Ian Cowley

Branding: Do you Need to Give your Brand a Personality?

Branding: Do you Need to Give your Brand a Personality?

When you launch your business, do you need to give your brand a personality to make you stand out in a packed market place? This was a question we laboured over when we launched in 2003. Why? Firstly we were opening ‘shop’ to a marketplace packed with competition – what would make us stand out? Secondly, we were selling printer ink – probably one of the dullest commodities on paper. With these two obstacles in place, we felt that our only option was to inject humour. This led to the creation of Dave the Badge, our cheerful company mascot, who we felt would make us memorable in a sea of competition. We invested hours upon hours of time bringing the face of our company to life. We even gave him his own ‘thought trumpet’ blog, his own twitter feed and invested hard-won money on getting a cart... »

A Guide to Improving Internal Communications in Your Small Business

A Guide to Improving Internal Communications in Your Small Business

Improving internal comms in your company: As your business grows, ensuring streamlined communications is integral. Not just for efficiency but also for staff motivation. Resentment can quickly grow if your staff feel out-of-the-loop. But the bigger your business grows, the harder it becomes to communicate easily. We were lucky in the sense that our growth has been gradual, but that said, like many businesses, we had an awakening last year when we realised that whilst the senior management team shared the same clear business plan, this vision wasn’t being passed on to our staff. So to correct this path, we’ve developed a comprehensive yet simple internal comms plan that we have found effective. To give you an idea of what has worked for us, here’s a quick guide to what we’ve implemented whi... »

Trade Show Advice – Top Tips for Small Businesses

Trade Show Advice – Top Tips for Small Businesses

Trade shows are great opportunities to network and negotiate irrespective of your industry. I’ll be representing my company cartridgesave.co.uk at a big trade show in Frankfurt at the end of the month and wanted to share my top ten tips to help businesses make the most of any exhibition. Preparation Research the best shows Before booking any shows do your research and ensure that they will allow you to meet your specific goals. I recommend you look on industry-specific websites and magazines, as shows will often be advertised there detailing a full list of exhibitors. Make a plan Ask yourself ‘Why am I going?’ The answer may appear obvious, but reminding yourself of what you want out of the visit will help you focus on who you want to meet and any specific goals you should focus on. A narr... »