Meeting Marty Neumeier – Part Two

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my opportunity to meet Marty Neumeier, well last week, I did as a guest of my friends at Liquid Agency at the Design Council and he was everything he promised and more. I had a good chat with him and he was friendly, insightful and passionate about what he does, which is create differentiated brands.

Alfredo Muccino, Johnny Lyle and Marty Neumeier
Alfredo Muccino, myself and Marty Neumeier at the event at the Design Council

As you can see, he signed my copy of his new book ‘Meta Skills‘, which I will read and review, but also shared that he thought that his previous book ‘The Designful Company‘ was in his opinion, his best. I have to confess I hadn’t read that, so as you can see, I now have a copy of that too and will read it in due course (as soon as I finish Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell). What was interesting was that he said The Designful Company had been his worst seller because it was targeted so tightly at CEO’s and what they could to in order to transform their companies. There’s a lesson in this in thinking about the audience you address when you are planning your brand.

The books by Marty Neumeier
The books signed by Marty Neumeier – now i just need to read them!

Great brands still focus on quality

Mephisto refurbishment from
Mephisto refurbishment from

Back in September 2010 I was predicting that with the recession being in full grip, it would change the way we behave. I believed that We would make do and mend more. Buy fewer better things and repair them. I got a few of my other predictions quite wrong in that I said we would get bored of electronics and that hasn’t happened.

But at almost exactly that time, I splashed out an a very expensive but massively comfortable pair of Mephisto shoes. (it is a sign of age I guess). And after nearly 2.5 years of wearing them to death and walking well over 2,500 miles in them they began to look a little tired.

But you know a brand is solid and their product is of exceptionally high quality when they are confident enough to completely refurbish them for about half the price of a new pair. New sole, all new stitching, new insoles, new laces. The lot.

Anyway, I got them back this week. Geoff at rang me to tell me they were ready and in his lovely understated way told me he thought i’d be pleased with the results.

Well, they are perfect. I swear you wouldn’t be able to tell they weren’t brand new.

Mephisto isn’t a brand I knew before I bought them and they do look a bit like lecturers shoes, but any brand that has this much faith in its quality has to be good.

There are still an enormous amount of good businesses going to the wall by chasing prices to the bottom. This is a sure fire road to failure. Quality lasts and quality brands last too.

Right, I’m off for a walk.

Meeting Marty Neumeier

Meeting Marty Neumeir at the design council


I’ve learnt a lot from Marty Neumeier over the years and next Wednesday at 18.00 at the Design Council in London, I am going down to London to meet him and I have to confess, i’m a little nervous. Two of his books, The Brand Gap and Zag are at joint number two in my list of branding books you have to read. As books go, neither say that much more than the rather excellent Purple Cow by Seth Godin, but what they do achieve is to completely raise the bar in how text books look and read. Both read like poetry and just flow, because they have been distilled down to just the points you need to understand with none of the silly language that the design industry occasionally hides behind.

So there’s still a chance to join me there if you’d like by emailing and booking a FREE place. Photos and thoughts next week.