Top Models

The Most Useful Strategic Models and How to Apply Them, with Jon Leach

What is it?

There are 11 parts to the programme, each featuring a different strategic model. The models have been chosen by Jon Leach, veteran cross-discipline planner and all-round thinker.  He has written all the explanatory pieces based on his experience across markets, agencies and clients, with lots of case histories and fascinating examples.


The idea is to experiment with different models and ways of thinking that will make your brand and communication strategies better.


Each model has an introductory essay on what it is and how to use that you can open below.  The essays contain:

  • Explanations

  • References and theory 

  • Case history examples

  • A 10 step recipe for applying the model

  • A task that lets you have a go, yourself (successful completion of which could lead to a prize…)

What do we mean by 'models'?

Essentially different approaches to cracking strategic problems. The models range from classics like the “Boston Matrix”, through esoteric examples like the “7 Goddesses” to hidden gems from current planners. The inner workings of each are revealed, often illustrated with real world examples from Jon's case book, all designed to show how you can apply the model in your own work. 


Drawing from examples in many markets (beer, finance, cars, energy plus many more) and as used in many disciplines (advertising, media, PR, sports marketing, health marketing, politics, social media etc.) each short essay will explain how a particular model can get you to better insights, make you more useful to your colleagues, or be able to create more persuasive presentations.

The series is deliberately eclectic, with no one model seen as superior to others, but all being welcomed as potentially useful. 

Who is it for?

Anyone who's a planner or strategist from any part of the planning universe.  Apprentice modellers will find a whole new way of doing their job; veteran modellers will find many new tools to add to their toolbox.

How to search for a specific model

If you would like to view the models you can click 'view model', type in your APG Membership details (email and membership number) to get access.

Start your search:

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Model 11: Lost in the Fog and Hunting the Big Fish

The final Top Model: Using two by twos to organise your work projects and control your working day.

Model 10: My Cousin Timmy

Applying the Spiral Dynamics model to understand how PR agencies think differently from advertising agencies.

Model 9: Pilfering other People’s Pyramids

Stealing from the best and using the Attention Pyramid to manage your own media consumption.

Model 8: The Road to Angmering Pier

How the Greiner Growth model can re-boot your agency or department.

Model 7: Waving not Drowning

Using Alvin Toffler’s Third Wave model to place asthma devices, Brexit and China in context.

Model 6: Fine Slicing the Internet of Beef

Searching out two by twos on the internet to map out today’s Twitter culture wars.

Model 5: Teenage Mutant Ninja Models

The Boston Matrix, and some slightly tricky maths, shows how smokers might take to vaping.

Model 4: All the Single Ladies

Stretching the limits of the two by two, and using archetypes, to boost your empathy with consumers.

Model 3: Together We Map

It is no coincidence that the strategy process is, at is most reductive, “where are we now, where do we want to get to, and how do we get there?”. A good map or model can help us in that strategic process.

Model 2: I Hear Jerusalem Bells Are Ringing

As we saw in Model 1, a two by two is a good basic tool for planners. But a two by two derived from hard data is a great tool, if you want to rule the world, and clients rise when you give your word.

Model 1: Just for Starters

This is the first in a smorgasbord of models and frameworks that we will lay before you over the coming weeks. Much like a good hotel, we hope to serve you up something fresh and tasty on most visits (although weekend service may be a little patchy.....

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