star wars: content, brand re-boot and how to recover $4.1 billion

It's been hard to avoid it online, on TV, on the radio or in the school yard... there's a new Star Wars film. But this buzz isn't an accident and there's a lesson to learn.

by Julie Waddicor

A word of warning before we begin: if you haven’t seen ‘The Force Awakens’ and intend to, stop reading now. I am probably going to ruin it for you. These aren’t the droids you are looking for.

If you are still with me, you’ve either already seen it or aren’t going to, either of which is fine for our purposes. I saw it recently, and enjoyed it. I wouldn’t describe myself as a Star Wars fan, but I’ve seen all of the films, appreciated the original three and hated the more recent trilogy. I have bought a range of merchandise over the last month for the man of the house who is a fan (more of his opinion later). So, I went to see ‘The Force Awakens’ with no particular axe to grind nor any desperate need for it to be brilliant.

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branding: a simple truth

There are professional lessons all around us, literally on tap every day if you look hard enough - even on a trip to the seaside.

By Darren Caveney

I love ice cream. I’ve tried them all. Compared and contrasted and, in my own head at least, decided which are the best.

The Italians are masters of ice cream. But the best of the lot is a British brand.

What adds to their appeal is the masterly way in which this product is branded. So simple, so clean, so stylish and with echoes of its past. It perfectly complements the product. And that’s the trick with branding.

The company is called Hockings, and it you’re a visitor to North Devon you may have sampled their fine good. That’s not a typo either – it's ‘good’, singular. Because this product is so good it comes in only one flavour – vanilla.

It’s been made in Appledore by the same family since 1936 and their small fleet of branded vans has been travelling the North Devonian coastline selling their vanilla-only product to locals and visitors alike for nearly 80 years.

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