How Cool Brands stay hot

How Cool Brands Stay HotEarlier March  I read about the announcement  launch of the revised and completely updated How Cool Brands Stay Hot. The authors were eager to give away free copies of their new book to thank their  loyal blog readers for support and interest and – of course –  to generate some publicitiy. Which I agreed upon by posting a review on Amazon,  Goodreads, LinkedIn, my own blog,  andother media platforms.

The core

Since the release of the first edition of the book, the authors Joeri van den Berhg and Mattias Behrer  have been positively surprised by the amount of appreciation and interest they experienced from journalists (also bloggers), conference organizers and marketing and advertising practitioners from all around the world.

It seems that the timing of publishing a book on the subject of branding and marketing to the new generation of consumers was plain right. Their book is a valuable tool to help any one understand the attitude and habits of Generation Y.  The book is about understanding the spirit of that generation. And how these aspects translate in their relation to brands. It provides practical insights for building brands that aim to remain relevant for the forth coming years.

Looking back, the first edition of the book was published in 2011. Many marketing, design or communication professionals had to admit that they were not ready to create business with a new generation. As stated in the foreword: “Old structures are crumbling, but newer-structures are not clearly visible yet”.

Some of the insights of the book:


  • GEN Yers are children of the cyber revolution. And people resemble their times more than they resemble their parents.
  • DIY is on its way back to the mainstream.
  • Design be better part of your DNA.
  • Other ways of collaboration and association.
  • It is not about technology, stupid.
  • It is aboyt collective peer wisdom and social connections.
  • Successful youth brands CRUSH.
    • Coolness
    • Realness
    • Uniqueness
    • Self-identification
    • Happiness
  • And most important, this generation will – on a global level – make or break your market success.

My score

What a lot of data and brilliant insights the authors share. One might discuss whether all is that relevant in 2013 but overall it delivers the insights of experts.

For design, marketing and communication professionals Generation Y will be much more difficult to reach than the more tradional Babyboomers or Generation X. In my point of view the arrival of Generation Y has disruptive effects on business, economics and society.

In an earlier post, written in Dutch  I wrote about some new words i learned from the Generation C. And again a new word will be part of my business vocabulary: commitment fobia

Assuming that the majority of the Generation Y will grow up (in their way) in the next decade, their impact on education, business and the workplace will be gigantic. This generation is not just educated in the complex skills of mass consumption, but also in collaborative consumption, co-creation and peer to peer networking.

As stated in the book: you ain’t seen nothing yet.

4 on a scale of  0-5.

Title: How cool brands stay hot

Branding to Generation Y
Authors: Joeri Van den Bergh, Mattias Behrer
Number of pages: 268
Language:  English
1st edition 2011, 2nd edition 2013
Publisher:  Kogan Page
ISBN: 978-0-7494-6804-0
Price: € 29,95

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Strategic Planning – vital for any business

 pretty-glamorousSee on Scoop.itDesigning design thinking driven operations

Strategic planning is a vital undertaking for any organization. Most successful organizations have a comprehensive method of strategic planning that is revised periodically.

The interval between planning sessions has diminished over the past few years. The interval used to be about five years. These days, it’s closer to 2 years in many organizations. As a rule, the more the organization is impacted by technological developments, the shorter the interval. These days, with the global and national economic system as uncertain as it is, strategic planning is more difficult, but more important, than ever.

Plans do not always succeed in their execution. There are a variety of reasons for this, but most fall into the following categories:

1. Lack of motivation and personal ownership

2. Poor communication

3. Idea behind the plan is too vague

4. Passive management

5. No/poor Leadership

For a plan to succeed, there needs to be a connection with the real world, not just an idealized vision. The real world includes (among others) items such as:

~ Technology

~ Customer expectations

~ Employees

~ Resources

~ Local and national Economy

~ Demographics

Fred Zimny‘s insight:

And your business is also professional and personal goals

See on


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How to get from Bern to Berlin

I wrote this post for, a recommended blog for anyone interested in the European start-up scene.

The Next Berlin 2013 event was the trigger for an Internet encounter with Sebastien. He wonders if  Switzerland really exists on the European tech startup scene.  He is investigatings how Switzerland is seen from an outside, neutral perspective.

As a blogger I am not that neutral. I do have my believes and these beliefs will be shared with you in this post.

Yes, it is true, the Global Innovation ranking index puts Switzerland at the first place worldwide, but how relevant is this index? As stated before by Adelina Peltea,, it measures patentable innovation. I always appreciate these kind of reports and outcomes. However, often one may notice that there is a preference for institutional characteristics.

As a Dutch blogger, I see similar reports about how well the Dutch society is performing from an institutional perspective.

But do these reports reflect innovation capabilities, the right cultural attitude for entrepreneurs and start-ups and the required eco-systems? I severly have my doubts and scanning the index through the drill-down options (an excellent option) confirms this thesis. I do not believe that the next Google, Apple, Oracle or SAP will be created in the top-9 of the index (US being number 10).

What are my associations with startups from Switzerland?

Being a big fan of and that is  it. Some desk research revealed nice initiaties in Bern and – through a Swiss LinkedIn-connection – I got a nice overview of Swiss startups.

Which one might become a successor of for me?  I do have doubts.

After accessing even more data I am able to outline my thoughts and impressions.

It is my sincere belief that there is an urgent need for a  societal fabric for user-centric innovation.  Especially for  services in the private and public service sector. As stated recently, the knowledge-intense services will be the key for the creation of new growth beyond the economical and partly societal turmoil we are currently in. However, to deploy these service one needs to have a common market. Especially in a country that has 4 native languages. The negative vote of 6-12-92 will limit the reach of innovation initiatives for the Swiss startups. On the other hand, it had, has and will have many benefits.

I also belief that startups only can thrive in complex, adaptive eco-systems. To deploy startups one has to create these kind of organizations as a complex entitity with relationships and possible relationships. Designing such startups implies focus on the ecosystem, on longevity (3-5 years to decades) and accepting complexity. Given the geographic position of Switzerland my working assumption is that startups should start connecting with either Germany (Rhein-Ruhr area, Berlin) or Paris, being the urban city areas of 2025

madamedevereshideaway:Not the outfit to play shy inPhoto of Suzy Parker in dress by Norman Norell, by Milton GreeneEU-member or not,  all countries in Europe get more and more connected. In 2011-2012 many of us realized how complex the networked, interdependent financial economy has become. Assuming that these interdepent networks are also emergent in the field of services (energy, healthcare, education and so on) flexibility and connectivity should be embedded in the design of any start-up.

Considering the position of Switzerland, her eare my final words.

You may be acquainted with the Red Queen in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland:

“…in our country”, said Alice, still painting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else-if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”

“A slow sort of country!”, said the Queen. “Now here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”.

From my perspective, this the challenge for Swiss (but also for Dutch) startups: Get connected!

Not the outfit to play shy in

Photo of Suzy Parker in dress by Norman Norell, by Milton Greene

(via positivelynoteworthy)

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2012 in review and looking forward to an excellent 2013

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 69,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

My point of view: thanks you dear readers, subscribers and all those who made this blog possible. Happy new year



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Recommended JWTIntelligence’s deck 100 Things to Watch in 2013

See on Scoop.itDesigning design thinking driven operations

JWTIntelligence is a center for provocative thinking that is a part of JWT, the world’s best-known marketing communications brand.

Fred Zimny‘s insight:

JWTIntelligence  claims to be a center for provocative thinking. This deck reflect on emerging mainstream trends. Bad, on the contrary. A must read for any professional.

See more n

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