Observations from Denmark

Tom was just in Copenhagen (see his slides below—awesome!) and I'm still in Denmark a few hundred kilometers away in the city of Herning.

A couple of observations after a fascinating evening speaking to the Herning Erhvervsråd (see the slides), an organization of local and regional businesses:

1. I really appreciate that other people know my language. I get to be here doing what I love to do because other people have worked hard to be fluent in English as a second language. We native English speakers get off real easy.

2. "Brute Force Branding" is out, everywhere on the planet. No matter where I go, I find the same universal truths confirmed: Customers are more scrutinizing and less tolerant than ever before, they look well beyond the promises companies make, and the only way to create compelling, motivating brand impressions is to have all interactions with customers blend to tell a powerful, sensible story. That's what Brand Harmony is all about—and it makes sense for companies of all sizes, in all industries, in all places. I spend most of my working days challenging people to look at marketing differently, and the reactions, comments and questions I got tonight in Denmark are the same ones I get in San Diego, Milwaukee or Prague. (Tongue in cheek stock recommendation—if you own shares of a mega ad agency, think about selling them!)