I’m in the mood for …

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I would like to share a tiny little pearl of wisdom with you all!

Before I start any marketing campaign, no matter what the channel, I will always create a mood board to share with my client.

They have been around for donkey’s years! They are the perfect vehicle from which to pool all of those free running thoughts of yours.

I learnt the hard way, about six month’s ago one of my client’s went on holiday, before she went, she asked for an Indian Summer theme to be carried right the way across social media channels for their brand. On her return, she was met by titian colours, warm golden hues eluding to that of an autumn summer. Survey says … Eh Ehhhh. She had imagined pearlescents and pinks.. Hence the need for a mood board.

Whatever you are planning for, put together your ideas of what you imagine the marketing activity to look like from a brand perspective – after all, they do say the power of visualisation is immense.

Happy Mood boarding!

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Operation: 21 days

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Pepsi Max have launched a brand new campaign ‘Try a new tradition this Christmas’ in a bid to knock soft drink rival, Coca Cola off their Christmas pedestal!

Are we sold?

It is proven that it takes at least 21 days to break a habit; but in terms of traditions we’re talking much longer. We, as Homo sapiens are inherently creatures of habits, so have Pepsi Max got a chance to break our beloved tradition, solidified in childhood?

This aggressive tactic is a bid to re position their brand as not just an “any time of year” drink, but specifically one for the festive period. Their head of marketing and innovation, Mark Kirkham says “Our summer campaign centred on the idea that people love the taste of Pepsi Max. Those who don’t, just haven’t tried it yet. As a brand that values the bold and unexpected, we are extending this notion into our Christmas campaign by reminding them to break tradition and keep things fresh, by trying something new at a time of year when routine and ritual is often habit.”

Consider, in your own industry do you have a competitor which has the monopoly in a particular area? Could you create a marketing strategy which targets this to boost your bottom line?

Read more: thedrum.com/news/2017/11/25/pepsi-max-encourages-people-try-new-traditions-latest-christmas-ad

The death of the adverb

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An adverb is the word which modifies an adjective, for example ‘frightfully good’.

While reading The Telegraph recently, I was shocked to read that this important element of our language is on the demise these days. Apparently generation x are speaking in a much more American-manner, and therefore not teeing up their adjectives at all.

The adverb is quintessentially British, it often softens the following adjective which dilutes what we want to say. Again typically British, playing everything down and getting on with it. For example, there have been stories of the captain of the Titanic and an army general fighting a losing battle using phrases such as ‘We find ourselves in a rather sticky situation’.

Wouldn’t it be sad if we lost the adverb? Our stories would lack conviction and our identity as a country more forgettable?

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The power of colour

The definition of colour as per Wikipedia is the characteristic of human visual perception described through colour categories, with names such as red, blue, yellow, green, orange, or purple.

Colour evokes emotions in us that are subconscious. For example, blue is a calming colour, with connotations of the sky and sea and so makes us feel reassured and relaxed; whereas red is an angry colour though one which is memorable from a marketing perspective. It is also the first colour we see as babies, so there may be a link there.

Enter, my favourite storytelling brand, Coca Cola.

I have written about them before, but I really do think they have achieved so very much when it comes to brand identity, they changed Santa Claus’s coat from green to red for goodness sake!

I’m rambling … as a brand-enthusiast, I cannot stress how important it is to consider colour when it comes to you and your brand. Colours create emotion and can sway thinking without us even knowing it.

Select a colour which is compatible with both you as well as your brand and then you can make nods to it through accessorising such as shoes! (one of my favourite ways).

Like founder, like brand!

For interesting facts about colour head over to: http://www.ucreative.com/articles/22-intriguing-facts-about-colors-that-you-need-to-know/

The Power of Play

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I am currently nose deep in a book called The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking. It is the perfect anecdote to modern day living. Hygge means cosiness in Dutch and the book talks you through the joy to be had in silence, slow cooked food and candles!

Nearing the end of this delightful book this weekend, the author talks about the power of playing. When we were children, it was something we did everyday and did well!

So, why do we have to grow up? OK, I know why. However, it begs the question, where has the play element of our lives gone?

It’s those moments where you throw food, bounce on a bed or skip down the street that are now seemingly lost.

Consider, how can you brand reintroduce an element of play in to the lives of your customer? Whether it’s sending your customers a joke as opposed to a sales-driven email or adding a bowl of sweets to your counter top.. add an element of play to your brand and have fun with it.

 

The Expecto Patronum Effect

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Did you know that the entire Harry Potter series was written in the corner of J.K Rowling’s local coffee shop?

It was there that Dumbledore’s bushy beard, Harry’s lightning scar and the game of Quidditch was dreamt up!

What is it about getting out of the office or for those of you who work from home, the house that does us so good? Is it the smell of freshly brewed coffee beans, the comforting hum of strangers conversing, or just a change of environment that encourages our thoughts to have wings?

I urge you, when you need to think differently, or are just a bit jaded with the in’s and out’s of the daily grind, to find a comfy corner and see what Lord Voldemort’s you can conjure up!

Origin of your story

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This is that moment, the “Eureka” moment if you will where the business idea came to you like a bolt of lightning! It might have been taking the dog for a walk, or while collecting your dry cleaning.

For me, I was sitting on a British Airways flight from Gatwick to LAX, Appletizer in hand, feet dangling off the seat (I’m 5 ft nothing!), while looking over the soft white fluffy clouds, the idea of Storyteller came to me!

The story of my business started at this moment – the origin. This part of the story is the most important and a powerful tool. It works as a relationship -building exercise, and employs people to get on board with the notion of your business.

If you haven’t already, identify yours and use it in your marketing.

Hats Off!

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If you’re anything like me, when I set up Storyteller I didn’t have a scooby doo (clue) how many different facets of the business I would need to tend to …

Being a start up, one-man-band means you are everything from the designer, to the photographer and the accountant! Wearing so many hats isn’t always easy and because these new areas aren’t necessarily our mainstay, we punish ourselves when our results aren’t perfect. Don’t.

Break the areas of the business down …

  • Marketing – There is so much help out there these days. Stay true to the brand and how you want it to look and feel. Be creative. An iPhone is a real tool for photography and Instagram’s filters are great.
  • Finance and HR – Work out if you even need an accountant? Can you do your own book keeping and year end and save the cost? If you are scared, there are some great independents who aren’t going to cost the earth to help you. Just you? If you are registered as a Sole Trader / Self Employed then you just need to do your self assessment or Limited Company and you have to do your payroll and self assessment.
  • Operations – This is where you do your thing! You are good at what you do so go do it!
  • Strategy – This is where you want your business to go. Check in with yourself often so you make sure you haven’t created a monster or are drifting from your original business plan. Business coaches are two a penny in and around Yorkshire and again reasonable, making for a great sounding board.

Which hat have you got on today?

Destination: Philanthropy

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We live in a world where acts of terror are now nearly the norm, diseases like cancer are ever more prevalent and some heartless mega corporations make billions with very little thought for anything other than the bottom line.

Because of the latter, consumers are leaning toward the smaller, more boutique businesses which offer humility and honesty in a time with very little of either.

The local independents are beckoning us more than ever, but there is one more thing us little companies need to do to win over peoples hearts and do good at the same time..

Consider what your business’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy is? Could you donate to your local church, or a charity which is close to your heart? It not only gives you peace of mind that you are doing something positive with your company but also makes you an appealing choice for new customers.

Now, I must go and find my charity..

 

 

 

5 Reasons to Story Tell

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As we become more discerning in the way we consume, marketing has become in many ways, much harder for smaller businesses.

Although we have many more tools at our fingertips such as social media, we have to become more savvy with our content. The phrase “Content is King” is comes in to play here

Use social media channels, packaging, your website etc.. to tell your story, and here’s why!

  1. It builds memories
  2. It is a natural motivator
  3. It builds relationships
  4. It makes content exciting
  5. It makes something old, new!

P.S Don’t forget to use good imagery, a picture tells a thousand words x