This Easter Milestone’s Sutton and Collins families slipped down to South Devon for some sea air and pasties. On day one we took in two local treats: Burgh Island with its famous art deco hotel and Britain’s most flooded road which took us there. The road from Aveton Gifford to Bigbury-on-Sea is remarkable. It follows a stunning river estuary and at high tide floods for almost a mile. If you time it right and make it to Bigbury-on-Sea high and dry you can then run the gauntlet a second time by strolling out across the sand to Burgh Island. We were all hoping for a ride back in the sea tractor but the tide refused to come in that day. Max even buried himself in the sand in defiance which resulted in this amusing snap. Fans of the art deco period of design and all things Agatha Christie should make a bee-line for Burgh Island. But take a tide table or wellies.
Recently we were asked to update the badge for local football club, Penn & Tylers Green. Not exactly premier league stuff, but we like supporting our local community and it was a favour for their website designer. In order to tackle the brief properly we decided to do a bit of research into the art of football club branding. Peter Wilkinson looked into the re-brand of Arsenal, from a few years ago, while I dug out my schoolboy Panini sticker books from ’79 and ’80. Wow, that brought back some memories. Once we’d stopped marvelling at the dodgy haircuts we started investigating the club identities in more detail. Many club badges seemed to have changed little over the years – perhaps not wanting to upset their fans as Arsenal did with their slick and polished makeover.
Continue reading “Why football badges are rubbish and why we love them” »
According to leading economist John Kay ‘obliquity’ is the way forward for achieving many of our goals in life. In the context of his new book, it means approaching things from an oblique or non-direct angle.
I went along to the Institute of Advertising Practitioners last week for an evening hosted by Ogilvy Group Vice Chairman and IAP President Rory Sutherland. At the event Kay made a persuasive argument for his theory and I immediately identified with the proposition – that our goals are best achieved indirectly. He makes the point that happiest people don’t pursue happiness; it’s a bi-product from the other things that they do. And the most profitable businesses are not those that pursue profit alone.
What immediately sprung to mind was the obliquity in our own business development. At Milestone, every time we embark on a drive for new business we employ a number of techniques. Traditionally we send out letters, mailing packs and e shots – perhaps a bit of cold calling thrown in for good measure. And we always get some enquiries during the process. But over the years the thing we’ve noticed is that most of the new business we get doesn’t actually come from these direct activities. A much higher proportion comes from our network of contacts and by speaking at marketing events. The softer the sell the stronger seems the result. And as a result we have begun to embrace the oblique approach. But deep down we don’t fully trust it. However, there’s still time – I haven’t finished the book yet…