Spock often criticised Kirk for being “highly illogical”, but Kirk knew logic alone wouldn’t beat the Klingons. When we think in purely logical ways we don’t take into account human (or Klingon) psychology which doesn’t work in a purely logical way.

Say for example you want to launch a new product in the carbonated drinks market to rival Coca Cola, the logical approach would be to produce a fizzy drink that tastes better, is cheaper and comes in a bigger can. The problem is no one has managed to do this successfully. There is however one drink that does rival Coke, it’s more expensive, it comes in a small can and tastes fairly unpleasant: Red Bull. A drink so successful you can run an F1 team on the back of it. There are a number of possible reasons why it is so successful, but the small size, unpleasant taste and requirement to be over 16 to purchase it, gives a strong medicinal vibe, if something is expensive, tastes nasty and is exclusive it must be doing you good!

Logic says when it comes to transport quicker is better. But when London Underground installed the electric signs telling passenger how long till the next train arrives they discovered people where happy with longer waits as long as they knew how long the wait was. This same principal applies to Uber, people are happy waiting longer for their Uber when they can see on the app that it is actually on its way.

So when you are looking at your next marketing idea, try being illogical like Kirk, because unlike science, in marketing the opposite of a good idea could just be an even better one!

Brand purpose has become a bit of a buzz term recently, but exactly does it mean, and are importantly does your business need one?

Brand purpose is often defined as the reason your business exists beyond making money. All businesses need to make a profit to exist, but their is more to life than money so we are told. And that is OK, we want to think we are making a difference in the world, the problem is that this has been elevated by many to unrealistic and unachievable heights.

Take as an example, Starbucks, whose mission is ” To inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time”. As worthy an ambition as this might be nobody is really going to believe (or care) that a cup of coffee can do this. Far better for example to aim to “make the best cup of coffee possible to give our customers a great start to the day” This is a purpose that customers can believe in and is more relevant to a coffee selling business.

There are exceptions where more lofty ideals do work, but this is because these ideals have been built into the brand from the very start. Patagonia is a good example where sustainability, reuse an environmental issues were always part of the brand, therefore their mission statement “We’re In Business To Save Our Home Planet” has credibility. However, this is the exception rather than the rule.

So when you think about the purpose of your business, it’s OK to say we make a great product or deliver a great service that makes some small difference in our customers lives, they will thank you for it, won’t criticise you because you aren’t changing the whole world.