Entries by Gordon Carmichael

People, brands and technology

‘People don’t do what they believe in, they do what’s convenient, then they repent’. Bob Dylan – ‘Brownsville Girl’ The vast amount of information we’re exposed to in our daily lives dictates that most of the decisions we make are sub-conscious. We’re hard wired to automatically choose the path of least resistance. And then post-rationalise, […]

For the Journey

Considering a purchase, researching our options, choosing a brand, listening to other users feedback and making the eventual purchase is what marketers call the customer journey. But all we’re really interested in is the destination. Making the path to eventual purchase as simple and efficient as possible. Eliminating any unnecessary steps or friction points along […]

Say one thing well.

We’re very good at adding complexity to our lives, and to our businesses. We think by doing more things, we’ll get to our required destination. But often, it takes us further away. When Bill Clinton ran for the US presidency in 1992 he was the clear outsider. George H. W. Bush was considered unbeatable because […]

Fortune favours the brave

Behavioural research confirms that the vast majority of people are generally risk-averse. This comes from our fear of loss. We are happy when we gain, but twice as unhappy when we lose. So why risk it? We tend to look for safer options that reflect our view of ‘how things should be’. Psychologists call this the ‘confirmation […]

Mental flags

Marketing and branding rely heavily on mental flags and signals. The first imperative of branding is to make people’s purchasing decisions easy. And because of the habitual nature of human behaviour, we rely on mental shortcuts, or heuristics, when making those purchasing decisions. The effect of which is we assign greater importance to things that have […]

Steamy, sizzling new client

Our latest client addition is bcg who are one of the biggest suppliers and distributors of plumbing, heating, kitchen and bathroom products in the UK.  Owned by the giant merchant supplier Wolseley, bcg specialise in the independent merchant and retailer sector and have appointed Key Parker to develop their brand strategy and all of their […]

Strategy without action is only a daydream

Social media for most businesses has evolved from the perceived requirement that a Facebook page and Twitter account are mandatory, just to ‘keep up’, into a realisation that it is so much more than a channel. It is a strategy that should be ever present in every aspect of marketing. So why then do we […]

The price of a pair of leggings

Where does our responsibility begin and end in this age of austerity and tighter budgets? 35 major western brands used the factory that collapsed last week in Bangladesh. The death toll currently stands at 386 but will rise as bodies are still being pulled from the rubble. After cracks had been discovered in the building’s […]

Construction Marketing Winners!

Key Parker picked up the trophy and bubbly last night as winners of the ‘best use of advertising’ category at the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s annual Construction Marketing Awards. The prestigious event, held at the Radisson Blu hotel in Portman Square, was hotly contested in all categories with a record number of entries this year. […]


We may be 40 years old this year, but over the last 18 months Key Parker has undergone a bit of a reshuffle. Although, on reflection, its been more of a reinvention. New senior management, new staff, new clients, new thinking and a brand new website (it’s taken a while, perhaps a case of the […]

The importance of spelling

I cdnuol’t blveiee that I cluod aulacity uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabridge Uinervtisy, mnaes taht it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. […]

Should we give in to the left?

The human brain is made up of four cortices and two hemispheres – left and right. It is generally thought that the left hemisphere processes information logically and sequentially whilst the right processes information intuitively, holistically and randomly. Everybody uses both parts of their brain; however, in the same way we have a dominant hand, […]

Investing in tat is short-term thinking.

In all aspects of our daily lives we are presented with choices. Perhaps too many choices? It is logical to think that choice is good and that the more choices we have the better our lives will be. And, whilst some choice is almost always better than none, too much choice can clutter our thinking […]