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How Your Start-Up Needs to Advertise at Christmas

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Adverting and marketing is a complex game for any business. Christmas advertising is a whole new level of difficulty. For many, Christmas adverts are a form of entertainment to be scrutinised, whether they’re in the form of TV adverts, printed posters, or billboards. Miss the mark and you risk being labelled as a contributor of a ruined Christmas.

But a successful Christmas marketing campaign can not only become an intrinsic part of your brand’s identity, it can also create fantastic ROI. In the world of TV adverts, the three main contenders that spring to mind are John Lewis, Sainsburys, and Coca-Cola. These three experts of Christmas TV ads have often been hailed as the virtual ribbon-cutters announcing the official beginning of Christmas. This brings excitement, creativity, and customer anticipation to a brand; all-important ingredients to convert into sales.

Indeed, John Lewis has stated that their famous Christmas adverts are their most profitable ROI. But they’re also quick to note that the key element for success in those well-loved adverts is creativity. And creativity pays off hugely for brand building in the longer term, where short-term elements like social media “likes” might be a visual boost, but don’t often translate to brand-building success.

Successful Christmas marketing examples

The Christmas TV Advert Stand-Off

Every year it seems like titans of retail John Lewis and Sainsbury’s face off in order to see who can make the most people sob over its Christmas advert. Whether it’s the impossibly endearing child waiting all month not to open his presents, but to give them, or the bittersweet retelling of the most famous moment in the most awful of circumstances during World War I, it seems the pair are aiming to get as many sobbing emojis floating around their respective hashtags year after year.

Meanwhile, in the background, the Coca-Cola Christmas advert does essentially the same thing every year to nearly the same level of hype and anticipation.

So, what is it that makes a TV advert really successful? For John Lewis and Sainsbury’s, the creativity factor is there each year, but then the same excitement is generated by Coca-Cola for their very samey advert every Christmas. Arguably then, it’s less about the content and more about what it stands for — it’s almost like a TV broadcast alert that Christmas has begun. Even for those less-popular John Lewis adverts, they still generate the excitement, a whole load of views, and a decent ROI.

For a start-up, such a huge-scale event is likely out of reach for now, but the core lesson is very much at hand. As advertising expert Sir John Hegarty advises start-ups: “[Don’t] just build a business, create a brand.” The focus right now needs to be on building your brand image to the world.

And remember, you don’t need John Lewis’ £7 million Christmas advert budget to do it. This year, a £50 advert has gone viral and clocked 7 million views and counting, with people calling for the filmmaker to be hired by John Lewis.

Festive shop windows

Every year, it’s a Newcastle tradition to head to Northumberland Street to see the grand unveiling of the Fenwick’s Christmas Window. Each year the window display takes on a new theme, from Alice in Wonderland to The Snowman. The displays are vast, intricate, and oh-so-Christmassy. Like the TV adverts, for many Northerners this is the hallmark of the beginning of the festive season.

But with a little creativity, a little mischief, and presumably a lot less money, you can advertise to the same crowd Fenwick’s pulls in — as shown by the Greggs store opposite Fenwick’s.

Realising how many people had their backs to the Greggs shop to take photos of the glorious window opposite, the cheeky chaps at everyone’s favourite bakery installed a new sign with their logo in reverse. When festive Fenwick’s customers took photos of the Christmas Window, the Greggs logo appeared the right way around and ready to be share along to so many social media viewers when the photos were uploaded and shared!

The logo-flip alone isn’t Christmassy, but this is a genius way to get people talking and sharing a brand’s creativity over the winter season. And, of course, remembering to pick up a festive bake on the way home from Fenwick’s window…

Budgets

Of course, any sort of winter advertising push needs a little extra money. It is wise, therefore, for start-ups to consider when throughout the year to push advertising. As Entrepreneur Europe points out, splitting your advertising budget evenly over twelve months sounds smart, but really, is ineffective — if you have a seasonal product, or you know Black Friday and Christmas will be huge for your brand, you should allocate more funds to advertising for this. Starting a little early can also get you a step ahead of the competition. However, be careful not to start too early and be forgotten closer to the time!

Entrepreneur Europe also advises start-ups to know their audience. Knowing the websites they visit, the magazines they read and so on will highlight exactly where you need to place your ads, whether you opt for an online presence or for digital printing (ideally, balance both offline and online methods!).

With the right approach and the right creativity, you will certainly see your brand build year-on-year as each festive season arrives!

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/nov/13/sainsburys-christmas-advert-recreates-first-world-war-truce

https://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/05/02/dont-start-business-build-brand-sir-john-hegarty-working-the-startup-sector

https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/299766#3

https://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/1042042/John-Lewis-Christmas-advert-2018-When-does-the-John-Lewis-Christmas-advert-air-release

https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/fenwick-window-newcastle-northumberland-street-15366467

https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/greggs-backwards-sign-fenwicks-window-15366646

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/nov/07/traditional-retailers-roll-back-christmas-advertising-campaigns

https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/why-christmas-time-advertisers-rein/1451044

 

Hello All! My name is Chris and I am a 32 year old entrepreneur that has always been fascinated with anything that is different from the everyday norm . Lately, it has been hard to keep up with everything, whether it's cool and weird places to visit, or new bands that are creating different sounds.

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Which ways can you alter your car for your mobility needs?

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The Motability scheme is a great tool for anyone who has a disability to be able to continue their everyday life. However, although many know they can get a car, not everyone knows to what extent they can alter it to suit their needs. Here, we look at what the Motability scheme is, and how you can change your vehicle.

Which requirements do you need to pass to qualify for the scheme?

The scheme was set up in 1978 to allow disabled people to be able to move more freely so they aren’t confined to their home. Since then, over four and a half million cars, scooters and powered wheelchairs have been provided to those who require them.

There are several ways in which you may qualify for the scheme. If you currently receive benefits due to a disability or illness that limits your movement, you can use this benefit to pay for certain Motability vehicles. These could include anything from a car, to a mobility scooter or a powered wheelchair. However, it’s important to remember that you will be leasing the vehicle and if your benefits stop, then you’ll need to return it.

Other scenarios in which you could claim are:

  • If you have received Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) or War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement for at least 12 months.
  • If you’ve been awarded the enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for a minimum of 12 months.
  • If you have received the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for at least one year.

You can claim for a Motability vehicle for a child who is over three years old and requires transportation. You may also be able to claim and choose a car for someone else to drive if you don’t own a licence yourself.

Which ways can you alter your vehicle to fit your needs?

There are over 400 adaptations that you can choose from if you need to alter your car. These devices are fitted to help you get the most out of your travelling experience and make you as comfortable as possible. It’s normal that customers choose their adaptations before they lease the car, meaning that any required maintenance will be covered in the cost of your lease. However, it’s still possible to make changes after your lease begins, but you will then risk paying for maintenance as well as needing to seek authorization for any changes to your vehicle.

Driving, stowage and access are the three types of adaptions you can choose from. They can vary from a simple attachment, to removing the existing controls and replacing them with a system that has been individually designed for you. Driving adaptations can include hand controls, electronic accelerators, left foot accelerators, pedal modifications, steering aids and remote-control devices.

On the Motability scheme, you can adapt your car by introducing either a boot hoist or rooftop stowage unit. Both work via the touch of a button to easily store your equipment. These stowage systems are also transferrable if you change your vehicle.

Also, if you aren’t mobile, getting into a vehicle can sometimes be a hard task. With transfer plates, electric person hoists and swivel seats, there are options available to aid you. All of these adaptations can be demonstrated before you choose the one that best suits your needs.

You can also modify your car in the same way you could with a car outside of the Motability scheme. These optional extras include the likes of a spoiler, alloy wheels, parking sensors and a car stereo. Once you return you car, you don’t have to remove any modifications, but if you do, you’ll have to pay to restore the vehicle to its original condition.

To find a full list of adaptations and modifications, visit the Motability site.

Motability vehicles are a great help to those who require them and by knowing that you can adapt them in ways to help you, the Motability Scheme is one that is definitely worth looking into if you’re disabled.

Sources

https://www.motability.co.uk/information-for-customers/cars-and-wheelchair-accessible-vehicles-customer-area/adaptations-and-modifications

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/help-for-disabled-travellers1/motability-scheme/getting-a-motability-car/

https://www.motability.co.uk/about-the-scheme/

https://www.motability.org.uk/about/history-of-the-motability-scheme/

 

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The Truth About Face Shapes and Attraction

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Being attracted to the opposite sex is a complex science and comes down to a wide variety of factors. Scientists have been able to identify various attributes associated with what we find appealing (and what we don’t!), and although attraction remains basic in its nature, it can be quite a complicated formula. For example, according to science, women make their choices based on strength, loyalty and the likelihood of reproduction.

Perhaps the most surprising part of this is, us humans tend to find most of those things in the face of a potential partner. Face shapes along with jawline, symmetry and other features, all help us to draw a conclusion on the type of person we are dealing with, before they even utter a word.

The shape of attraction

Among the different elements that make up the attractiveness of an individual according to others, the shape of the face is one that has taken scientists by surprise. Perhaps not so much that it is part of attraction (as this is fairly logical), but the fact that it plays such a significant role, and is in fact one of the most important parts of physical and emotional attraction. We can tell a lot by a face, but whether or not someone is an ideal partner, that’s a lot of pressure!

When it comes to face shapes, most people generally think they’re rounded or long, and that the rest fal somewhere in between. It’s no surprise that we didn’t put too much thought into this, before it became apparent how important it is.

People actually differ significantly in terms of their face shapes and structures and this is caused by a wide variety of factors – ranging from genetics to the environment (yes, everything from diet to weather and climate can have an effect!).

The main face shape categories are:

  • Round face
  • Square face
  • Oval face
  • Rectangular face
  • Heart face

Some findings have indicated that the oval shape was one of the most attractive because it could be paired well with so many different styles and looks. Others found the unique diamond face shape to be the most attractive because of its sharpness, whereas another study found the heart shaped face to be the most attractive. So at the end of the day, isn’t it all just a matter of personal taste? It certainly seems so.

Calling all glasses wearers!

Here is where it gets even more interesting. Your natural facial shape really matters when you are a glasses wearer, as certain frames can really emphasize or complement certain features. If you are in the market for new glasses then you need to check out Smart Buy Glasses.

You might find yourself attracted to glasses wearers in general (which we don’t blame you for), or you might wear them yourself and you’re not sure what works with your face. Either way, Arlo Wolf has actually launched a face shapes matching tool where you can find out exactly what type of face shape you have and what frames would help to bring out your features. It’s definitely worth taking a look, even if you don’t wear glasses and you want to know more about your face!

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Will Delivery Drones be Efficient for Courier Companies?

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Delivery drones seem to be the next step for courier services. The aim of these brilliant pieces of technology is to be more cost-efficient and more convenient for the customer. While they loom on the horizon, it is still unclear how they will work on a wide scale. Of course, companies like Amazon have a lot of funding for these projects but for the copious other courier companies, there is catching up to do.

The whole point of delivery drones is to avoid the need for human input, but trying to create a fully autonomous vehicle that can easily locate delivery locations, combat weather conditions and return back to the company is very difficult. This is an issue that many companies will come across when trying to provide competition for larger companies.

Another major consideration is the security of these drones. As they are going to be expensive pieces of equipment, there needs to be many security solutions in place and even contingency security plans if those fail.

One thing that is incredibly important is to have a camera recording that is instantly transferred to the company. On top of this, an efficient GPS tracker would be very useful in tracking down a stolen drone.

One further issue that needs to be addressed is the actual efficiency of the drones as couriers. This is because these drones need to be able to adapt to the many different sizes and types of packages that they will deliver.

Of course, large, heavier packages may be a problem but could be combatted by having a weight limit when ordering the product, deciding whether it is eligible for drone delivery. Also, fragile packages will have to be treated differently to other items so there needs to be a way that drones can compensate for this to avoid item shift in transition.

Ultimately, if done correctly, delivery drones could be very beneficial for courier companies. For overnight courier services UK and US in particular, these drones could be very efficient as without human interference, they can deliver at all times. This prevents drivers from having to deliver which could be risky if the delivery drivers are tired. The only issue with this is the ability to navigate in the dark, perhaps thermal sensors could be used but this just increases the overall cost in producing these drones.

It remains to be seen how they will be used widely but let’s hope that they are properly tried and tested before being mass produced.

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Just How Much Do We Rely on Plastic?

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Plastic has become an incredibly important part of life in the last 50 years. In fact, we seem
to be reliant on the material across many industries. While plastic does seem to stir up
controversy in recent years, there is no denying that it has changed our lives and we have
been able to do many things as a result of it.

Electronics

Plastic has become increasingly prevalent within the electronics industry. It is used for
multiple appliances around the house, making them more lightweight than their
counterparts that use alternative materials. One of the most important devices in our
society, the mobile phone, also use polycarbonate for their screens. This extends further to
computers as well. It is underestimated how useful plastic is in this regard, helping to make
these things lighter which of course makes it more convenient, which is one of the most
important factors in current society.

Medicine

Plastic is used so much more often within medicine than we truly realise. First of all,
syringes and tubing are vital parts of medicine for transmitting fluids. It is used largely as a
substitute for other parts of the body that have either been lost or aren’t working properly.
Some examples of this include: Plastic vessel supports, plastic heart valves and plastic knee
joints. Furthermore, there are plastic bags that are also used for multiple things like blood,
fluids and medicine. It is hard to imagine how these problems would be tackled without the
use of plastic.

Packaging

Perhaps the most obvious use of plastic is with packaging. Now, packaging is one of the
areas where plastic seems to be a little less necessary due to the fact these are very easily
disposable and only serve one purpose. However, there are good reasons to use plastic in
this way. Firstly, for food packaging, plastic plays a large part in keeping food fresh for
longer, making it important for supermarkets. Clear plastic allows for complete
transparency of the product which has again been a very useful aspect for supermarkets.
Plastic is also very good for protecting products from contamination as well as making
fragile and dangerous objects more secure and safe.
These are just a few, there are many more areas that plastic has changed drastically.
Despite efforts to reduce our plastic usage, it still remains important in many aspects of
society. Check out the following infographic from Simply Plastics for more uses of plastic.

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New tech in the automotive industry: What can we expect to see in the near future?

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Vehicle technology is advancing at such a rapid pace that car manufacturers are constantly competing to introduce the latest gadgets and in-car features. From making the driving experience more enjoyable, to keeping us safer on the roads, manufacturers are always striving to improve their offerings. But can we expect to see any ground-breaking innovations in the next couple of years? Grange, who offer a range of luxury cars including the McLaren 720s, are here to show you what’s new in the automotive industry…

Safety

You’ll probably be familiar with a few different kinds of autonomous driving features. Most manufacturers now offer self-driving technology as part of their latest models – with most used to improve road safety.

Lane keeping systems are designed with driver safety in mind. These systems keep you within your lane when driving on the motorway. When motorway driving, it’s vital that you stay firmly in your lane, unless you are overtaking. This system alerts you with a vibration on the steering wheel if your vehicle is unintentionally edging out of its lane – and in circumstances when the vehicle thinks you are reacting too slow, the vehicle will take control and provide steering torque to divert you back into the safe space on your lane. This is a safety feature to prevent drivers from veering out of their lane on motorways and dual carriageways where drivers around them are driving at high speeds.

BLIS helps detect vehicles in your blind spot when changing lanes. When a vehicle enters your blind spot zone, the BLIS system will alert you. The detection area is on both sides of your vehicle, extending rearward from the exterior mirrors to approximately 10 feet (3 meters) beyond the bumper. The system alerts you via a small light on your side wing mirrors – when there is a vehicle in your blind spot zone, the light will illuminate. When your blind spot zone is clear, the light will switch off.

ISA safety technology alerts drivers when they exceed the speed limit via audio and visual warnings. By using GPS, the system is able to detect the vehicle location and reference this with a digital road map that is programmed with speed limit information for each road. The system can be used as an active speed limiter whereby it can take control of the vehicle and reduce the speed when travelling above the speed limit. It does this by reducing the throttle signal. Additionally, the system is also fitted with a speed limiting function that increases the pressure on the accelerator when you exceed the speed limit, so that it is harder to accelerate and break the speed limit.

Eco and comfort

Jaguar Land Rover have recently announced that their new vehicles will be equipped with advanced weather adaption systems. The system allows cars to autonomously adapt to weather changes and situations to make adjustments to drivetrain, suspension, traction control and climate control for optimum efficient driving.

The intelligent system will be particularly useful to Land Rover and Range Rover models, such as the new Land Rover Discovery Sport Hse, that drives on all terrains. The system is said to be able to connect to present and future weather data via telematics and GPS to sensibly adapt both inside the cabin and around the exterior. One feature suggests that the system will automatically close your vehicle windows if it senses that rain is forecast. Onboard rain- and terrain-sensing mechanisms will be used to control the temperature, pressure and humidity inside the cabin, whilst interior and exterior lighting will be altered depending on the circumstances. The system is expected to arrive in 2020, alongside JLR’s autonomous technology and electrified models.

Nissan’s new Leaf model debuts its new one-pedal driving system. The electric automobile not only has double the mileage range of its previous model equivalents, but the one-pedal driving system allows for the accelerator pedal to be transformed into a multifunctioning e-pedal at a touch. The e-pedal functions as a start, stop, accelerate and breaking pedal when activated. Suitable for 90% of urban driving, the system means that the car will slow to a halt by itself with the ability to hold itself on an incline without the need of the brake pedal.

The new Nissan system is said to offer additional efficiency benefits from its previous models. Nicknamed the ECO-pedal system, the pedal controls the speed of acceleration to prevent revving up the engine. The level of fuel-efficient driving is displayed through a colour and flashing Eco-P lamp. According to Nissan, studies have proven that effective eco-driving with the ECO-pedal can contribute to an improved fuel efficiency by 5-10%.

The automotive industry is in its prime – with innovative technology doing the talking and walking for them. With a positive future of technology ahead of us, we can expect to see the driving process, and experience, completely transformed in the coming years.

 

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Calling Entrepreneurial Folks… Start Reading for Success

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Spare time may be somewhat limited whilst running your own start-up company but, rest assured that investing your time in swallowing up a range of books by business experts, is an invaluable way of spending your downtime. Its also the best way to get ahead in business and boost your levels of motivation. Reach for one of the inspiring business reads below and start growing your business knowledge today…

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Although you shouldn’t mirror your success to another entrepreneur, this read is perfect to understand how Ben Horowitz built his fortune from the ground up. You’ll learn more about his time co-founding the capital firm Andreesen Horowitz and running it, as well as selling, buying, managing and investing in other technology firms around the world.

From this read, you’ll receive practical advice and tips on a range of different corporate issues. This includes firing executives, putting your company on the market, poaching staff as well as clearing any misinterpretation from your staff members. Once you’ve read this one, you’ll be excited to hear that his second book What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture will be released in October 2019.

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

If you need to learn from someone who describes himself as his own boss, this book penned by Chris Guillebeau will do the job. The full title of this read is actually: The $100 Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Work Better To Live More — so if you fancy living by those rebellious rules and make money at the same time, pick up this book on your next trip to the store.

Guillebeau doesn’t like to follow convention, or what we’re expected to do to please our parents. He advises that you no longer need to work nine-to-five to pay your mortgage, send your kids to school and book that trip abroad. You can set up and set sail on your own terms!

In this read, you’ll also discover some key insights from big players in business who started their company with $100 or less. Who knows, you might feature in v2 of this book!

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Daniel Lyons

You’ve probably heard of this one, but never got the chance to give it a read. The Los Angeles Times actually stated that this read was “the best book on the Silicon Valley”. Although it was released back in 2016, it’s just as relevant to its audience today and is heavily entertaining.

You might not learn a lot about how to launch a start-up, but it does cover the ups and downs of the authors work life which is incredibly interesting. Although we don’t give you any spoilers, on one Friday morning, he received a call from his boss who told him that his job no longer existed — this just shows the everchanging landscape of the corporate world and how you need to keep up with the times!

Zero to One by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters

If you enjoy learning from the top dogs in business, this book is actually penned by a PayPal co-founder who was also an early Facebook investor, Peter Thiel, with the help of COO Blake Masters. The book is a condensed and updated version of online notes taken by Masters for the CS183 class on startups taught by Thiel at Stanford University.

At its core, the book is all about optimism for the future and how innovation is key. It also discusses how we “live in an age of technological stagnations, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice” and that progression is key to success. Although the book has sold 2.5 million worldwide since its release in 2012, the original notes taken by Blake are available on his website here!

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston

Although this book was released in 2001, the stories within it will be inspiring for all of time. Written by Jessica Livingston, the book is a collection of interviews with famous technology moguls which poses questions about their early entrepreneurial years and the challenges they faced.

We know you’re wondering which icons are featured in this read, and we don’t mind telling you! Expect to hear the tales of Steve Wozniak from Apple, Caterina Fake from Flickr, Mitch Kapor from Lotus, Max Levchin from PayPal and Sabeer Bhatia from Hotmail. Your mind will be blown away by their approach to business — from fleshing out an idea with their friends, capturing investors and building a multi-million-pound company.

Book recommendations brought to you by Where The Trade Buys, a specialist provider of window stickers.

 

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