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See your company from somewhere else.

The very worst place to see your business or brand from is from where you sit.

You wake up as a human being.

You may have breakfast, perhaps worry about how your kids are doing at school, or if they spend too long on TikTok. Is your partner really OK, they seem oddly quiet? What about that bill notification, is your Mum still sick.

Perhaps you’re pondering next months vacation while you pour milk on your cornflakes, is the problem with the car getting worse?

You may set off for the office, or walk upstairs to your laptop, and as you enter the "office" you take off this head and put on your Marketers head, or your brand consultant or operations head.

You find yourself discussing the intricate depths of your brand onion, should the tagline be "two for me" or "two for you"

or your companies vision statement.

You find yourself saying "people buy the why", you're on a call about "how purpose drives most peoples decisions" , you nod as people say " people will always pick your brand because of it's tone of voice".

It's always vital in business to take a step back. How much you think about your brand of dish soap is likely similar to how much you think about your brand of battery or air freshener. How much you think about your car insurance provider is probably similar to how much you think about your choice of toothpaste, or tire.

Brands are weird, a paradox, they have never been more important as we navigate overwhelming choice, they are vital to us, they help us decide and justify decisions to ourselves ( especially to spend more) , but at the same time our capacity to understand or care about them in depth is near zero. Brands are simply a few tiny atoms of memories and feelings in our brains. We need to know SOMETHING but very little.

The best thing about working in marketing is that our job is largely based on empathy, on understanding people, on knowing our place, on knowing the right ambition level.

I'm always amazed how few companies employ people to challenge them, to offer different vantage points, to see things from a higher altitude. To say " you are talking nonsense" or to represent the consumer.

"You see things differently, and thats an edge" I think was a line from Billions. I love it.

And thats really our job, to shine a light into meetings and to bring reality to the front. To call out nonsense, to fight for common sense, to make things simple. We need agencies and consultants to remember their role is to bring the outside in, not to say yes, otherwise you're being a doting mother, when our job is really to be a personal trainer.

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