NEOM or Neom

neomI often talk about the importance of a name when it comes to a brand.

Nowadays, when brand strategists are working on the creation of a brand and its values, they are often thinking of the consumer’s purchasing and searching behaviours as it were.

SEO experts are enrolled to help brands capture every search term possible for their brand, they will even go so far as to list misspelt terms such as ‘Dacebook’ or ‘Faxebook’.

So, when it comes to the small (and lovely, might I add?) wellbeing brand based in Harrogate, NEOM they’ve got more than they bargained for choosing that four lettered brand name… Neom is also the new name for the yet-to-be-built fairy tale city in the sand in the United Arab Emirates. Currently being searched tens of thousands of times in the UK, thus creating unforeseen brand awareness and sales for the wellbeing brand.

Now that’s a good name!

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The next gen of entrepreneurs

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I am delighted to have been asked to be on the Careers Panel for the Ahead Partnership careers briefing at Hanson School, Bradford next week.

The Ahead Partnership does incredible work within the community, helping to connect both educational bodies to enterprises.

Put it this way, when I was at comprehensive secondary school the careers advice was, let’s just say lacking. It consisted of two sessions a year, an hour long each where I was given a questionnaire to fill out. If I answered mainly A’s, which is what I did, I was told I would be a baker! Really? Me? Someone who would rather order my favourite curry house takeaway, I don’t think so.

The point I am trying to make here, so ineloquently, is that times have moved forward and I don’t think ‘being an entrepreneur’ was ever given to me as an option when I was at school. Hence, why I jumped at the chance to pass on my pearls to these Hanson school students.

Let’s hope I help to inspire the next generation of Richard Bransons!

Find out more about what they do: http://www.aheadpartnership.org.uk/

The best feeling in the world

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Is it just me or does every single ad agency out there seem to be pushing an agenda based around making customers feel liberated?

It has to be said that there is no greater feeling than feeling liberated, however it is also a rich and rare feeling which cannot be manufactured.

Boots summer TV ad is accompanied by ‘Everybody’s Free (to feel good) by Aquagen – their choice of music for some years now. Likewise, Listerine’s new TV ad ‘Bring out the bold’ is all about channelling your inner boldness as it were.

Owner of successful retailer Joe Browns, Simon Brown says ‘The customers love us because we make them feel liberated and I think feeling liberated is the best feeling in the world!”

Simon Brown has created his entire business model on this.

The truth is in the pudding it would appear!

Giddy Up!

Last Saturday saw me arriving at a quintessentially English sight…

I was invited to go and watch the business workshop taking the UK by storm.

Business Horsepower was founded by Julia Felton. Julia works alongside business people to help them better their leadership, teamwork and communication skills through workshops with the horses.

There is something hugely wholesome about working alongside these beautiful animals and by joe there is a real knack to getting them to do what you want. Activities include guiding the horse without reigns from behind, guiding the horse with reins from behind and guiding the horse from in front (all the time manoeuvring around obstacles).

The entire workshop begs the question ‘Are you a clear communicator?’

This workshop was not just for business people, but for everyone. We have never been trained or educated on how to behave around people, we just behave the way we do. It’s not taught in school as such.

As I was walking around with the horses it made me question the way that I conduct myself with clients, with my partner, with my friends, with my family… the list goes on.

I left the day enlightened! More in tune with myself and with how I wanted to portray myself, self improvement quota, filled.

Find out more: businesshorsepower.com/

Face to Face Sells

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Over the past few weeks I have upped the ante when it comes to attending networking events and I will tell you the reason why.

We all know that attending an event takes a bit more effort, time and perhaps even money than some other marketing activities, but I am telling you now they are as important if not more than ever in this techy world.

People buy people.

Whether you’re in a department store shopping for a new foundation or at a drink’s party chatting to a mortgage advisor, that face to face exchange is priceless.

You cannot build the same rapports over social media or even telephone to the same extent, you just can’t.

In fact there are studies that show, the more outlandish the location you encounter someone you may buy or sell to, the more success you may have. Naturally there has to be a latent or prominent requirement for the product or service for an exchange to happen, however I guess it is that out of context setting which can make the conversation ever more interesting!

A face to face also provides the perfect stage from which to tell your story, using your body language, eye contact and all of those other ways of communication to do your thing!

I am heading out now to attend an Opera and hope to meet someone who owns a hot air balloon company and who knows, I may well book a ride!

Taking Brexit by The Horns!

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The national and regional papers have, over the last month or so been pretty downcast when it comes to the economy and the effects Brexit may / will have on business in the UK.

Yorkshire Post published in January of this year that “SME’s were thought to be the most significant for boosting productivity and economic growth may also be the most negatively affected by Brexit.”

Yet, just two days ago the Spectator declared Brexit isn’t driving Britain to stagnation due to our bullish nature. Likewise data from the British Business Barometre conducted by Hitachi capital stated that overall 39% of SME owners predicted growth from the three months to 31st March 2018.

What do us SME’s do?

Ok, so the majority of advice is be pragmatic, plan ahead and focus on what is within your control.

Basically, keep calm and carry on!

Want to know more?

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/03/brexit-isnt-driving-uk-business-stagnation/

http://bridgingandcommercial.co.uk/article-desc-13187_39%20per%20cent%20of%20small%20business%20owners%20predict%20growth%20for%20next%20three%20months

 

 

Ocean Colour Scene

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More than 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped in our oceans every year. (PlasticOceans.org)

Pause for thought.

8 million!

How did we let this happen?

Now that the oracle, Sir David Attenborough is on the case of this environmental crisis, it has become a much talked about issue – thankfully.

But how can we help as a small or medium sized enterprise? Start simple!

  1. Re-use drinking bottles in the office
  2. Say no to straws on lunch meetings / work parties
  3. Look to choose one Ocean charity like Save our seas, The Ocean Foundation or Ocean Conservancy to name a few (display their logo on your marketing materials)

By taking part in this plight you will not only feel better for doing your part in this crisis, but also your company will enjoy the “halo effect” as opposed to the “horn effect”. The positive effects a brand can enjoy after “do gooding”.

Doesn’t it feel good to be aware and behaving like a responsible brand?

Home Sweet Home

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This weekend took me back to my home town of Easingwold. A cute market town, 30 minutes away from York, this town was where I had my first date, my first custard cream and, well, you get the picture…

Having taken my God daughter for the essential Brownie and Milkshake at the local sweet shop, we stumbled in to an enchanting land, Hearts.

From the moment we walked in we were ensconced in the brand. Their brand got to work on every one of our senses, from the offering of a “glass of bubbly” (TASTE) to the mellifluous melodies coming out of the hidden speakers – (HEARING) to visual feast of interiors and apparel (SIGHT)

The shop had it all, great products, great service and a real buzz to its atmosphere.

This is what’s called a seamless customer journey.

Take Note.