Orbell Communications

Communicating Your Message

Q: How can I successfully promote my brand?

Posted by jorbell on September 8, 2010

An often asked question asked by small businesses owners starting out is that of how best to promote their brand. This is very important because you can have the best product or service offering in the World but if no-one knows about it or what it stands for, no-one is going to buy it. Your brand is more than just about what you are selling because it is the personality of the company. Is it exclusive and aspirational or more about simple good value?

Marc Barber, editor of www.SmallBusiness.co.uk, looks at the different brand promotion options below…

Q: How can I successfully promote my brand?

The first thing to do is decide what you want to say about yourself, your product and your business. If you do not know, how can your customers? But knowing the message is not the end of the story. You have to decide who to send it to and how you are going to do it. If your message is not received loud and clear, your customers will not understand why they should buy from you or what it is they are getting. If they do not know the reason for buying, there will be no sales; if they have the wrong reason for buying, there will be dissatisfaction.

If you do not manage to communicate effectively the benefits of your product or service, your business will fail. The message, and getting it across, is crucial. Broadly, marketing is all about getting your message across. But marketing can be an expensive habit if it is undirected, too ethereal and without a clear purpose. Small businesses need to market, but more and more the marketing should be focused on generating direct responses, on building communications with your target group of customers rather than broad-brush image generation.

For more areas to look at when promoting your brand, read the full article.

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe and my meeting with a drunk Glaswegian Eric Cantona Lookalike

Posted by jorbell on August 23, 2010

Edinburgh Festival - Banshee Labyrinth 2010

Edinburgh Festival - Banshee Labyrinth 2010

Later today I’m going to the Edinburgh Festival to watch my wife, Jo, perform on the Fringe. She is part of something called ‘A Pint of Poetry & a Dram of Drama’ at Scotland’s most haunted pub, The Banshee Labyrinth.

“A Pint of Poetry and a Dram of Drama is an open mic spoken word event from Peterborough. You know, near Cambridge. For 4 years it has hosted local poets, bards of the fens and MCs. In Edinburgh for the first time. We bring some of PTowns best wordy talent to you.”

I’ve been to the Edinburgh Festival before but not since the late 90s but I thought I’d recount a tale of when I found myself alone in the city in altogether strange circumstances…

Strangers: My meeting with a drunk Glaswegian Eric Cantona Lookalike

The following story relates to a person I knew for just six short hours, three of which involved us both sleeping (though not together) but is an oft repeated tale from me when a discussion turns to the subject of strangers, Edinburgh and Scotland.

Back in 1996 I was on a three week summer break between finishing a five month secondment position and returning to my old job. This allowed me to just tour where I liked around the UK as long as I made two pre-arranged appointments in the English Peak and Lake District National Parks.

The rest of this trip took in North Wales, Dublin in Ireland, Scottish Lochs and western isles, Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon and East Anglia. In total I travelled around 2000 miles in 19 days crossing the Irish Sea, climbing one of England’s highest peaks in Helvellyn and experiencing the joys of the famous Edinburgh Festival. It was in this final location that I met my stranger….

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Event Traffic – the streaming media summer

Posted by jorbell on July 20, 2010

HotLINX22 cover

HotLINX issue 22 - Download available now

The latest edition of LINX’s member magazine – HotLINX22 – is now available to download from the LINX website: https://www.linx.net/files/hotlinx/hotlinx-22.pdf

The cover story focuses on the impact streaming media has had on networks during the summer months. In the UK in particular, traffic has risen sharply as Internet users kept up to date with what was happening in the General Election, the Budget as well as with sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup and Wimbledon.

Below is an extract from the article as featured in HotLINX22.

Changing habits in TV and Internet usageThere appears to be a change in the way that people are using the Internet and television. Where once it was a ‘one or the other’ activity, users often now have the TV on in the background while browsing on their laptops or mobile devices. Different large scale events such as the Grand Slam tennis and the football in Africa can now be followed simultaneously. With more and more content available online this pattern of behaviour can only increase.

Sport and Politics mix in Summer Internet Traffic Surge

There is an old phrase that says that sport and politics don’t mix but they certainly did between the 22 and 24 June and in quite a remarkable way.

As George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to the House of Commons began his Budget speech on the afternoon 22 June, two tennis players, American John Isner and French qualifier Nicolas Mahut, were preparing for a first round match at Wimbledon in what was to become the longest match in tennis history. The match began at 6:13pm on Tuesday evening and wasn’t completed until 4:48pm two days later after a total playing time of 11 hours and 5 minutes.

While the match wasn’t of any great significance to viewers in terms of who was playing,the sheer fact that the final set finished with an incredible score of 70 games to 68 in Isner’s favour kept the public hooked until the end. What was also grabbing people’s attention at this time was the finer detail of the first post-election Budget and the must-win England match against Slovenia in South Africa which took place on Wednesday afternoon.

All three events were largely intertwined in that there were key periods in coverage that overlapped and that the majority of it occurred during office hours.

Online links to earlier issues of HotLINX can found here: https://www.linx.net/publicity/hotlinx.html

Posted in Business, communications, events, Internet, News, newsletters, Online, Research | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

7/7 – The London Bombings, 5 years on…

Posted by jorbell on July 7, 2010

July the 7th 2010 is the 5th anniversary of the London bombings where 52 people were killed in four separate but co-ordinated terrorist attacks. I would like to take the opportunity to reproduce one of my articles that was written about those tragic events that seeks to explain how small, seemingly meaningless, decisions, can have a massive impact on people’s lives.

None of us are here forever but we still change the World

Where we are in our lives today is essentially the end results of two seperate series of actions that run alongside each other. One is based on our own internal decision making and how we react to the situations we are faced with and the other are the external events over which we have absolutely no control. Making the distinction between them both is very important.

What is difficult to comprehend is that what happens to us today could be traced back to borderline decisions made hundreds and thousands of years ago. The future changes with any decision any of us make no matter how trivial it seems in the greater scheme of things.

If we think back to the London bombings in July 2005 we can look at many peoples lives completely changed, not just for the unfortunates who were killed and injured, but for the family and friends who have had to deal with the aftermath. In fact we’ve all been affected in some ways because our attitudes will change with respect to travelling in London and what we feel for certain members of society, it can’t not have an impact.

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Using offline media to drive online sales

Posted by jorbell on June 28, 2010

Online marketing is on the increase and it is a trend that can only continue. What does this mean for more traditional forms marketing such as direct mail for instance? Well, according to Janet Holian, chief marketing officer of VistaPrint, it still has its place and it’s hard to disagree. Janet has identified seven key reasons why offline media should still play an important part of any marketer’s armoury.

This  article appears in full on Bytestart, the Small Business Portal website.

Using offline media to drive online sales

With the increase of email saturation, offline media used alongside email marketing can be a valuable tool to help drive a high-ROI on online sales.

Whether you’re trying to acquire new customers or retain existing ones, there are several critical components to a direct marketing campaign that must be considered to ensure its success as an online traffic driver.

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5 Ways to Outshine the Competition

Posted by jorbell on June 22, 2010

It is tempting for companies to copy other successful businesses’ marketing strategies in order replicate that success. While this makes good sense on one level it is important that to stand out in a busy market place, you have to do things differently too.

This does not necessarily mean you have to be radical or whacky but to simply get the basics right because so many others don’t. Kim T. Gordon on www.entrepreneur.com has compiled a list of five ways businesses can outshine their competitors and the list is glaringly simple. By meeting the needs of your customers and following these simple rules, your business will be well on the way to success.

5 Ways to Outshine the Competition

Meet customers’ needs in these critical areas to stand out from the crowd

Everywhere you turn, there’s more competition. No matter what type of store or business you operate, there are bound to be others clamoring for your customers and your piece of the market. Plus, with consumers counting every penny and business purchasers scrutinizing expenditures like never before, winning over new customers and upselling old ones has become more challenging.

What will cause customers to buy from you rather than your competitors? The answer is to meet their needs in these five critical areas:

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Posted in Advice from the Web, Business, Marketing | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Posted by jorbell on June 15, 2010

Busy Busy Busy bookIt’s hard to believe but it’s been a couple of months since I’ve updated this blog but as John Lennon once famously said: “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans”. It’s a statement that’s never been more true than it has been this past week as my wife Jo conspired to break an arm a few days before she was about to start a new job. However, that’s a blog for another day.

I’ve had a very long to do list recently which despite making things rather more hectic than I would like has actually made my day-to-day schedule rather exhilarating. In addition to my work in the office I’ve been in events in London (Internet World) and Newcastle (Thinking Digital) which were both very interesting in different ways. I will post a review of Thinking Digital later this week as this in particular is well worth attending if you can.

I’ve been working on copy for a 12 page corporate brochure, the content, design and layout for a five page staff newsletter and also the production of the company’s 16 page membership magazine. There have been banners to produce for an event in Brussels as well as for International Telecoms Week in Washington DC. The latter of these required the sourcing of a US supplier and arranging delivery to the conference organisers in Maryland.

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Posted in Blogging, Business, career, Design, employment, events, Personal Blog, Planning | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

How to Create Fiercely Loyal Customers Close to You

Posted by jorbell on April 17, 2010

Attracting and keeping customers is important to any business and it’s even more so in an economic downturn. Eleven experts discuss a number ideas on what small businesses can do to boost a loyal customer base.

How to Create Fiercely Loyal Customers Close to You

By Staci Wood on www.smallbiztrends.com

Recently, our very own Anita Campbell hosted an online webinar titled, “Loco for Local: Get Fiercely Loyal Customers Close to You,” sponsored by Intuit. Anita shared tips she’d requested from a panel of 11 small business experts on how to get loyal customers close to you and your business.

Each of the panel experts contributed several valuable tips and suggestions and the webinar was packed full with useful information.

Read complete article

Posted in Business, communications, Customer Service, Marketing, public relations | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The London Marathon Experience: 26.2 memories

Posted by jorbell on April 17, 2010

Over the years I have run many 10Ks, 10 milers and half-marathons and and also a duathlon of two 5Ks and a 10K bike ride but it is the marathon that is the ultimate memory for me. Many people are about to embark on their first London Marathon experience on 25th April and I wish them all the very best.

Tomorrow marks the 11th anniversary since the last of my four London Marathons and rather than do what would in effect be a review of each one, I am going to pick out 26.2 of the more memorable instances from those four runs which best represent what it can be like to compete in a big city event. The route has changed since I last competed but you’ll get the picture.So here it is: This is your chance to take part in a marathon without moving from your PC. Don’t forget keep hydrated so I suggest you get yourself a beer!

1. On the free train from London Bridge station to Blackheath you join the masses of runners heading for the start. They all look fitter than yourself but everyone feels a connection because we are about to embark in what is akin to a spiritual experience. We are testing our strength and personal resolve against the ultimate test of human endurance – the mythical distance of 26 miles and 385 yards. Some people are quiet with it being their first event, others are chatty and excited having been this way before and then there are those who are running for a loved one or a good cause. In this final category you get those who take it a stage further and run in fancy dress. It is not often you find yourself nose to nose with a person in a rhino costume but curiously no-one bats and eyelid. Any other day and these people would be sectioned!

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What drives you? What would drive you more?

Posted by jorbell on April 11, 2010

What drives you? What would drive you more?

These are two questions to ask yourself to see if you are heading in the right direction with your life. While the first is important the second is probably worth thinking about a little more especially if you feel that you are treading water in your current job. In the moment you might think you know what’s important to you but have you really thought it through? Sometimes we need to speak to ourselves rather than looking for external answers.

If writing your answers down clarifies them in your mind your next step is to take action and reinforce those beliefs. State where you are and what you are doing but you have to look at where are you going next.

Posted in Personal Blog | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »