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“I wish I’d written” part three, by the Design Bridge Strategy Team

In the final part of our “I wish I’d written” series, we asked 6 more Design Bridge Strategists “What do you wish you’d written and why?”. Here’s what they had to say…

I wish I’d written TED talks are lying to you by Thomas Frank on Salon because… A refreshing challenge to writers (and readers) of books on ‘creative thinking’ which do not actually promote thinking differently because they continue to recount exactly the same examples as all of the other books on creative thinking. By citing the same banal examples, we learn that it is OK to love ‘creativity’ but without living up to the promise of what it really means. Why do I like this piece? Because it satisfies my own view that creative thinking is much more than the literature of creativity gives it credit for. Creativity is a difficult and multifaceted subject. This, surely, is the whole point of TED; making creative thought accessible without blanding it down to help us learn how to live with creativity. I also love the self-deprecating style of the writer and his refreshingly honest appraisal of what has become a tired genre – especially as the audience, the ‘creative class’, is constantly hungry for stimulus. - Andy Kirk, Senior Brand Strategist

Volkswagen Lemon Ad

I wish I’d written the Volkswagen ‘Lemon’ ad because… It proves how a few carefully crafted words can change the world.  Striking, relevant, memorable, breakthrough, not-a-word-wasted, insight-based, emotionally compelling copy, perfectly harmonised with the visual, ensured this German brand dominated the US market only a few years after the end of world war 2 and led a revolution in brand communications for VW and the industry. – Susie Meggitt, Senior Creative Strategist

I wish I’d written #AgencyLife – The Big Agency Lie by Mike Stopforth because….it shines a light on the unhealthy dynamic that exists in many client/agency relationships today.  Plus, I absolutely love the analogy of the “Bachelorette for Business” that the author uses when describing the pitch process that many agencies find themselves up against.  Perhaps it is because the majority of my background has been client side, but I reflect most fondly on the agencies that pushed me the hardest as these were the ones that were most successful in helping me drive value for my business at the time.  We not only do a disservice to ourselves, but also to our clients by continually being the “yes” men in the relationship.  There is a big difference between “yes we can” and “yes we could”.  It is all about the approach and how you say it.  And while it may sound controversial, dare I say that sometimes even “no” should be ok — in fact, it would be downright refreshing! – Laura Massaro, Strategy Director

I wish I’d written 12 Principles of Great Brand Design by John Rampton on Forbes because…  It’s so simple, yet so true. - Sylvia Lago, Senior Brand Strategist


I wished I’d written Wordcraft: The Art of Turning Little Words Into Big Business by Alex Frankel because… It’s a really entertaining read and offers insight into some of the successes and woes of naming within big organisations. Telling in-depth stories of how 5 big brands got their names, Frankel reminds us how creative, strategic, often serendipitous – and in every instance, challenging – naming can be. He proves how names and language imbue brands with meaning, how they influence our choices and change our behaviour. At Design Bridge, we know a brand’s name is one of its most important assets, so we approach naming as we approach all creative challenges; collaboratively, with insight and intuition. Our approach is simple, creative and effective. Frankel is right, naming is an art. And it’s a part of branding I love. – Chris Allan, Brand Strategist

I wish I’d written Why keeping it real can be a big strategic mistake by Paul Christopher Walton on Artful Strategy because… the author’s analogy – creating a painting vs. taking a photograph – resonated with my own perspective on strategy. I’ve always thought of strategic thinking as a balance between information and instinct. This article brought that to life. - Sharan Sethi, Market Analyst

Feeling inspired? Want to discuss something you wish you’d written? We’d love to hear it! Share your ideas with us at, and check our Careers page for opportunities working with our Strategy team.

You can read the previous instalments of “I wish I’d written” here and here.


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