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BJ Cunningham

BJ Cunningham, brand consultant, visiting Professor (and Death Cigarettes founder) is now helping to grow Turkey’s export market and advising British consumer brands on ‘disintermediation.’ In a thoroughly entertaining speech BJ Cunningham compares customer loyalty to a long-term relationship, while “discounting is little more than a one-night stand".


About BJ Cunningham

BJ Cunningham is an innovative marketing and communications specialist and has built up an entertaining reputation as a thought provoking and charismatic after dinner speaker. This serial entrepreneur demonstrates that authentic branding is vital to build and retain customer loyalty. His business history along with his honest style ensures that he is an expert in offering insights into customer relations, brand strategies and creating visions.


Whilst still a teenager BJ Cunningham started his first enterprise, importing classic cars and Harley Davidsons from LA to London. When the market collapsed he used his considerable debt to launch DEATH Cigarettes – positioned as ‘The Honest Smoke’. It gained such a foothold that BJ found himself taking on the combined might of the industry in the European Court of Justice.  Then, with a growing reputation for challenging norms, BJ set up a brand marketing agency and built a client list including Volkswagen, B&O and Nokia. Having sold the company and proved his credentials as a true serial entrepreneur, he and his wife created and ran the luxury shoe designer Georgina Goodman until its acquisition by venture capitalists.

BJ is a Visiting Professor at Brighton University, serves on the council of Business Superbrands and travels the world giving inspiring keynote presentations. He believes that while customers are magnetised towards ‘need’ over ‘want’ in the wake of recession, genuine premium will still remain resilient: “Loyalty in business is a long-term relationship, discounting is little more than a one-night stand.”  BJ’s message is that a brand is a promise, not a logo; it’s about depth, not awareness. A business must know what it stands for, say it with clarity and do what it says. With wonderfully engaging examples, he shows that customers want to understand the authentic soul of the organisation and become part of your community.

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"Great speaker with a strong and passionate story of his life experience. He captured the theme of the conference really well and injected a lot of energy back into the delegates. Great presence Pacey, delivered with authenticity and warmth. Got all the key messages out we hoped he would. Without attending the first half of the conference, you would have thought he had, seamless. Likeable guy- audience immediately engaged with him and connected well Great dress sense. Would highly recommend him again."

ASDA Group Ltd

"A real hit with our audience, BJ has tremendous energy and great delivery. His message was superb."


"BJ exceeded our expectations, his session was a perfect fit for our audience. He was interactive, innovative and enthralling. Our audience was captivated by BJ. Many tweeted during the session that it was the highlight of their event. They described BJ as a comedian, applauded his open honesty and welcomed his clear and concise view on Marketing. BJ was the first speaker in the history of iStrategy to receive a standing ovation from the audience."


"Like many a listener in the room I was greatly impressed by your talk yesterday. Engaging, thought provoking and most importantly it felt genuine. I bought into almost every word you said and it reminds me of how pleased I am that the world has individuals like yourself who break the mould. Loved the three principles you spoke of, if only we were all so brave to act by them. Best guest speaker I have heard, with the snazziest shoes! And you got my brain ticking!"



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