Mike Freedman is founder of Freedthinkers (www.freedthinkers.com) which has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Freedthinkers works with clients in the private & public sectors to understand what is, discover what can be & reach clarity on how to get there. He is also the author of monthly think-pieces on brands, culture & strategy, trustee of the Impact Trust, & a public speaker. Contact Mike at and follow @Freedthinkers on Twitter.
Mike Freedman is founder of Freedthinkers (www.freedthinkers.com) which has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Freedthinkers works with clients in the private & public sectors to understand what is, discover what can be & reach clarity on how to get there.
Freedthinkers services focus on consumer & market insights, facilitating brand & business strategy, assessing corporate impact.
Mike is also the author of regular think-pieces on brands, culture & strategy, trustee of the Impact Trust, & a public speaker.
[Mike Freedman] How are P&G and Unilever differentiated? Does the Coca-Cola Company want to be known for obesity or health? Will supermarket brands be strengthened or weakened by their supply chains? The perfect storm of social media, continuing social unrest, concerns over the economy and environment will batter brands that are not resilient and adaptive, while shaking established ad agencies to their foundations.
[Mike Freedman] Trends arise from major shifts in global thinking. Otherwise they tend to be fads and blind alleys. And so to only look at trends is like trying to map the ocean by studying the waves. We need to dive deep, to the currents underneath, the reefs and the ocean floor. And so it is a time of fundamental change and it is happening at bewildering speed.
[Mike Freedman] Brands are hailed as the unifying principle of the organisation. Yet brand-owners busily create divisions for advertising, sponsorships, promotions, social media, corporate social investment and so much more, with separate budgets, objectives, agendas and measurements.
[Mike Freedman] The hero's journey is a story celebrated in art and life. "The Lion King" opens with a happy young cub. Then thrust out into the wilderness, tough lessons are learnt. In the third act, re-entry to the magic kingdom, the most extreme test, awaits. Now consider the career of Steve Jobs.
[Mike Freedman] I've been reading about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area larger than the US, where abandoned fishing nets, plastic bath toys, computers and plastic pellets wash around endlessly, and wondered if I would find my odd socks and lost pens there. These thoughts propelled me around the socks section of a Cape Waterfront clothing store, grumpily looking for replacement pairs.
[Mike Freedman] The most astute marketer I worked with did not train as a marketer: Carol Grolman began as a secretary, became marketing director of Edgars and then Woolworths. Instead of a head cluttered with Porter, Aaker and Ogilvy, she relied on her gut and was brave enough to trust her instinct.