We believe strong brands are built on four principles

We have been collaborating with those who own and lead brands since 1998 and have developed a view that brand and business success is built on two pairs of principles. The first pair — inspiration and ideology — is crucial. But strong brands also need the support of a second pair to thrive — sacrifice and discipline. We call this the Circus Double Double.

Ideology is key — To succeed long term, brands need a clear purpose, just as much as they need sound finance. Truly great organisations carefully weigh their role in the world. They have nothing to hide. Their integrity flows from openness and clarity. This is key to the trust they engender.

Inspiration matters — The extent to which a business inspires its shareholders is a proxy for the value of its brand. Great brands, like great people, inspire us with how they view the world. They are creative and magnetic, active and optimistic. They are interested in us, and we in them.

Sacrifice is necessary — Strong brands are prepared to sacrifice opportunities that are not aligned with their ideology. They are prepared to walk away from money and from partners. They think long term as a matter of habit, using more than one measure to navigate commercial futures.

Discipline is underestimated — Once a strategy has been agreed, it takes real dedication and stamina to stick with it, and keep it relevant, vibrant and on track. Sticking to the knitting can feel dull — but it makes for efficiency and alignment. And, over time, for sustained commercial success.

Watch more – our conversations