What’s a tone of voice, and why do you need one?
A tone of voice is a way of communicating that’s unique to your brand. Think of Innocent’s friendliness, First Direct’s straightforwardness and Virgin’s naughtiness. The idea is that by using the tone of voice consistently, from TV ads to Ts & Cs, people always get the same impression of who you are. There are all […]
Who’s really reading your writing?
At the start of their book ‘Nudge’, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein make a distinction between ‘Econs’ and ‘Humans’. Econs, they say, make decisions rationally, never letting their emotions get in the way. However complicated a decision, they’ll always think it through logically and end up making the perfect call (unlike Humans). That distinction’s based […]
The golden rule for choosing a business name
If you’ve ever Googled around for naming advice, you’ll have seen all the usual tips like ‘don’t choose a name that’s hard to pronounce’ and ‘make sure the domain name’s available’. Those are fine, and you should absolutely follow them, but they won’t really help you decide your company name. The fact is there’s only […]
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Do you remember going out on Christmas morning into the freshly fallen snow? Wearing matching hat, scarf, and gloves? Making snowmen and angels, having snowball fights, and sledding? Seems familiar right? Actually, white Christmases are very rare. So rare (and so heavily bet upon) that the Met Office had to change its definition of a […]
Meet Joe, our new behavioural scientist
We sat down with Joe to talk about all things behavioural science. What’s behavioural science to you? It’s the science of who we are and what we do. It starts with accepting we’re not logical masterminds, and that we’re more influenced by the world around us than we think. If we see a door […]
Steak, and the power of free
Spoiler alert: If you’ve not been to Flat Iron, or Le Relais de Venise, but are going to, and don’t want me to spoil the surprise, stop reading now. There’s loads of research about how we seem inordinately impressed when we get stuff for free. And I’ve been impressed how two London steak restaurants have built […]
Is following the crowd bad for business writing?
Ah, the herding effect. The idea that we, the human race, are far less free-thinking than we’d like to believe. And that if we see a crowd, we instinctively want to follow it. In recent years behavioural scientists have been quick to tell us what ‘most people like us’ are doing: whether that’s paying a […]
Why Gareth Southgate was right to lose
After England lost to Belgium last week, a media debate raged about whether Gareth Southgate, England’s manager, had made the right decision in fielding a weakened team. As I listened to a radio show, caller after caller rang in to make their case. One side argued that losing the game was a disaster because it […]