Setting a Course for Success

In the midst of a second wave we need a second wind.

As we approach this winter season with more questions than answers there’s no point complaining about the crisis, it’s time to work out how we are going to get through to the other side. Let’s not avoid the future but rather start investing in it now…

I have spent time recently with other entrepreneurs who have been through trials and tribulations and come out smiling. It seems to me that troubles are not to be ignored but they shouldn’t cause us to lose sight of our hopes and dreams.

Here are some of the things I intend to do to carry our brand marketing agency through to the other side of whatever this present time holds. 

1. I’m going to give. 

If givers keep giving they’ll leave an impact.

Success brings responsibility with it and meeting that responsibility ensures that we remain grounded. Give back over and above. When going the extra mile and investing in others is part of our DNA, success just magnifies everything that comes with that.

2. I’m going to take the right advice. 

It’s great to have the right people speak into our lives regularly.

Not everything that looks good is necessary right. You will need the perspective of others to help you to make the right choices. Good is always the enemy of best, every time.

It pays to have a few insiders that will give you the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

3. I’m going to stay focussed on the end goal. 

Always do the best for the people.

Choices have to be made but not at the expense of the vision you’ve built, there are others now who have begun to believe in it too. Don’t get argued out of your vision by voices that are more interested in position and power. 

Stay true to the vision because when you lie to yourself, you lie to those around you.

4. I’m going to encourage others.

We can always help others to get to where we find ourselves.

It’s so refreshing to me when someone who doesn’t even know me is prepared to give me advice and share their journey, making an impact in my life. Those are the moments when I know everything is possible.  

5. I’m going to put my family first. 

Time is precious, we need to use it wisely rather than squandering it.

One thing I admire in successful individuals is when they are committed to family above all else. Being accountable to what is important means being prepared to draw a line when work begins to compromise the investment of time that family relationships require.

Speaking to those who have already made a success of their lives and are at leisure to help others is a great learning opportunity. We are all on a journey and learning from others rather than simply relying on our own expertise takes a number of bumps out of the road.

In these times we can learn from those who have learnt to ride tough storms, get a second wind, and not just survived, but risen to thrive!

When Hot Chicken Gets You Checkin’!

First visit to Nando’s this week since March 23rd for the government’s free half plateful. Arrived to find a virtual queue nearly two hours long. Put our names down and wandered off to the shops. Half an hour later the call came through. The table’s ready. Here we come.

At the table, I scanned the QR code with the smartphone, which took us straight to the website menu to order our food from the table. No-fuss. Grace,  ‘Very grateful for this plateful’ (especially because half of it is for free – even if we end up paying for it indirectly through increased taxation, still grateful.)

Why am I telling you all this? Well, it struck me how Nando’s new COVID (un)friendly methods actually work better for the customer. Ordering food in a restaurant in such a way as to reduce human contact has resulted in a model that is quicker and more convenient. The staff did bring the food to the table and organised the drinks refills.

The whole experience brought me to thinking about how COVID has accelerated a different approach to working. Companies are piloting different models (because they have no choice) but the result is making a resounding impact on the future world of work, changing working models and inadvertently discovering better ways in the process.

Just consider how working from home has changed many business models and made them more customer-friendly and profitable.

For startups, trying out new methods and products to see what ‘works’ is known as starting ‘lean’ and it helps you rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable before you invest (and possibly waste) resources.

‘In his blog and book ‘The Lean Startup, entrepreneur Eric Ries tells the story of Zappos founder Nick Swinmurn who wanted to see if customers were ready and willing to buy shoes online. Instead of building a website and a large database of footwear, Swinmurn approached local shoe stores, took pictures of their inventory, posted the pictures online, bought the shoes from the stores at full price after he’d made a sale, and then shipped them directly to customers.

It worked and Zappos grew into a billion-dollar business based on this model.’ Wikipedia (paraphrased)

No shoe selling humans to measure your feet, help you try on, spend ten minutes searching the stock room for the other shoe in your size, operate the cash register… the list goes on.

This kind of working lean necessitates using technology. Other jobs are created to maintain and service the technology and man the warehouse, so humans still feature, thankfully. The workplace you are left with, however, looks very different.

I ask myself, could I be replaced by technology? Would it be more viable for a machine to write this blog? This week our Research and Development expert, Andrius, sent me an article about GPT-3, a new text generating program from OpenAI.

‘GPT-3 was built by directing machine-learning algorithms to study the statistical patterns in almost a trillion words collected from the web and digitized books…the system memorized the forms of countless genres and situations. It then responds to a text prompt by generating new text with similar statistical patterns. The results can be technically impressive, and also fun or thought-provoking.

Two of the system’s most notable features are that GPT-3 can generate impressively fluid text, but it is often unmoored from reality.’ (Paraphrased)

Apparently, I’m safe for the moment. As the machine hasn’t experienced the world as a human it can’t write like a human, it can only regurgitate a combination of things different humans have already said.

One thing is becoming clear to me… now is the moment to start lean. Using technology to develop a business model to bring your product or service to market, which simultaneously reduces the degree of human contact involved while increasing the level of customer convenience, looks like a winning combo.

At our brand marketing agency, we have started this process ourselves, in the form of our MVP, GenesisBrands, an automated solution for startups needing an inexpensive, time-saving, brand solution. If you are starting out and you need a brand, GenesisBrands will provide you with an automated brand in less than half an hour at an extremely reasonable price, all online!

Failing that, you could always help me in my personal quest for a Nando’s Black Card. Follow the link below to find out more…

https://www.popsugar.co.uk/food/How-Get-Nando-Black-Card-43658245

Knowing Your Tribe Can Help You Thrive

In the midst of recent challenges, like you, our brand marketing agency has stayed connected using technology. The whole world has watched industries transformed in value as a result of this switch in communication. The entire airline industry went from being worth 872 billion to 419 billion dollars and Zoom is now worth 60 billion (as of June 2020).

It is still possible to feel a little isolated, what with working from home and social distancing becoming more of a way of life. So, if you want to reach out a bit more, here are some tribe building tips to help you thrive.

Start a WhatsApp:

Set up a group of key people and share information with each other, like opportunities or insights. A themed group creates a team looking for the same things as you are. Whether it’s funding, unfolding legislation or support with entrepreneurship or sales, you can exchange information and even get a ping to notify you.

The great thing with WhatsApp is that it is encrypted, safe and secure and now includes video calls to the group. From footballers to athletes, politicians to protesters, all have adopted this as the ‘go-to’ group communication because it’s closed to hackers and people selling information. If you want to reach people, quickly and efficiently WhatsApp is a great platform to mobilise your message.

Another great way of using WhatsApp is to let people know you are posting an article and get others to interact with it. Our good friend from Introbiz, Mike Armstrong, highlighted the fact that more interactions within the first hour of a post give you significantly greater reach and inspire you to write and interact with your friends on the platform.

Join Facebook Groups:

The original tribe model has taken a turn for the better by introducing challenges to connect you with people all over the world while learning something new and interesting.

The challenge model is not something many people have heard of and it was well over a year before the big guns adopted this model for teaching ‘one to many’. If you have a year’s worth of content then this model has the potential to launch the online education arm of your business.

We recommend you join one. Why not take part in our 5-day challenge around Mission, Vision and Values? Or why not discover a whole new world in property with the 5-day property jumpstart challenge with our friends from Tidy Ventures? Once you’ve done one, you’ll see its amazing potential. If you are thinking of running one yourself we can help with that! We are adapting our office to run challenges LIVE from our HQ in Bristol and share our message about purpose-driven business by creating (a unique purpose-driven URL)

Zoom Networking:

One of our partners and clients pivoted to Zoom, almost instantly, on lockdown. I think that they would say it was one of the best decisions the business made. Paul and Tracey Smolinski took a successful, existing network global overnight! Almost instantly, the commute to networking meet-ups disappeared and fuelling up with petrol was replaced by fuelling up on tea on the way to the computer.

Things literally leapt forward for Introbiz with connections across the globe. They hosted business legends from Brian Tracey to Les Brown. With the impending IntroBiz Global Summit coming in November joining Introbiz is a simple step to take your business global.

Another group I have been part of is the Natwest Next Level programme (for entrepreneurs), which went up a level as it adapted to changes. Led by Olly Reid, we started meeting weekly and then switched to bi-weekly, with faces from Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol. Now a fresh intake is adopting the new normal and I would definitely recommend applying – you can do so here…

LinkedIn / Messenger

One of my key sales tools of recent times has been LinkedIn… not Sales Navigator though! The curse of the LinkedIn sales pitch is something I actively resist nowadays – it just highlights a lack of understanding of how sales work today.

I use LinkedIn to communicate with my business associates and check in with them. I have made some great connections and been helped to link with others. This approach is about leading through relationship not – roll up… roll up, we have another offer to hit you with today.

LinkedIn has helped me to connect with long lost contacts as well, you just don’t know where things will lead in the long term. In fact, my record pitch to business was 7 years! Sometimes, no doesn’t mean never!

Social Distanced Meetings:

This is as close to normal as we might get but I really recommend some face to face interaction. It allows us to communicate on a deeper level… we are not meant to be socially distanced. Start with a one to one (yes, it’s legal). Why not eat out to help out with a business associate? I met one of our clients for breakfast just this week and it inspired both of us. We felt as if life is slowly getting back to normal. (If you’ve never been before, make sure you try out The Lockside in Bristol for breakfast, a treat and some amazing staff who deserve to succeed).

Communication has changed, and I’d say for the better.

COVID 19, a nasty disruption, has brought about reinvention. We have had to ask some hard questions about which form of communication is going to work the best to get the job done.

Do you really have to drive 45 minutes or can you schedule a Zoom for that meeting? How much of your time was actually wasted travelling? Personally, I made calls on the hands-free – and did some of my best brainstorming and deals using this method.

Using technology you now have the opportunity to take your business global, beyond e-commence.

If you had told me at the start of this whole mess, that in just 6 months I would have discovered new strategies, onboarded more clients than before and ended up in a Zoom room with Richard Branson, I would not have believed you. Well, that’s the truth of it and we are only just getting started.

The secret to survive and thrive involves creating a tribe.

Make Sure the Real Thing Doesn’t Go Flat By Using the Wrong Ingredients.

Are you looking for innovative ways to remind your audience about why they love your brand as we come out of these difficult past three months? Speaking of revitalising brands, did you know today marks the 35th anniversary of the release of Coca Cola Classic, the marketing success story born out of failure?

On April 23, 1985, The Coca-Cola Company committed what has been named ‘the greatest marketing blunder of all time’ by announcing that it was changing the formula for the world’s most popular soft drink. It was a move intended to ‘revitalise’ the brand as consumer preference for and awareness of Coca Cola had been slipping over recent years.

“New Coke,” the first attempt to change the drink’s formula in 99 years, had the opposite effect and threw its consumers into unexpected turmoil. People disliked the idea of a new formula so much that they hoarded the remaining stock of the old formula Coca Cola in their basements. One man in San Antonio, Texas, drove to a local bottler and bought $1,000 worth of Coca-Cola. Everyone was talking about Coca-Cola, some even writing songs to honour the old taste. Protesters carried signs with “We want the real thing”.

 By June 1985, The Coca-Cola Company was getting 1,500 calls a day on its consumer hotline, compared with 400 a day before the change. Customers were not happy.

Then, on July 10th 1985, thirty-five years ago today, Coca Cola bowed to pressure and rereleased a version of the previous formula and renamed it Coca Cola Classic. New Coke was eventually phased out. Two network newscasts told the story of Coca Cola Classic’s return and it made the front page of virtually every major newspaper. Consumers applauded the decision and the Coca-Cola brand soared to new heights.

Ironically, the brand did get revitalised, if by default rather than design.

Coca Cola discovered in a roundabout way just exactly what their customers did and didn’t want. The discovery cost them dearly in the short term, but their ability to turn about-face and admit they had gotten it wrong meant that they were the long term winners.

What does this have to do with us as we emerge from lockdown?

Are your customers still happy with what they are getting? Are they even able to continue with what they have always had? Maybe things have changed and now it’s more about HOW they access or even hear about your products and services. People have an expectation now of digital capability and not every business is there yet. If products and services cannot be accessed and procured easily via digital means the chances are that a rival with that capability will win the custom.

Cre8ion is a 360 brand marketing agency, which means we can cover all your needs. We can ensure that your organisation is both visible and easy to access on digital platforms. As well as apps and websites, we can help you to stay on top of your social media – it doesn’t have to be a headache. We can help you to structure your social offering with regular, attractive, well-written content.

We helped WE Bridge Academy, an English Language College, to become more accessible by creating a new brand and digitising their whole application and payment process.

WE Bridge Academy teach and train overseas students to write and speak English to enable them to study at university. They needed a web presence that would deliver and their marketing material was due for a reboot. 

We re-branded the Academy with a bold emphasis on painting a future picture. With a strong story, we helped them to create empathy with potential students and we set about creating a new logo, creative strategy, and brand along with a new website with an emphasis on ‘connecting’ prospective parents, students, and agents with a personal touch. 

The website became a digital platform that could both house videos and simplify a complex (dated) application program. A steady stream of applications followed and adding LIVE chat to the website proved to be a resounding success. 

So, why not raise the bar, hire our hand and revitalise your brand?

Why the MVV (Mission, Vision, and Values) Challenge?

I interviewed Darrell to find out a bit more…

“Why have you decided to offer a Facebook Challenge?”

Firstly, the business world has changed lately and a lot of CEOs, directors, and leaders have had time to reflect on their careers and the shape of businesses they have built. I am surrounded by a lot of business leaders through networking and a common theme is that people are having to re-evaluate, reinvent, and reposition their offering. Secondly, there is a lot of talk around coming up with a winning offer and where to spend on advertising in order to get new business. People want to spend a lot of money on reinventing their ‘what’ or their ‘how’.

The key, however, to transforming your business is to be braver and go back to your DNA – your ‘you’ and your ‘who’. Why did you start the business or why did you go into leadership in the first place? Assess your hopes and dreams and what you want out of life.

The clearest way to reset your business is to look at your mission, vision and values. The MVV challenge allows you to explore the power of having all three in place. Once you know your ‘you’ it’s easier for you to engage your audience.

“One of the biggest debates is around mission and vision. What would you say is the main difference between the two or are they the same?”

Mission is essentially to do with purpose. It’s a deep question and successful people know the answer to it. They know what their mission is.

Vision, on the other hand, is success defined. What does your end goal look like? That’s your vision. You might know that your mission in life is to explore space but your vision is to land on the moon. It’s a dream with a deadline.

“What about your values? Some people might say that in this day and age you can pick whatever values you like – so why is it important to have them?”

Values make you valuable. They provide you a framework within which you can make decisions. For example you can reward and discipline against a common set of values. You can recruit against mission and vision but values ensure that you are not just chasing talent, you’re building a team with character. Values create culture. If someone’s mission is to help educate the next generation in the area of financial freedom and their vision is to give every child a savings account, a strong set of values might ensure that the vision is achieved in an ethical fashion.

“If I signed up for the challenge what do I stand to gain?”

You’ll get the tools to create your own mission, vision and values, both for your personal and business life. These tools will help you create a clear narrative for your life and your business and alignment of the two is really powerful when telling your story. Ultimately, people relate to stories as they create empathy.

The most successful brands on the planet are customer centric – that means they have empathy for the struggles of the audience. The greatest marketing strategy in the world is to care. When you prove that you care people will want to know how you add value.

In a sense, marketing is about empathy, and sales is about values, that’s why selling without caring creates resistance. Caring without selling is being sympathetic but not bringing a solution to a customer’s problem. Sales and marketing work hand in hand. Often in companies sales and marketing fight for supremacy. The reality is that when the two work together with a clear mission, vision, and values it’s a winning formula.

When Values Make You Valuable.

Since lockdown began my father-in-law has Skyped us every Saturday. He’s the only person I know who has doggedly stuck with Skype, despite the fact that most of the rest of the world (reportedly 200 million daily users) have happily embraced Zoom. Dad heard early reports about breaches in Zoom’s security and, even after anti-hacking improvements came in, he stuck with Skype. For my father-in-law at least, Skype’s founding values of “universal, useful and wonderful” live on.

A lot of people, however, would now attribute these values (or something very similar) to Zoom. Zoom’s UX is faultless, just click on the link and you’re there! No-fuss or bother to join the meeting, or even waiting to connect. It’s even free for forty minutes! If you need a group meet up Zoom is the obvious choice. Forget Skype. Even with Microsoft’s Teams, you are limited to a maximum of 9 people compared to Zoom where you can have up to 1,000 attendees and up to 49 on-screen videos. It’s reminiscent of Skype’s original proposition – free video calls anywhere in the world – but now on a much larger scale and a lot easier to use.

What happened to Skype to make it yesterday’s mode of video-conferencing? Was it a severe case of mission drift? Did it move away from its foundational values? It’s certainly still universal, being free and online, but not nearly as useful or as wonderful as Zoom.

I read that after acquiring Skype in 2011 Microsoft tried to make it compete with other communication apps, such as WhatsApp and Snapchat rather than developing the thing that made it most useful: reliable video calling. Skype began to have problems in that it was no longer as user friendly as it had been, dropped calls and changed its interface too often. Becoming less reliable meant that Skype effectively drifted away from the original wonderful experience. For someone not particularly tech’ literate, an important, unreliable Skype business call was far from wonderful, even with “mojis”.  

When Microsoft launched “Teams” in 2016 and started integrating video calls, the end of Skype for business was signalled and then eventually forecast for July 2021. The need for a reliable video conferencing system at speed had caused a gradual shift away from Skype and now everyone knew it was on the way out. When Coronavirus broke out the scene was set for people to go straight to Zoom.

The question is, could Microsoft have done more to rejuvenate, reinvigorate and refresh Skype earlier on?

It seems that the fundamental problems arose because Microsoft didn’t concentrate on Skype’s core proposition of free video calls anywhere in the world, centred on its foundational values of being universal, useful and wonderful. Now, Skype has been superseded by another product which enshrines them more effectively.  

The thing is, most companies have a set of values, but few actually use them. Companies need to apply their values to the decision-making process to protect the company from doing anything that goes against who they are. Management can celebrate those employees who live out the company’s values and likewise hold people to account against them. Products and services will then reflect the company’s values, preventing anything substandard from being allowed off the production floor.

For values to be widely adopted they need to be memorable and there are various ways of helping people to remember them, like using acronyms or keeping the list of values short and sweet, down to three or four. Just remember that, ultimately, these values have to be owned and shared.

How about your company? Could what has happened to Skype happen to you? One way of preventing this from happening is to work on your mission vision and values so that they underpin everything your company does. Our brand marketing agency, Cre8ion, specialises in helping companies to become purpose-driven. Why not join our MVV (mission, vision and values) challenge on Facebook, starting 1st June 2020?

Clarity is the Currency Your Business Needs For Traction.

In the recent climate of hardship, death and grief, government grants and loans have brought in unexpected opportunities to some and a light at the end of the tunnel to others. The new injection of cash flow has been a lifeline to many businesses.

Yet, I feel that the real currency at this moment is clarity. We’ve all had an injection of time to work on business and exchange ideas. Crisis causes creativity.

Businesses that take time to invest in their story will trade their way out of uncertainty by being certain of who they need to work with.

The four pillars of clarity cover the You, Who, What and How of marketing communications.

Clarity of purpose: (You)

It all starts here, but it’s often forgotten. You started there but then left it there!

Businesses that remind themselves of purpose don’t drift off mission. They take greater strides toward success.

Having clarity of purpose makes recruitment easier and nobody wants to get it wrong. Being clear on purpose helps you to attract the right type of team member.

Purpose-driven businesses get it! They know that culture cultivates. Positivity is felt. Making choices purposefully brings great freedom. It’s clear who doesn’t fit.

Everyone in our team at some point has worked for free, including me. In doing so we all voiced to each other that our mission was more important than money. Thankfully, that isn’t the norm right now, but we have a process for recruiting. Volunteer, freelance and then recruit.

Because of this we have a stronger team that has been around for years.

Trust has also allowed us to embrace further opportunities such as R&D and the 4 Day work week!

Clarity of audience: (Who)

We’ve talked about this over the last few weeks.

The clearer you are the easier it is. Here’s the revelation, you have just made a choice to choose your clients. When you make your Who abundantly clear you are more in control. You’ll be able to say no.

Who wants clients that swear down the phone, or message you all hours, or only make negative calls? No one. Be specific about who you want to work with. I can honestly say that the clients we have right now are all exceptional people. Everyone in our team likes the people they work with. It’s not fear-based, we just want to do our best to help our clients win. We are very clear about who we want to work with.

If you have clients you don’t like, or frustrate you, despite doing your best, then perhaps it’s time to tell them that you’re not working with them. You might take a financial hit but you’ll free up time to do better work for those who like you. Resolve as much as you can but be honest if you don’t fit.

Not everyone will like you, but it’s your business, right? Then choose who you want to work with.

When you are clear on you who you’ll know what to do. You won’t settle for second best!

Clarity of offers: (How)

When you know the audience you now know what they need. The more you know your market the more you’ll be able to understand their needs. You see, a relationship in marketing is rather like the five love languages.

Physical Touch – Find the touchpoint that resonates with them. To leave an impression you have to know what excites and engages. The clearer you are on pain points the easier it is to soothe them: Fall in love with the problem, not the solution. The more you look at the problem the better the solutions will actually be.

Words of affirmation – Often the most underused part of the marketing mix. Words left to last! Copywriting is an exceptional skill and writing the right messages from headlines to quotes really helps bring about clarity. Words that inspire empathy hold the person enough to desire more.

Acts of Service – How can you help? Now and in the future. What value can you deliver quickly? A discovery call, a free ‘how-to’ guide, secrets shared. Acts of service give people what they need right now, they’re practical. Fixing an immediate challenge can go a long way.

Quality Time – Time is valuable. How can your client get time with the right people in your team? I’m not technical and so when people get technical my team members are better placed to give answers. I don’t have to know all the answers, I’m secure enough to know my team have answers when I don’t. Spending time checking in and asking how people are is one of the best ways to build friendships. We do it in life and we should in business. People that win in business are personable.

Gift-giving – This is how we add value. How can you go the extra mile to wow a client? Give your clients strategies that will transform for free. What I find is that in helping people for free, the return is deeper relationships. You are not driving a taxi, people shouldn’t be on meters. Leave every conversation with a gift that clients can unpack. If they need more help, then, of course, they can enlist and employ you but don’t get caught up in worrying whether you’ll give everything away. If you are an expert, it’s going to take more than one conversation to exhaust your knowledge!

Clarity of execution: (What)

When you have clarity on the previous three things you’ll be so much clearer on the right activities to locate and engage your audience.

So whether it’s Facebook Ads or a website that is built the right way, being clear about why you are spending gives you confidence.

As we have mentioned, spending time on ‘You’ and ‘Who’ makes the ‘What’ and ‘How’ so much easier. Execution is to a plan. Too many businesses execute themselves by not having one.

When you know what to do you just double down on the activity. If you want to lose weight (a different kind of spread), you need to know the cause and then put the actions in place to avoid comfort eating. Yet, knowing and doing are two different things. You have to DO!

For your business to survive you will have to work at it, but executing the right things creates the momentum to improve and grow.

Ideas win or lose as a result of execution. When you know your audience you need to speak their language to be heard. Don’t speak at people, speak to them.

So, join the free MVV Challenge today and take action to get the clarity you need to do business by starting with purpose. We’ll help you create the mission, vision and values that will be the power-tools to really unlocking your potential.

Clarity is currency, so make that trade today to ensure a wise investment that pays in the long term.

It’s all about “The Apprentice”.

If your household is anything like mine you’ll be cheering to know that Lord Sugar will return to TV screens on Wednesday 2 October for the 15th instalment of The Apprentice. You’ll be equally pleased to know that Karren and Claude are back too…and.. in case you were worrying, the apprenticeship is not over yet as Sir Alan’s contract with the BBC is not coming to an end until 2020.

Don’t ask me why I put down whatever I am doing and run to the living room when I hear “Durrrrm Da Durrm Da Durrm Da Durrm Da…” It’s so bad that I even have to watch the post mortem show after each firing has taken place.

Sir Alan Sugar has certainly succeeded in glamourising the role of apprentices – they’ll never be seen in the same lowly light again…

It is true that the profile of apprenticeships has been raised in recent times, thanks to the rising cost of going to university (you’re looking at a figure in the region of £50,000) and lack of guarantee of a graduate job to pay it all off. The Independent, Thursday 15 August 2019 reported on recent research from social mobility charity Sutton Trust which said that secondary school pupils think confidence and connections are more important for getting on in life than going to university. Only 65 per cent of teenagers agreed that it was “important” to go to university for future success – which has fallen by 10 percentage points since 2018.

Thanks to all the work the government has been doing with industry a wide range of high quality apprenticeships are available. Young people can now acquire the skills they need to access their chosen career without university. People who might have considered university but don’t want to be saddled with huge debt will certainly think again if a paid apprenticeship would serve them just as well.

Ben (Foreground) during his Work Experience with Production

At Cre8ion we have always taken the view that apprenticeships are part of a healthy business. We try to run on the principle that you must always have someone behind you, getting ready to take your job as you move onwards and upwards. From the very early days when we were a team of volunteers working for a charity we have raised people up to learn new skills. Our key staff members have been people who came to Cre8ion to learn about brand marketing and were then taken on full time. Key staff have also been involved in mentoring work experience candidates and apprentices who have spent varying lengths of time with us.
Darrell mentored Simon who mentored Mike who mentored Dee. Darrell then mentored George who has mentored a number of different people including Cameron. It’s all about passing it on!

Cameron: Apprentice (Left) George: Mentor (Right)

Do you know someone who would benefit from work experience in a digital marketing agency? If so, we’d love to hear from you.

Get a Fresh Perspective on Life This Summer

Another summer transition into August and then slowly autumn is upon us.
Wow! Those long summer nights begin to draw in noticeably…

But hold up! Not yet. Another four weeks at least of summer fun. Summer’s best days will be here (and gone) before you know it, so it’s important to make the most of its opportunities. Optimising your “down time” this summer means returning to your business with fresh drive and perspective. So, it’s time to plan to have fun! Here are some ideas from the brand marketing team here at Cre8ion that won’t cost you much but might increase your enjoyment of your summer break, whether it’s a vacation or a “staycation”.…

Broaden your mind
Choose two books. One fiction and one fact. Fiction helps us escape and think about differing situations and times. Fact books don’t have to be work books! Here’s a thought. Try using audible (for free). Give it a go. Try a podcast: Yes, there are so many to choose from. Why not try Gary Vee (get stuff done) and Grant Cardone (make more sales) Wimbledon Join The Story (great Wimbledon back stories) or 13 Minutes to the Moon (first successful lunar mission).

Go incognito
Go device free for a day, longer if you can and switch off. From everything. Take the phone that is least used in case of emergency, but go off grid. No emails! Carve out some quality time to do absolutely nothing and be present in the present.

Play some games
Invite your family and friends over in the evenings and play some board games together. Download a cool game. Have you tried the app “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” (iOS) (Andriod) You won’t be able to put it down until you’ve won the jackpot! Learn to play chess and find someone else who wants to play with you. This is really easy using some of the great chess apps (iOS) (Andriod) out there. You can pit your wits against chess players of every standard from all over the world!

Embrace the outdoors
Go for a picnic in the park. Watch the sunrise and sunset. Even better, camp out in your back garden (if it’s safe to). Pitch a tent, have a BBQ, watch the stars. Learn where the different constellations are. Go for a bicycle ride. Try a new sport – archery, diving, golf. Why not go for an outdoor swim somewhere? Only if the water is clean and safe. Growing up I swam in our dirty local canal and even once abroad in a water treatment works! I would not recommend either…

Pass it on
Bring something back for your team from wherever you choose to go over your break (even if it’s somewhere relatively local). It means a lot to anyone who did not go away themselves to be remembered. Take one of your children’s friends away with you on holiday. This will exponentially increase the summer holiday fun factor for your children. Give positive reviews on Trip Advisor to places and restaurants you visit. Make the proprietor’s day.

Make new friends
If you go abroad to a country where another language is spoken, download a translation app and have a go at communicating with a sympathetic native speaker! Alternatively, try to communicate via traditional methods using the Duolingo app.

A break from routine can be an opportunity to learn new things, meet new people and get a new perspective.
We’ll be staging our breaks here at Cre8ion to offer an unbroken service to you over the summer. If you return refreshed after a break and you would like to refresh your brand marketing or website design please contact us.

Genesis, Making your Future Faster

Business start ups and entrepreneurs are often short of time (and money) when it comes to designing a decent brand to showcase their product and connect with their audience. Often the temptation to just “do it yourself “ (saving time and money) can lead to a poorly executed brand which fails to communicate the true quality of the product or service and engage the desired audience, wasting your valuable time and spending your limited resources in the wrong area.

We get it. We also understand the need for fast, cheap and great which is impossible to find, or so it seems.

How is it that technological advances have accelerated the pace of our culture, causing us to expect the instantaneous and yet the process of designing a brand remains relatively slow? So many of life’s requirements are available to order on the same day…..meals, flowers, furniture, clean laundry, instant answers on Google, groceries…. Who waits for anything these days?

Cre8ion understands the power of designing large bespoke brand builds but for start ups this type of investment of time and money is impractical. Money is needed for more pressing concerns such as rent, deposits, legal fees, accountants and even your first hire. What if we could remove some of the time and expenditure associated with a brand build?

We decided to respond to the instantaneity of our culture by making branding available on the same day using brand automation. Now, within just ten minutes, via the GenesisBrands website, a new brand can be born. Genesis is instantaneous, inexpensive, innovative, inventive and for business start ups it’s indispensable.

Fast, Cheap, and Great, find out more with our Genesis blog.