It was late in the afternoon and I could feel that it was going to be a long night ahead at the computer… and then I started to flick through my Linkedin and Facebook feeds. Damn.

I became engrossed with a theme across several posts instead of writing that big presentation. It was all those posts about the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 spontaneously combusting again.

Photo thanks to @aaronhsl, driving past the big hoarding on Sheikh Zayed Road, (SZR), Dubai. “Gotta be coming down from SZR soon right? It’s not smoking yet at least.”

Then my phone rang. I felt I should ignore a number I didn’t know because there was so much work to be done. But I answered, and a super-familiar voice said, “Hi James, it’s Vasti.” I knew straightaway why she sounds like a friend: she’s on that radio show. “Would you be available to come on the show again tomorrow morning and talk about…” Yes, the Samsung brand debacle.

So I did. Have a listen, it’s just ten minutes.

If you don’t have time to listen, here’s a summary of sorts: With Tom Urquhart and Vasti Kahn on, we spoke about phone brands, retailer trust, consumer trust, brand strength, brand finance, Batten & Company’s UAE launch, J&J Tylenol’s 1982 amazing product recall resulting in a 5 x market share uplift. Circle Economy and the circular economy, airplanes, retailer trust… and social media. We covered all that and more in less than ten minutes.

But we didn’t talk about – nor sing – Great Balls of Fire – but for some reason that comes to my mind every time someone starts talking about the Galaxy Note 7. Anybody else remember Goose and Maverick singing Great Balls of Fire in Top Gun? I’m really showing my age now.

So, let’s see what’s next for this brand’s recovery. Let’s see how they take to driving the new conversation forwards.

James is Chief Timpanist at ORCHESTRA MIDDLE EAST, banging the drums of digital acceleration. (Everyone’s ‘doing’ digital, just not as fast/efficiently as they could…) And James loves a cup of hot chocolate – do you too? If so, please get in touch via