Author Archives: Kevin Roberts

Secretly Famous

Clockwise: Jumble Room, The Randy Pike, Augill Castle, Little Town Farm as seen on ‘Secretly Famous’ by Kevin Roberts A key element of a Lovemark is secret ingredients (in the Mystery bucket). Think the recipe for Coca-Cola. The Harley Davidson sound. How you get the Caramello into the center. Some secrets however are for sharing, not locking up. In sojourns ...

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Follow Your Nose

A few years back I sat next to Jean Paul Gaultier on a flight from Paris to Athens. Coincidentally we were en route to the same hotel… he invited me to a party he was holding that night and I found my favourite male fragrance… Le Male. Last year Jean Paul created a USB flash drive that perfumes the air ...

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Playing at Strategy

Top Left: January 2010 edition of Harvard Business Review, Top right: Michael G. Jacobides by Kevin Roberts “The play’s the thing” may be from Hamlet but the subject is from Michael Jacobides, an associate professor of strategic and international management at the London Business School who appears in the new issue of Harvard Business Review with an article Strategy Tools ...

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Can Optimism Change the Subway?

A public art project that links New York’s subway system with the idea of “optimism” is bound to attract some cynicism, if not outright ridicule. That’s because public transit everywhere in the world is one of the more popular targets for complaint, vitriol and even fist-shaking rage. However, radical optimists seek out optimism in the hardest places – and where ...

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Cut Your Jargon Emissions

It’s getting to that time of the year when people are makng New Year’s Resolutions. For anyone working in business, here’s an idea: let’s try and make 2010 the year of plain English. A good way to start would be to read George Orwell’s 1946 essay, Politics and the English Language. Orwell understood how language could be used a weapon ...

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The Selfless Gene

Contrasting expectations of species-level evolution, the classic phyletic gradualism model (left), and the punctuated equilibrium model (right). by Kevin Roberts Biology fascinates me. I love the work of Stephen Jay Gould who theorized how change in evolution happens at the edges, the margin, the fringe. He calls this ‘punctuated equilibrium’, and it explains how evolution doesn’t take place on a ...

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Electronic Readers Hit the Big Time

Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble Nook by Kevin Roberts Fear of new technology is not new. In 1982, the king of all Hollywood lobbyists, Jack Valenti, told the US Congress: “I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.” Hysteria ...

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Will Avatar Spark More Originality?

Avatar, opening in the US tomorrow, has Hollywood holding its breath. The $350 million spectacle by writer/director James Cameron seems destined to one of only two possible fates: spectacular blockbuster or massive bomb. The middle road never seems open to Cameron, who famously drives Tinsel-town bean-counters bonkers with his uncompromising vision and gargantuan budgets. Sigourney Weaver calls him an “idealistic ...

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Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks

by Kevin Roberts Newspapers are up against it in the Participation Economy, the Internet-powered revolution of joining in, taking part, sharing and joy. For the modern consumer, the idea of reading newspapers full of day-old news hand-picked by faceless editors seems, well, very early 90’s. These days we get to be our own editor-in-chief, selecting the bits of news, opinion ...

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Work Can Be Fun

by Kevin Roberts I don’t get a lot of free time, and that’s the way I like it. For me it’s never been about work-life balance, but always about work-life integration. Finding compelling and compatible work to who I am and who I want to continue being, and devoting everything I have to performing at peak, getting into flow. In ...

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