Meet The Woman Tasked With Saving Uber From Itself

We sat down with Uber’s chief human resources officer, Liane Hornsey, who emphasized her desire “to stamp out anything that is a remnant of the past.”

Over the last six months, Uber’s been rocked by a series of scandals that brought this soaring unicorn back down to earth. It all really started with Susan Fowler’s blog post on February 19, 2017, that detailed incredibly poor management practices and a human resources department that prized the success of the company over the needs of its employees even in the face of sexual harassment allegations. Since then, revelations of sexist and other inappropriate behavior at the top of the company have dominated headlines, including an outing to an escort bar in South Korea and an executive obtaining the medical records of a rider who was raped by her Uber driver in India.

Read Full Story

Building an Absolutely Fabulous Customer-Centric Business

The convergence of marketing, context and technology has redefined what it means to be a successful organization in the information age. To be successful, you have to be customer-centric. But what does that really mean?

It means building an organization that – from bottom up and top down – is customer obsessed. Companies aren’t successful because of a single person. Success is built through a collective people working towards a common goal. So your whole organization needs to be invested in the customer.

And saying you are customer centric and customer obsessed doesn’t cut it. It needs to be present throughout all processes and leading the charge for the way you craft your brand and marketing strategies. Strategies need to start and end with the user. UX and designs should constantly be validated against personas. The way experiences are built have the technology to empower users in their experience. Saying you are customer centric doesn’t cut it anymore.

So how does your organization actually become customer-centric?

First you have to build a foundation for customer-centricity by getting internal buy-in and creating/promoting that vision from within. From there, you have to know your users and use data to understand and anticipate user needs. Lastly, you need to have a digital experience platform (DXP) that powers the customer-centric experience and a feedback loop to continue to evaluate efforts and deliver on authenticity. As you go through the steps of becoming customer centric, you are empowering each touchpoint in your brand experience to know the user and deliver on their needs.

Want more? Don’t worry, we’ll give you more.

As absolutely fabulous agency/tech partners-in-crime, Genuine and Acquia are here to give you step-by-step guidance on becoming customer obsessed. We bring together the world of product and service, so we have a unique point of view on what it takes and we are honest about it. Because when it comes to strategy and customer experience, honest evaluation is key. And when you look in the mirror darling, we want you to look fabulous.

So stay tuned and stay engaged. Reach out. Ask questions. Expect honesty. And most importantly, stay fabulous!

The post Building an Absolutely Fabulous Customer-Centric Business appeared first on Genuine.

How does corporate branding add value to an organisation?

How does corporate branding add value to an organisation?

Corporate branding adds long-term book value and profitability to an organisation. This is because it is the first essential step in the process of creating a credible and professional shop window for its products and services. It can also help to ensure that staff are engaged and that they feel empowered to deliver a better and more coherent experience to customers. It ensures that prospects are handled in a consistent way at every single touch point in the sales pipeline process. It improves the likelihood that the staff selection process will lead to the recruitment of people with resonant values and views. It will add value to the bottom line by creating goodwill in a business, where goodwill is measured as an intangible asset in financial terms on the balance sheet. Many organisations, especially those operating within the start-up enterprise and SME marketplace, fail to optimise their corporate brand proposition, in spite of the considerable value that a meaningful investment in this area can bring to the future value of their business. This is not entirely surprising. Corporate branding is arguably seen as being a ‘nice to have’, something which is perhaps not so relevant to smaller organisations. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you want your business to be more successful, investing in a corporate brand proposition is an essential component in the marketing planning process, as is an appropriate investment in stakeholder marketing communications.

Why is corporate branding important?

Corporate branding is important because it represents the character and personality of an organisation. Without such attributes, the company lacks a soul – or perhaps less spiritually, it is better to think of a brand as being the DNA of the company. It is sometimes easier to understand a brand if we think of ourselves as being brands. Take yourself. What does your brand proposition look like? What standards and principles guide the choices that you make? What opinions or views do you hold on matters important to your belief system? What moral code and ethical framework do you operate within? What are your natural skills and personal attributes. What genuine passions give your life a sense of meaning and purpose? The answer to these questions, in a nutshell, is why a corporate brand proposition is so important. It defines the values, views, virtues and vision of any organisation. It is a fundamental strategy to align the character and personality of the business with the behaviours and attitudes of its owners, directors, management team, employees, partners and associates.

Strategic brand proposition

We speak to all relevant stakeholders – such as shareholders, directors, management, employees, associates, partners, suppliers, customers and prospects – through one-to-one meetings, phone calls, online surveys, and any other means appropriate to individual client needs. This enables us to get a much better understanding for their business – it is a fast track methodology we use to develop a deep understanding of the business plan; much better than just reading it and any accompanying sales figures and growth forecasts. This process also enables us to get a really good feel for the inherent atmosphere and culture within the organisation, and we are able to clearly see any dissonance and incongruity between plans, perceptions and reality amongst all internal and external stakeholders. We often hold a series of workshops to discuss the business plan, organisational processes, products and services, customers and competitors. A review of competitor websites provides us with valuable insights into their marketing strategies, and we also use mystery shopping techniques to evaluate how they interact with customers, and desk research to analyse both digital and non-digital lead generation/business development activities. A review of customer segments helps us to understand the key demographics and psychographics that guide rational and emotional decision-making patterns. We also conduct focus groups, telephone research and online questionnaires where necessary and appropriate to do so. A review of the products and services offered by the organisation will enable us to identify the key features and benefits to inform the development of key messages and core propositions that are likely to resonate with various target audiences. We undertake additional desk research as necessary to finetune our understanding of external factors affecting the business, the industry sector at large, and the marketplace within which it operates, including different sales channel systems and distribution network methodologies. The next step in the process is a brainstorm to identify the values, views, virtues and vision of the business. These in turn allow us to create internal and external service charters that deliver meaningful pledges to relevant stakeholders. Finally, we are able to identify USPs and to make recommendations about positioning statements to assist with the creative process.

Creative brand proposition

The creative brand proposition unsurprisingly focuses on the visual side of things, which is often referred to as brand identity. This can include coming up with a new name for a business or product/service, and logo design. The scope of work involved will depend upon the needs of the individual client. In terms of brand identity, we always develop three creative concepts to share with the client, which we find is the sweet spot of choice to work with, and we apply these concepts to both logo options and design styles for core collateral relevant to the brief.

Stakeholder marketing communications

The next stage in the process is to develop stakeholder marketing communications – such as the website, brochures, stationery, exhibition stands, uniforms, signage, livery, presentations, videos, and so on. We follow an agile and dynamic approach to design development, as this is what always seems to work best. We work closely with clients to develop copy with the right tone of voice, to further refine the logo, icons, colour waves, stock imagery, photography, and so on. Each item follows on from the others, and it is normal to begin with the website and to work outwards from there.

Brand guidelines

This will inevitably end up with the production of a set of brand guidelines that are fit for purpose, as well as potentially leading to the creation of a staff handbook that is meaningful, engaging and useable. This process will be straightforward, because of all the time and effort expended in looking at the strategic and creative elements of the corporate brand proposition.

Lead generation

The final part in the process is to devise strategic and tactical campaigns for business generation purposes that are relevant and engaging, and which are of course based upon the strategic and creative brand proposition. This should be comparatively easy to do, because of all the planning work that has been put in place. It will also be a pretty simple process to create strategies that are effective, and creative outputs that resonate meaningfully with customer segments. This is where the measurement of KPIs concerning profit, sales, prospects and conversion can be put into place, as well as plans for optimising customer loyalty and maximising lifetime value.

Corporate brand proposition

If you would like to find out more about how Abacus Marketing can help you with the development of your corporate brand proposition to improve your organisation’s profitability and value, please contact Steve Brown, Head of Strategy & Planning, at, or by calling 020 7795 8175 for an initial discussion or to arrange a meeting.

My generation is not oriented to tech’: How ad tech executives’ fathers describe their kids’ jobs.

Digiday — June 16, 2017

By Yuyu Chen


Peter Krivkovich Sr., father of Peter Krivkovich Jr., AdRoll chief operating officer and chief financial officer
When I initially tell all those not in the communication business what Peter does, I would say, “Once you go looking on the internet, they find you and they follow you. They know your interests, and they stalk you until you surrender.” After their “Oh, my God” I tell them that it is about highly sophisticated and constantly optimized software, as well as algorithmic software systems that help companies better understand and deliver messages to their clients and prospects that result in higher sales probability. If I draw blanks, I go back to the stalking explanation.

Read what other ad tech executives’ fathers said about their kids’ at Digiday

The post My generation is not oriented to tech’: How ad tech executives’ fathers describe their kids’ jobs. appeared first on Cramer krasselt.

Friday Reading #99

99 red balloons, floating in the summer sky, 99% invisible, we’ve got 99 problems but an intro idea ain’t one. We’re getting awful close to the big centenary….


Salience is something we bang on about a lot at Goodstuff, paring communications down to their simplest and most distinctive so they can be easily though of. It’s famed political strategist Sir Lynton Crosby’s favored approach, applied with effect in the 2010 election with David Cameron’s relentless focus on the economy. But S______ and S_______ L_______ quickly became a hated cliche, indicative of robotic politics, not empathy. Why is that? The Drum argue that the issue lies with the inflexibility of the message across channels, an analogue campaign for a digital world.

For us it highlights the importance of understanding the context of communications. When no one is looking for you (as with many brand comms), brutal simplicity is necessarily to cut through – but when everyone is watching, all the time, greater finnesse is required to keep them watching.


In typical Zuckerberg-fashion, big Mark wants to make customer service even more user friendly by teaching his 100,000 strong bot-empire the art of negotiation.

The purpose of the upgrade was to allow businesses to interact with users on a more complex level, allowing them to negotiate deals across a number of different services including taxis and shopping deliveries, by using bots.

However, as the bots were required to learn more than just basic language syntaxes and pre-determined algorithms, they were trained on natural language negotiations between two people -but unfortunately, went above and beyond what engineers thought was possible. They found instances where the model was feigning interest in a valueless issue, so that they could later ‘compromise’ by conceding it. A fascinating example of the unexpected consequences of AI, and an example of its growing sophistication

Maybe next time we’ll think twice before asking bots if our bum looks big in this though…


Yep, it’s real. Honestly. Some bright spark working at Colgate in the 1980′s tried to get on board with the frozen ready meal trend by suggesting you might want to eat a branded dinner before brushing your teeth with Colgate. Funnily enough, it didn’t take off. It’s just one example from The Museum of Failure in Helsingborg, Sweden – a new institution dedicated to showcasing boundary pushing innovation disasters, from coffee Coke to female pens. Helping us to learn from the mistakes of the past, and raise a wry smile along the way.


Since the 1860s, the price tag has been the sole way that
retailers indicate price and flog their ways to the average punter like you and
me. In the online space, the idea of a stable price tag has largely gone out of
fashion – brands like Amazon, Secret Escapes and others allow customers to plug
into a marketplace reflecting the dynamic supply and demand, and changes the
prices to reflect this. Great stuff for online, but bricks
and mortar retailers are now moving into
this space to deliver flexible
pricing, and attracting the highest value customer at the lowest price point

You might recognise the women in the bath from a previous edition of Friday Reading – it’s Louise Delage, the fictional Parisian influencer created to raise awareness of everyday alcoholism. It’s just one 25 campaigns Adweek have pulled together as their tips for Cannes glory, the full list is a feast of inspiring ideas and brilliant case studies. Making the cut from past Friday Reading entries are Nike’s ghost running, and the little girl facing down the Wall St bull.