will avoid you from potentially treating the wrong problem.

Let’s begin!


Going to tender for creative services is a bit like walking into your local doctor’s clinic with a self-diagnosed problem and insisting that you know the treatment required for your condition.

“Doc, I have a nasty case of Cluckitis. I want you to read this lengthy ‘Request For Treatment’ I’ve prepared for you. I’ll…

Why is it that most vision statements aren’t all that visionary? More of a muddled stew of company-centric goals seasoned with some personal values.

Is it because most corporate visions are too short-sighted or self-centred? Perhaps visions should be for the benefit of all, not just the companies who create them?

It’s said that customers don’t just buy your stuff — they buy what you stand for. What if they bought into your vision? Became part of your movement, rather than just another customer. Now that would be a vision worth having. Much more valuable than any marketing campaign.


A large chunk of our tertiary education providers seem stuck in brand messaging no man’s land.

It’s time we start exploring new territories and alternative approaches in order to differentiate our tertiary education brands in the minds of prospective students.

Instead of continuing the struggle to be everything to everybody — let’s start being something to somebody.

We recently explored how tertiary education brands across Australia and New Zealand are talking to their potential audiences. It was found that very few providers have a unique or differentiated brand message. In fact all brand positioning statements and campaign marketing messages could be grouped into eight categories. Download ‘Selling the dream’ to find out more.

This means a large chunk of our tertiary education providers are stuck in messaging no man’s land. Yet they continue to spend big on extravagant advertising…

Picture this: you’re standing in front of your business as it starts to smoke and go up in flames. You get out with the clothes on your back but where is everyone else? Through the ringing of the fire alarms you hear the sirens approaching — the fire brigade are on their way.

What will be their strategy to make sure that everyone is safe and your business doesn’t end up in ashes?

Mark O'Keeffe

Design thinker and doer —

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