The Step Change Blog

The latest thinking on business, strategy, marketing and sales

Subscribe Now
May 30, 2024

Marketing Budget: How Much Should You Spend on Marketing?

Predatory Marketing, Business Strategy, Branding, Marketing Strategy, Decision Making, Business Growth, Challenger Brands, Alignment, Brand Building, Strategy Frameworks, Brand Positioning, Measures That Matter, Strategic Planning, Brand Saliency

Let’s be honest, budgeting isn’t always fun.

Read Further
February 23, 2023

What ChatGPT Doesn’t Know About Brand Salience

Business Strategy, Sales, Ashton Bishop, Artificial Intelligence, Branding, Marketing Strategy, Creativity, Challenger Brands, Brand Building, Differentiation, Distinctive Brand, Brand Positioning, Brand Saliency

UPDATED: As of 23 February 2023

Are you even really running a business if you don’t know what it’s like to fight for recognition in today’s market? Getting attention is one thing. Being unforgettable is another. 

Pay attention to the first brand in your head in a particular situation. Chances are, it’s one with higher brand salience than the rest of its competitors. The good news is you can have that for your brand, too. 

A quick ChatGPT conversation will say brand salience is about awareness, consistency, repetition, relevance, differentiation, emotional connection, and user experience. If you’re a challenger business, AI will mainly tell you that you just have to strive for awareness and consistency. But what does that even mean? And how can you begin to incorporate those elements into your long-term and short-term goals? 

It’s no lie — AI does have a pretty good grasp on ‘what’ you need to be more brand salient. But if you’re looking to get your hands dirty with the ‘hows’ and more importantly, get results, you’ve come to the right place.

Read Further
November 3, 2022

Brand Strategy: 5 Steps To Unlock Powerful Business Opportunities

Predatory Marketing, Customer Journey, Ashton Bishop, Step Change, Branding, Customer Centricity, Differentiation, Distinctive Brand, Brand Positioning

UPDATED: As of 3 November 2022

Let’s face it— we’re in a marketing battleground. Your business is only one of the hundreds or even thousands competing for your customer’s attention. If your goal is to win the war for attention, you need to differentiate yourself in a way that actually matters to your customers.

While this sounds obvious, it’s not. All too often, businesses assume they understand what is important for their customers.

Read Further
February 10, 2022

5 Elements You Need to Create a Powerful Value Proposition

Predatory Marketing, Branding, Popular Posts, Value Proposition

UPDATED: As of 2 June 2022

When creating your value proposition, one thing you should never forget is that people make emotional decisions and then rational justifications. They are not buying the product or service. They are buying the benefits or outcomes they receive.

A truly great value proposition focuses on this by including these 3 things to get maximum value:

  1. Ground in insight and an understanding of what your customers really want
  2. Powerful and relevant brand messaging 
  3. Alignment with your purpose and tone to be memorable and believable
Read Further
July 5, 2021

What Are Brand Archetypes? How Do They Power the World’s Most Memorable Brands?

Step Change, Branding, Brand Archetypes, Popular Posts

Discover the 12 famous archetypes and how they can make your brand top-of-mind for your consumers.

Read Further
January 11, 2021

5 of Your Favourite Step Change Articles from 2020

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Step Change, Branding, Marketing Strategy, Bendy Phones, Powerful Presence, Culture & Leadership, Fintech, Marketing Automation
After successfully navigating a year of unparalleled change and disruption, now is the time to look ahead and venture into 2021 with confidence.
As we distill fresh business insights and build a refined strategy, we thought it would be worthwhile to look back at the year that was 2020, through the eyes of our Step Change Blog highlights.
Read Further
January 7, 2020

Top 10 Articles C-Suites Read in the Step Change Blog [2019 Edition]

Business Strategy, Step Change, Branding, Marketing Strategy, Culture & Leadership, Fintech, Marketing Automation

The new year is here! And as we venture forward with fresh business insights and useful strategy, here are the top 10 articles most popular with C-suites in 2019 that you may have missed. 

Read Further
September 27, 2019

How to Rebrand Your Business without Losing Customers

Branding, Marketing Strategy

At some point, a business may need to rebrand to stay competitive in the market. But how do you ensure a smooth transition and not lose any customers in the process? 

Read Further
August 23, 2019

What Makes a Unique Value Proposition?

Branding, Marketing Strategy, Challenger Brands

Value is in the eye of the beholder. In a world teeming with new product offerings, a critical question we need to ask today is: in a sea of undifferentiated offerings, how do we make our product or service stand out so people will buy from us?

Read Further
May 10, 2019

Brand Building: Your Guide To Distinctive vs Differentiated Brands

Business Strategy, Ashton Bishop, Branding, Marketing Strategy, Challenger Brands, Brand Building, Differentiation, Distinctive Brand

UPDATED: As of 25 August 2022

Should brands aim to be different or distinctive? What is the difference between the two, and how do these strategies add value to the branding equation? We take a closer look at shared evidence and form our own conclusions on why distinctiveness stumps differentiation.

Read Further
May 3, 2019

Brand Growth: How to Make Your Brand Distinct


Many brands aim for differentiation in their growth strategy. But is being different all it really takes to stand out?

Read Further
April 16, 2019

All You Need To Know About Brand Valuation

Branding, Marketing Strategy

UPDATED: As of 23 June 2022

Do you know how much your brand is worth? Although brand valuation can be difficult to measure, since a brand is an intangible asset, knowing its worth is useful not only for your business strategy but also in shaping your marketing strategy.

Read Further
September 4, 2018

What Is Brand Positioning?

Branding, Marketing Strategy

Are you proactively influencing how your target audience sees your brand in relation to all the other options available to them (a.k.a your competitors)? 

Read Further
May 14, 2018

How to Create an Internal Comms Strategy that Works (with Case Study from AGL Energy)

Business Strategy, Branding, Creativity

One of the many challenges businesses face today more than ever is connecting with their audiences, whether it's their customers or employees.

What may be a significant policy update that can lead to positive change, if delivered in the wrong tone or framed in the wrong way, could end up being received poorly by the team.

Read Further
May 9, 2018

Brand Strategy: Everything You Need to Know


It was Steve Forbes who famously said, “Your brand is the single most important investment in your business.” But some, if not most, businesses tend to misunderstand this. Here’s why.

Read Further
April 24, 2018

The Change Chain: A Model for Moving Minds

Branding, Marketing Strategy

What really makes people decide to buy? And no, it doesn't have a lot to do with singing kittens riding bikes. Find out what does work here:

Read Further
March 23, 2018

Brand Storytelling Examples: How to Hold Customers’ Attention

Branding, Creativity

The heart of every business is human connections. At the end of the day, our work boils down to dealing with people: we exist to solve their problems and mitigate their pain points.

Read Further
December 13, 2017

How to Use Emotive Storytelling for Your Holiday Marketing

Branding, Marketing Strategy, Creativity

As the holiday rush pours in, you need to do more than the usual to make an impact in your holiday marketing.

To make a lasting impression that leads to conversion for the holidays, you have to be able to capture interest and emotionally connect with your audience to elicit a response and get them to engage.

The most effective way to do that is through emotive storytelling.  

Read Further
September 6, 2017

How to Define Your Brand to Make You Stand Out

Branding, Marketing Strategy, Brand Archetypes

Your brand is anything that comes from your company as a specific source. To the consumer, it symbolises what they can expect when they do business with you. And in today’s crowded marketplace, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your brand stands out from the crowd. 

Read Further
July 13, 2017

Exploring Brand Archetypes: The Magician

Branding, Brand Archetypes

This blog post features the 12th brand archetype in the series, which explores how brands use literary archetypes to stand out and be remembered.

Read Further
June 29, 2017

How to Craft the Perfect Product Messaging

Branding, Popular Posts

Offering a product or service with utility or merit is no longer enough. It’s now necessary to create a value proposition to get people to notice and convert them to loyal customers.

Read Further
June 20, 2017

What Makes a Great Brand Story?


One of the most important things to understand about marketing is that at the heart of every business, there is a brand story waiting to be told to the world.

Read Further
February 8, 2017

Underdog Reminder Series – Automagic

Branding, Digital, underdog marketing
Read Further
February 2, 2017

Underdog Reminder Series – Use of Video

Branding, Content Marketing, underdog marketing



1. Watch my video first until I tell you to pause 

2. Then click: Lockitron 

3. Followed by: August 

4. Then return to my video. 

Read Further
February 1, 2017

Underdog Reminder Series – Why the picture is more powerful than the word

Branding, underdog marketing
Read Further
January 25, 2017

Purpose: The One Essential Tool You Need to Stand Out and Win

Branding, Marketing Strategy

“65% of the economy will face digital disruption by 2017.” (Deloitte)

Disruption will merge sectors and make others redundant. New entrants are now challenging business norms and making huge profits riding the wave.

Read Further
November 23, 2016

Exploring Brand Archetypes: The Jester

Branding, Brand Archetypes

If you're not having fun, you're doing something wrong, says the Jester. Does your business love having fun and living in the moment?

Read Further
November 3, 2016

Exploring Brand Archetypes: The Lover

Branding, Brand Archetypes

Does your business create products or provide services that help make a person more attractive, enjoy intimacy, or build relationships? Read on.

Read Further
October 26, 2016

Exploring Brand Archetypes: The Innocent

Branding, Brand Archetypes

The Innocent customer looks for products that will make living life simple and good. Does your business offer this?

Read Further
October 20, 2016

Exploring Brand Archetypes: The Caregiver

Branding, Brand Archetypes

The nurturer, the supporter, the parent, the saint — this is the Caregiver archetype. Find out if this suits your brand.

Read Further