Tuesday, 11 January 2011


A theme for this year, carrying on from last, will be brands that feel in touch with their locality, brands that have genuine provenance that we care about.

Nowhere (so far) was this stronger than at the marvellous Lyric Hammersmith panto - Dick Whittington and his Cat. The adaptation to locality, with the geographical references, rich cultural diversity and modification of lyrics (such as 'Glory, Glory Hammersmith' and the often spoofed Jay Z's 'Empire State of Mind') help build the warm sense of pride feeling connected delivers.

The enjoyment of the evening was greatly enhanced by some dazzling performances by the Lyric Youth ensemble and the likes of Steven Webb, Rosalind James, Kulvinder Ghir, Paul J Medford and Shaun Prendergast. Simon Kunz (known to my children as the beloved butler, Martin, in The Parent Trap) was the most brilliant King Rat and his sidekick, Scaramouche, was the young Nathan Bryon - who topped the local touch for us as he's a school mate of our son Jack.

My feeling is that customers will be putting a greater emphasis this year on things they care about, finding a connection, making a difference, a value beyond financial - quality not quantity.