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All this week in The Mailbox there has been a celebration of the Midland's great design heritage and of the region as the home of some of this country's great brands-Jaguar, Triumph, Land Rover, Aga, JCB and even Marmite. If you haven't already been to this celebration get down there quick.
In my job I spend a lot of my time trying to design and develop brands. I don't do the creative work on brands but instead it is my job to come up with the underlying definition of the brand. I try to define what it is going to stand for; the promise it is going to make, and to try to keep, to its customers; and how it should present itself to its market. Someday it is my hope that the brands I am working on will feature in an exhibition of great brands.
It took me a wee while to find inspiration for my first blog but I found it in a place not renowned for its inspiring qualities.
And from this unlikely beginning, the intention is to provoke debate and stimulate thinking on the business of marketing and the marketing of business. Hopefully you will enjoy sharing and discussing my views.
Last week I had to leave Birmingham for the delights of London. Fortunately this gave me the opportunity to travel with my favourite train company and to meet up again with the people working there who make travelling a real pleasure.
Among the many joys of owning a smartphone are the bouts of mild panic when the device cannot be found in the usual pocket.
Yesterday, the issue of media standards finally jumped the shark. Or rather, it loaned the horse.
News International's former boss Rebekah Brooks, stunt double for Pixar's heroinein forthcoming movie 'Brave', was purportedly the recipient of a loaned police horse from Scotland Yard.
Twenty-seven minutes before mainstream media broke the news of Whitney Houston's death last Saturday the story was on Twitter.
The news was first tweeted by @ajaDiorNavy, with a mere 14 followers at the time, who's "Aunt Tiffany", an employee of Whitney's, found the diva dead in her bath. An hour later it had been re-tweeted 2.5m times.
Tradition dictates, in my last missive of the year, that I review the technology predictions I made in my first post of January. Unfortunately, it seems to have been deleted, so I'll have to stick to what actually happened instead!
I, for one, am old enough to recall the real meaning of the word "friend" and know that having any more than six real friends is a right pain.
Ever wondered what happens to your Facebook profile when you die?'
Don't worry, I'm in good health, my morbid fascination is prompted by Facebook's, soon to be released 'TimeLine' feature, currently in Beta.
TimeLine produces a sort of scrapbook of everything that has happened to you since you joined Facebook, at the press of a button.
To see a chronology of your life, automatically generated, is a spooky reminder of just how much data is kept about our online activity and is more than a bit creepy.
The recent financial disaster at UBS brought another UBS story back into the news. Back in January a detailed dress code guide for UBS staff was leaked to much hilarity.
There was also advice on how to apply body lotion and perfume, on not eating garlic and not to have tattoos.
This was held up as an example of an organisation obsessed by detail and interfering in its employees lives.
A "fondleslab", for those not down with the kids, describes any portable touch screen device so beloved by its owner that it is incessantly fondled in public.
I swapped the faithful fag packet and lighter combination (which served a similar social purpose) for an iPhone a few years ago, but now, to keep down with the kids, I need an iPad 2.
Chris is MD of social media strategy company Friend Digital