There are three main reasons clients hire me to improve their brand:

1. They want more revenue.
2. They want a long-term, loyal customer base.
3. They want so see a real return on their sales, marketing and branding investment.

They usually call me in as a consultant because they’ve listened to the plethora of brand babble out there and decided it was time to decipher all the nonsense and money-wasting pseudo ‘expertise’.

I offer real, practical help in building a powerful brand for any business.

The problem is, modern marketing – and usually the sales approach too – is not so modern. It’s based on opinions, theories and ideas, most of which are at least 50 years out of date, and in many cases simply claptrap.

Today’s sales, marketing and branding is usually built around social media platforms, SEO and other metrics, logos, fonts, colour palettes and so on. None of which will do much to build a brand, and certainly not one that’s sustainable over the long haul.

Branding isn’t about technology or typography. It’s about psychology. And there’s not much understanding of that subject in sales and marketing today – in fact, there never has been.

That’s where I come in. As a qualified psychotherapist along with nearly 40 years in advertising, sales, marketing, design, copywriting and branding, my approach to creating strong brands is distinct, with a proven, evidence-based route to success.

Over four decades, I’ve consulted, coached and mentored in just about every aspect of business, from sales training to devising marketing strategies, from writing business plans to art directing photo shoots, from giving presentations and workshops to management training. And, I’ve assisted organizations in improving productivity and performance of their overall businesses.

My clients have ranged from major blue-chip corporations to non-profits, small businesses and even individuals. (I once coached a Member of the House of Lords in personal branding and presentation skills which resulted in over four hours of peak-time TV exposure.)

The majority of my work is project work for a limited time, with the exception of my Trusted Advisor retainer. Also, unlike many consultants, I offer implementation if you need it, so you don’t see me walk away once the advice has been given.

Typical Client Results Include:

  • Transformation from commodity vendor to powerful brand.
  • Design and delivery of compelling brand experiences to drive customer acquisition and maintain customer retention.
  • Increased brand visibility and recognition.
  • 21st century approaches to sales, marketing and branding that get results.
  • Improved market share by using multiple sales, marketing and brand resources effectively and efficiently as possible.
  • Clear metrics to determine and monitor ROI (Return On Invesment) of your sales, marketing and branding activities.

Here are the main services I offer:

· One day health-check

Before you jump head first into a consultancy contract, make sure there’s a good reason for it.

This one-day health check is the low-cost, high value way to get a solid diagnosis of what’s working and what isn’t. And what to do about it.

I’ll work with you on a one-to-one basis, or involve some or all of your sales, marketing and branding team, at your offices or an offsite location.

We’ll examine areas such as:

  • Your current brand positioning.
  • Your sales and marketing approach.
  • Your DVP – Distinct Value Proposition.
  • Your emotional connection valuation.

The main focus will be on STRATEGY.

That’s because, in my almost 40 years in sales and marketing, I’ve found that TACTICS are usually what drives everything. That’s bad, very bad. Without a proper strategic plan, the chances are the return on your sales, marketing and branding investment will either be low, or non-existent.

There’s also a pretty good chance your business has a poor emotional engagement strategy.

But don’t worry. After determining the strengths and weaknesses of your current approach, I’ll give you a no-nonsense summary of what can stay and what needs to change.

And if you decide to retain me to help you implement the changes needed, I’m happy to provide a full consultancy service to do just that.

· Trusted Advisor

This is the gold standard retainer for working one-on-one with me, and is especially useful in times of change, transition or high-risk.

Having a Trusted Advisor like me is more than just a professional development opportunity. It’s an insurance policy. It gives you exclusive access to my expert counsel so you can tackle the most critical challenges and seize emerging opportunities in real time. I can be the ‘special someone’ at your side with the experience and resources for taking on crucial issues, making difficult decisions, and navigating complex or unchartered territory.

I bring a vast variety of marketing and branding experience to bear, which I use to highlight options that will help you see your circumstances from new angles. So you can be sure that you have given solid consideration to the impact and consequences before you make a move.

My role as a Trusted Advisor can either be behind the scenes, as a number of my clients have preferred, or more public – joining you in meetings with partners or team members, high-value stakeholders, or managers.

Some of the roles I provide include:

  • A sounding board for brand strategy and tactical decisions.
  • An idea and technique source.
  • A devil’s advocate on key moves.
  • A third-party objective review.
  • A support system for responsibility and accountability.
  • A responsive expert for questions and advice.

· Strategic Brand Communications Planning

I help clients position themselves in the market, raise their profile, and become more influential and persuasive with their key audiences.

· Communications Management

I assist clients in building the most effective brand communications and marketing function for their business, both for start-ups or established firms looking to refocus their business and/or their teams.

· Brand Experience Creation

I help create the client’s total brand experience framework, including creating the Brand Halo­™, Brand Storybook, PeopleBrand and other proprietary methods that cover all aspects of a company’s brand requirements.

· Strategic Brand Alignment Planning

I work with the Board of Directors in developing and implementing strategic brand plans and aligning them with their business plan, vision and mission, resulting in clearly-articulated corporate goals and concrete strategies to achieve them.

· Marketing, Sales and Branding Personnel Development

I offer mentoring and coaching of marketing, sales and branding staff, which optimizes team performance and develops leadership capability. This is in stark contrast to the typical ‘silo’ mentality replete in sales and marketing departments today – which often sees the various sales and marketing disciplines competing against each other. I don’t play silly games, do firewalks or get everyone repeating endless affirmations. This is ‘get real’ coaching and mentoring based on fifteen years of working with behaviour change in people from all walks of life.

· Non-executive Director

Sales, Marketing and Branding are often under-represented at Board level. By using me as a Non-executive Director, I can add vital sales, marketing and branding expertise to the business. My role will be to challenge the Board on its strategy and delivery. I’ll ask the ‘tough’ questions, such as: What is the direction of the business? Are sales and marketing targets being met? What kind of competitor strategy is in place and what are the plans to keep ahead of the competition? With almost 40 years of experience, and the advantage of neutrality, I can advise with confidence and make objective, unbiased decisions in the interests of the business.

Here Are The Plain Facts

Marketers may fall in love with trends, get bamboozled by nitwit ‘online experts’ ranting about ‘hits’ and ‘likes’ and being conned into believing that ‘impressions’ equals sales. They don’t. Others will continually regurgitate the importance of having a ‘unique sales proposition’ or USP as it’s known throughout the land. Balderdash. Other marketers will be seduced with the idea that a ‘rebrand’ is the answer to business problems. It isn’t.

And if your sales team are still using the old ‘Always Be Closing’ approach to selling, then you need me more than you know. This isn’t a Wolf on Wall Street ‘Sell Me This Pen’ era. It’s the 21st century for goodness sake.

One last thing.

A strong brand is the only thing that will keep your company alive in the long term.

It has little to do with anything tangible. Like logos, straplines and the endless drivel spewed out under the ‘features and benefits’ banner.

It doesn’t get involved in expensive rebrands (new paint on condemned buildings), gazillion-page corporate identity manuals and all those kinds of things that take the focus off what really matters.

And don’t get me started on focus groups and self-reporting market research.

Are you the kind of enlightened person that wants to put all the crap to one side and actually do something that’s based on facts?


I take on a limited number of clients each year. If you want to be one of them, let’s have an exploratory meeting. If we both get on and feel there’s a mutual respect for one another, we might even take it further.

Email me at or give me a call. It could be the start of something big.



Brand Doctor: A brief bio.

I’ve spent nearly 40 years in advertising, marketing, design and branding. Starting life as a graphic designer and copywriter, I worked for Top-100 companies. I then progressed to heading up brand consultancies responsible for sales and marketing, branding, corporate identity and advertising for Yellow Pages, Virgin, AVIVA, EMI and British Telecom to name a few.

Throughout the years, I’ve also helped smaller businesses dramatically improve profits through building a powerful brand. (Not-for-profit organisations have seen their donor income increase using my brand approach too.)

I’m also a qualified psychotherapist. How people think and behave is crucial to knowing how to brand a business, and with 15 years of experience in the field of psychology, I'm better equipped than most to deliver brands that connect and engage with customers.

Psychology is a rare ingredient in marketing, but it should really lead the way. My psychotherapy work greatly influences the approach to branding I teach and formed the basis for my international best-selling book Branding Your Business.

‘James gave two consecutive keynotes for the past three years at our annual Indonesian Superbrands Conference. He is a breath of fresh air, bringing clarity and understanding to an audience of 400 senior marketing executives hungry for knowledge of ways to create leading-edge business and branding strategies.

James also gave two brilliant keynotes on the subject of sustainability, in advance of his new book The Starfish Business. He is now a Member of the Board of Advisors, Most Valued Business Indonesia, an exciting new initiative to recognise brands not just for their revenue, but for their social responsibility.

Whenever James comes to Indonesia, his fans eagerly await the latest from the Brand Doctor – and they are never disappointed. Thanks James – and good luck in all you do.’

– Alistair Speirs OBE
Chairman, Superbrands Indonesia
and Most Valued Brands

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