A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times

What have Tesco, The Sun Newspaper, British Airways and Manchester United all got in common? The answer reveals something quite fascinating, and counter-intuitive about what it takes to make a great deal of money. Understand and harness this for yourself and it could transform the fortunes of any business or enterprise you’re ever involved in.

So what’s the link?

Well in a recent poll carried out by Joshua G2 on behalf of Marketing magazine, each of those companies was voted the most hated brand in their market sector. Tesco was the most hated supermarket brand, The Sun was the most hated newspaper brand, Manchester United was the most hated football brand, and British Airways was voted the most hated airline brand.

Puzzling isn’t it? You see there’s very little doubt that each of these is also the most successful brand in their market sector. And the mist only starts to clear when you discover something else… they were all voted the most loved brand in their sector at exactly the same time!

So what’s going on, and what does it tell us about success?

Well the key point here is that each brand has created an impact. They’ve created an emotion in the hearts and minds of their potential customers. People know who they are and they have strong feelings about them. Some of this feeling is strongly positive, while the rest is fiercely negative.

There’s a polarity to it all too. There are many other brands that provoke no hatred at all, and poll a lukewarm level of approval half way down the loved list. But at the same time, they’re not nearly so successful.

You see, strong feelings and emotions are essential if you’re to rouse any potential customers out of their passive state into spending money with you. People rarely part with money unless they’ve had their emotions tweaked in some way or other. They have a strong emotional attachment to their money. They know what they had to do to get it. And they’re not about to part with it to an organisation that doesn’t impact on them at an emotional level.

The upshot of this is that polarising opinion about you and your business is no bad thing. Of course you’d prefer it if everyone loved you. But it’s far better to have half the world thinking you’re the best thing since sliced bread and the other half thinking you’re the devil reincarnate, than it is to have everyone thinking you’re merely okay. People rarely spend their money on ‘okay’.

In my own business, I never set out to polarise opinion, but it just happened somewhere along the way. I know that some of the products I sell can be a little controversial, and hard as it is for someone of such delicate sensitivities to admit, I know there are a significant number of people out there who don’t like me very much.

But then there’s the other side of the coin…

For everyone who despises me because I often push social limits in what l do for example, there’s someone else who’s strongly attracted towards me for the very same reason. An easier route would have been to stick to non-contentious subject matter, but it wouldn’t have been nearly so profitable – or nearly so much fun.

I suppose what I’m saying is that there are two routes available to us all. You can either be mildly liked by everyone, and make a modest living, or loved and hated in equal measure and make a million. It’s not quite as straight forward as that, but hell…

Just sitting on the fence never got you loved, hated or rich did it now?

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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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