National Trust for Scotland

Brand Satellite delivers an exhibition stand for National Trust for Scotland, without any cracks showing!

National Trust for Scotland - Exhibition StandBrand Satellite were approached by National Trust for Scotland (NTS), to create their exhibition stand for the VisitScotland Expo at the SEC, Glasgow.

Seems like a pretty straightforward task, right? Wrong!

NTS were going through a major rebranding and none of the visual assets had be finalised when we were originally briefed. The design went through several iterations as the final branding evolved.

NTS wanted one image to go across the entire main wall. The problem was, the main wall was 6m long! Finding a stock image of one of their properties, that a) was iconic enough, b) looked great as the hero image, and most importantly, c) was high enough resolution to be blown up to 6m, was a long search, which included many image quality tests with the stand printers. Eventually, pretty much at the eleventh hour, we found the image we needed.

National Trust for Scotland - Exhibition StandBecause the main wall was to be a single image, the last thing we wanted was the usually joins you get on most exhibition stands. So, we researched and found a new system that comprised a single printed fabric, stretched over a modular frame. So, the uninterrupted view of the Glenfinnan monument was interrupted by unsightly joins.

The modular nature of the stand hardware also means that many different size configurations, for future exhibitions, will be possible – with only the cost of the printed fabrics being incurred.

National Trust for Scotland - Exhibition Stand“Giles at Brand Satellite had quite a challenge in his hands. Creating the first piece of promotional material with our new branding – with very limited time and resources, and an ever changing brief,” explains Sandrine Contier-Lawrie, Head of Business Development, Travel Trade & Hospitality at National Trust for Scotland.

“He never lost his smile, and delivered both on time and on budget. Our exhibition stand did us proud and was very much admired by the show exhibitors and visitors alike.”

“The response to the final stand, especially from the client, made all the hard work worth it,” explains Giles Etherington from Brand Satellite. “Just as we finished the build, the exhibitor opposite approached me and asked for my business card!”

#DontWasteDecember

#DontWasteDecember

#DontWasteDecember

 

Today is the 1st of December and I am on a mission to make sure this December isn’t wasted.

Far too many people and businesses start to wind down for Christmas and put off the important stuff until next year. That’s a 12th of the year being wasted!

Brand Satellite and Brands Start Here are offering special #DontWasteDecember offers (see below), to make sure you, well, don’t waste December.

Defining your brand, what makes your business unique (your DNA), really understanding what it is about what you offer that engages your customers and planning for the year ahead are all the important stuff you shouldn’t be putting off.

As Simon Sinek articulates so well: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Your brand is your ‘why’. Identifying ‘why’ will give you the focus and confidence you need to ‘smash’ next year!

If you have already defined your brand, you will know how focused it makes your business activities. But, I can bet you know someone else that would benefit hugely from defining their brand. Please forward this page on to them. You will receive an early Christmas present from us, for anyone you refer that takes up an offer. And, a massive thank you from them, once they have gone through the process.

I hope you have a very productive December, oh and a Merry Christmas at the end of it.

Giles

20% OFF the Brand Satellite Brand Workshop

This is the starting point for any business wanting to establish or develop a brand.

A Brand Satellite Brand Workshop will take a strategic look at your business and ascertain where you are, where you want to go and how you might consider doing things to get there.

It will help you position your business in a way that your customers will find engaging. It will help you attract new customers, retain existing customers and turn customers into advocates for your brand.

It will give you a focus, for all business activities and confidence that what you do is helping to develop your brand and grow your business.

Book a Brand Workshop during December and get 20% off this investment in your business. Complete the Brand Workshop day before Christmas and we will guarantee your Brand Workshop report is sitting in your inbox the day you get back from the festive break.

10% OFF the Brands Start Here 1-2-1 Brand Creation Package

BRANDS START HERE is our new service offering 1-2-1 brand advice for startups.

We have created BRANDS START HERE because, we believe, no-one is offering 1-2-1 brand advice to startups.

The 1-2-1 BRAND CREATION PACKAGE has been specially designed to help startups to start their business as a brand. To help them understand what it is about your business that is attractive to your customers.

Purchase the package during December (using ‘#DontWasteDecember’ at checkout) and get 10% the price of the package.

Brand Satellite creates the branding for The Scottish Alliance for People and Places

SAPP logoBrand Satellite created the branding and website for The Scottish Alliance for People and Places, for their launch at Holyrood on the 21st September.

The Scottish Alliance for People and Places brings together a wide range of organisations from across the planning and placemaking sector in Scotland to articulate a united and compelling vision for a more inclusive, respected, holistic and innovative system of planning.

SAPP websiteTheir vision is for a planning system that is inclusive, respected, ambitious and holistic. We believe in a system that inspires and empowers civic participation, recognises the positive force that quality economic development can play in creating a more equal society, and is built on fostering strong relationships through consensus and collaboration.

The Alliance is chaired by former First Minister and town planner Rt Hon Henry McLeish. Its members are:

 

  • PAS (Planning Aid for Scotland)
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Scotland
  • Paths for All
  • COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities)
  • Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
  • Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce
  • Royal Town Planning Institute Scotland
  • Scotland’s Towns Partnership
  • Scottish Mediation Network
  • Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland

SAPP launchBrand Satellite designed the branding for our strategic communications partners Message Matters, who organised the launch and run media relations for the Alliance.

We had just over three weeks to create the branding and build the website.

We worked with our web development partners Roslin Design, to create the website peopleandplaces.scot.

SAPP banner

start-ups or startups?

Start-ups or startups? Should your communications be grammatically correct or findable?

I recently spent an evening changing every ‘start-ups’ to ‘startups’ on my new website – BrandsStartHere.com. As the website is all about promoting 1-2-1 brand advice and branding packages to startups, this was no mean feat.

The reason for this change was initiated by a tweet I was in the process of writing. As I typed #start Twitter offered me #startups as an option. But as soon as I got to #start- Twitter stopped offering me options. On Twitter, hashtags and hyphens don’t mix.

So, I left Twitter and went to Google. I typed ‘start-up or startup?’ into the search box and pressed ENTER. Lots of interesting stuff came up, but a very informative blog by Liam Collins at Nesta caught my attention: http://www.nesta.org.uk/blog/startup-or-start

Now, I could have taken all his information and written my own blog, claiming to have done loads of research on this. But, that’s not what the internet is for. Use it to find stuff, to learn stuff, but don’t use it pinch stuff and claim it to be your area of expertise.

So, the aforementioned blog was enough evidence to get me to change the way I communicated the word startups. It wasn’t easy. It went against the grain for me to ignore the spell check and the dictionaries and choose an alternative spelling.

But if startups are putting startups into Google, or typing #startups into Twitter and Facebook, what was the point of me taking the grammatical high ground by adding a hyphen.

It is all about understanding your marketplace and your target audience. If they don’t use hyphens, then don’t give them hyphens.

Last night, I did another search on google.co.uk. I typed ‘1-2-1 brand advice for startups’ into the search box and pressed ENTER (I had changed the search settings to ‘Do not use private results’, so it didn’t take into account my previous searches or browser history). I was pleasantly surprised to find that the first four entries on Page 1 were all about my new website. This meant one of two things: 1) I had done a pretty good job with search engine optimisation, or 2) No one else was offering the services I was offering.

This, in turn, meant one of two things: 1) I was offering a unique service that no one else was offering, or 2) I was offering a service that no one wanted. The latter being the main reason why nine out of ten startups fail: http://fortune.com/2014/09/25/why-startups-fail-according-to-their-founders/.

I have been providing a very similar service to the one I am offering on BrandsStartHere.com through the Cultural Enterprise Office (in my role as their Industry Associate for Brand & Branding). This has been very well received by everyone that has taken it up so far. I have three sessions booked in for this week and a waiting list for my availability for further sessions. I recently ran a Brand Workshop for the Cultural Enterprise Office which was sold out (and received very positive feedback).

So, 1-2-1 brand advice for startups is clearly a service startups can benefit from. It’s just that most startups don’t realise they need it, don’t know it is available, or simply haven’t found it yet.

Brands Start Here _ Icon

Brands Start Here to launch at ExCel London

Brands Start HereBrand Satellite are launching a new service: BRANDS START HERE, which will be offering 1-2-1 brand advice to start-ups, entrepreneurs and small businesses.

BRANDS START HERE officially launches at the 37th Business Start Up Show at ExCel London on 17th/18th May.

We have created BRANDS START HERE because, we believe, no-one is offering 1-2-1 brand advice to start-ups.

If you type ‘brand advice for start-ups’ into Google, you get a few generic articles, but most results replace the word ‘brand’ with ‘branding’.

Your business’  brand and your branding are two very different things. Your brand is the nature and personality of your business, while your branding is the way it looks on the outside.

It stands to reason that unless you define and create your brand first, you cannot get your branding to work as it should.

For more information about the difference between your brand and your branding, read the BRAND v BRANDING article.

So while BRANDS START HERE are experienced and cost effective at Stage 2 of the process (BRANDING PACKAGE), unlike other agencies assisting start-ups, we will work with you to create your brand first, so what follows makes sense.

Our Stage 1: 1-2-1 BRAND CREATION PACKAGE is all about getting you to think about your business as a brand.

Put simply, your ‘brand’ is what your target market (your customers) think of when they hear your name or see your branding. It is everything they know about you – from what you have told them, what others have told them about you and from what they have witnessed themselves.

Your brand is created from the experiences your customers have with your business. These are a combination of both rational and emotional experiences. We are all human beings and however hard we try to be rational, we make decisions using the emotional part of our brain.

The 1-2-1 BRAND CREATION PACKAGE is about taking control of the experiences you can influence. Determining what you stand for, what makes you different and, most importantly, understanding your target audience; what makes you relevant to them and how you tell them that story.

Thinking like a brand can differentiate your business from your competitors and drive customer loyalty. And customers who have bought into your brand will ultimately become advocates for your brand.

Brand Satellite

Brand Satellite adopt ‘A Year For Ailsa’ as our charity for 2017

A Year For AilsaWe are proud to be adopting ‘A Year For Ailsa’ as our charity for the year.

‘A Year For Ailsa’ are raising £10,000 to support The Macmillan Centre at Borders General Hospital (BGH), The Maggie’s Centre in Edinburgh, The Margaret Kerr Unit at the BGH and Hope, a charity in Melrose.

‘A Year For Ailsa’ was set up by Ailsa’s children Kirsty, Matthew and Heather, and husband Tony, in memory of Ailsa, who lost her battle with cancer in late 2016.

“Mum was a very special person. We want to celebrate her life by helping others. That’s what she’d have wanted.”

Find out more about the fundraising campaign from their Just Giving crowdfunding page, or their Facebook page.

Brand Satellite will be donating 2.017% of all profits to the campaign during 2017.

Brand Satellite

20 tips to help you create an All-Star LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn profileLinkedIn profilelinkedin-profilelinkedin-profileLinkedIn profileI have been preparing my LinkedIn profile in readiness to use LinkedIn as one of my social media platforms of choice in 2017.

This preparation has included reading many blogs and ebooks, attending a few workshops, attending seminars and one-to-ones with LinkedIn experts, watching videos and researching other profiles.

I don’t now profess to be an expert, but I have learned a lot which you might find useful when creating or improving your profile.

Below is a list of 20 things I either already knew or have learned, that have made my LinkedIn profile more effective. Hopefully, they will do the same for yours. Some are little things. Some are things you should be thinking about way beyond your LinkedIn profile:

1. Decide why you are creating a LinkedIn profile

Seems obvious, but I bet most people haven’t thought about it. For example, I want my profile to position me as an expert in creating and developing brands and therefore hopefully attract new clients. Your purpose may be different. You might be using it to find a new job. Or, you might want to use it to stay in touch with old friends and colleagues. You might be using it for new information and insights, to help you do your job better. By deciding what you are using LinkedIn for will help you create the best profile for that purpose.

2. Think of yourself as a brand

As a brand expert, this is how I think about most things. If I want the readers of my LinkedIn profile to, at some point, use me to help them create, develop or communicate their brand, then I want them to a) believe I am the right person, and b) like me. I use words like ‘believe’ and ‘like’ because creating a brand is about creating an emotional connection between you and your customer. Neurologists have proved that people make most of their important decisions using the emotional part of their brain. One of the strongest emotions you can get on your side is trust. Being believable and likeable is a short cut to instilling trust. Think about what emotional connection you can make with the reader. Dr. Tiffany Watt Smith, author of The Book of Human Emotions: An Encyclopedia of Feeling, from Anger to Wanderlust, says there are over 150 emotions and counting (like one of the latest ones: FOMO – fear of missing out). So, you have plenty to choose from.

3. Make your Professional Headline search engine friendly

My Professional Headline used to read ‘Owner at Brand Satellite’. OK, that is true, but what use is that information to potential clients? At least Brand Satellite sort of describes what the company does, but imagine if the company was called Etherington & Associates. It now reads: ‘Branding expert helping start-ups and SMEs with brand creation, brand development and brand communication.’ Much more useful. These are all terms that a) clearly describe what I do, and b) are search terms that potential clients may be using.

4. Use a professional looking Photo – of your face

Rightly or wrongly, first impressions count. LinkedIn is a professional network, so make sure your profile Photo oozes professionalism. Save your action shots and fun selfies for Twitter and Facebook. Also, don’t use avatars or logos. This is an opportunity to make a human connection with your human customers. Your LinkedIn profile picture should be a head shot that represents what you look like now. A lot of people I spoke to during my research told me that they use LinkedIn to find out/remind them of what people look like before meetings and networking events (saving them from that embarrassing nonplussed look in reception, or at an event without name badges).

Claire Watson Photography offers a very reasonable profile photo service.

5. Make your Current Experience, Previous Experience and Education relevant

The Header section might be as far through your profile as some people go. Below the Professional Headline, LinkedIn only shows three Current, three Previous experience listings and one Education listing. Are they relevant? If your education has absolutely no relevance to what you do now, consider leaving it off.

6. Make sure your Summary is talking to your target audience

This is essential to all marketing communications. The Summary section is one of the most important parts of your LinkedIn profile. Think about who is reading it (or who you want to be reading it). What do you want them to learn from reading your summary? How are they going to benefit from what you say? Most people won’t read any further if you haven’t ‘grabbed them’. Don’t talk about what you do. Talk about what you can do for them.

7. Remember it is a single human being that is reading your Summary

Your LinkedIn profile is visible to three billion internet users worldwide! But every viewing is one, single human being. Make your Summary conversational. Imagine they are standing in front of you. Talk to them in the first person. ‘I can help you…’ is better than ‘Giles can help you…’. Being professional doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly.

8. Put a ‘Call To Action’ in your Summary

Finish your Summary with a call to action. Yes, there is a contact section on LinkedIn – which you should fill in too – but that is another click away. Make it as easy as possible for someone to get in touch with you by adding your contact details.

9. Add images and video to your Summary

You know what they say a picture is worth? Well, currently your LinkedIn profile will be a whole lot of words. Make it stand out from other people’s profiles with images and video. I know it’s easy for me to say because can just add the latest brand identity I have designed or the latest client video I have created. But you might have some product images or website images you can use (if you don’t, I would seriously consider getting some). As well as adding some much needed visual interest, images can portray more about what you are about than words alone. You can also add video to LinkedIn. Have you got ads, how to videos, video testimonials you could add? If you haven’t, you should think about adding video to your marketing mix for 2017 (but that is a whole different blog). If you do add video, then you will probably do so by uploading it to YouTube first. Which is good news – after Google, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, so another chance of you and your business being found.

10. Make your Experience relevant to now (and make it interesting)

This might feel like I am repeating Tip No. 5. That was about making your Current and Previous experiences relevant in the header section. Now, I am talking about the Experience in the Background section. Remember what you are on LinkedIn for and tailor your Experience to help you achieve that. This section isn’t about everything you have done in your life. It is about everything you have done that is relevant to where you are now. The fact that I used to work at Little Chef when I was at college, or packed lawnmowers as a holiday job is totally irrelevant to what I do now. So you won’t see it in my profile. Also, people aren’t going to spend ages on your profile, especially the further they go down the page. Keep it concise. You can be more descriptive and expansive in current positions, but the further you go back time, the more concise you should make it. Just highlight the highlights.

11. Your Experience doesn’t have to read like a CV

You can be creative with the Experience section. It doesn’t have to be a list of places you have worked. My experience of working at some of the world’s best advertising agencies, working on some of the world’s biggest brands and working in London, San Francisco and Amsterdam is crucial to positioning me as highly experienced at what I do. Your career path may have been very different, with the early part not being relevant to where you are now. For example, with one of my clients, we summed up 30 years of her career into one Experience section and then created four different sections, all for her current business. One section was an overview of what she offered and the other three sections each related to a separate process she takes you through when you work with her.

12. Show examples of what you do

Similar to adding images and video to your summary. You can add examples of your work under each Experience entry. This gives you the opportunity to feature stuff you did years ago (if it is relevant), without people thinking, ‘Why is he still showing stuff he did years ago?’

13. Remember you can add sections and move sections around

Your LinkedIn profile will come in a default setting. There are lots of other sections you can add (check out the ‘Add a section to your profile’ link). Adding Courses, Organisations or Projects might be really relevant to you. And you have some control over reordering sections. Your Summary might be more important that your Posts. Your Skills & Endorsements might be more important than your Experience. Rearrange these sections so that the most important are at the top.

14. Repeat Tip No. 2

Take a moment to look back at everything you have just done. Does everything fit with the brand you created for yourself? Are you connecting with the emotion you wanted to connect with? If you’re not, think about changing it so you are.

15. Use the Skills & Endorsements section to your advantage

Here’s a section to keep the rational part of the brain happy. Creating a list of skills on another part of the profile, may feel cumbersome, or be ignored. Here is a section specifically designed for you to show off your Skills. But choose wisely. It is very tempting to add more and more skills (some of the predefined options are very similar). But you want people to endorse your Skills, and they probably won’t endorse you for every variant. For example, I have 32 Endorsements for Corporate Branding, but only 5 for Branding & Identity. 37 endorsements for one of those would probably have been better. Don’t make my mistake, make sure each skill you add is clearly different from the other.

16. Ask people to Endorse you

Once you have added your skills, ask people to endorse you (I’m sure your parents have said ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get.’ to you at least once). Ask people you have worked for, or with, to endorse you for the skills you used when you worked for/with them. Before asking, I had organically received around 250 endorsements. By asking, I now have over 400.

17. Ask for Recommendations

The same theory applies to Recommendations. Ask existing clients, past clients and employers for a recommendation. The great thing about Recommendations on LinkedIn is that they have to be posted by that person. Testimonials on websites and in brochures could have been written by anyone (including the person who’s website it is – but don’t get me started on people that do that!). So, Recommendations that can be trusted could become the most powerful part of your profile.

18. Post stuff

Now you have got your profile to a state that you are happy for people to be visiting it, you need people to start visiting it. Your profile is you telling people what you are good at. Your Posts are providing people with evidence that you are good at them. You might already be blogging on your website, or writing press releases. Post these on your profile. If you don’t, think of things you know about (or like this blog, things you have just done) and pass on that knowledge and experience to a new audience.

19. Keep improving – there is still plenty more you can do

The advice above is just scrapping the surface. There are lots more things I still have to do to improve my LinkedIn profile: add a Company Page, join Groups, follow more Influencers. Like any social media platform, you need to keep working on it, keep everything up to date, look active and be relevant. I also haven’t tried upgrading to LinkedIn Premium yet – something I might update you on in the New Year.

20. Spread the love – press share

Thanks for reading this far. I hope you found what you have just read useful. If so, please Share. This is a social media platform after all!

Brand Satellite shortlisted for Arts & Business Scotland Awards

Arts & Business Scotland AwardsWe are delighted to announce that Brand Satellite & Creative Coathanger have been shortlisted for the Arts & Business Scotland 30th Annual Awards.

Arts & Business Scotland (A&BS) has announced the shortlist for its 30th Annual Awards celebrating excellence in innovative relationships between the cultural and business sectors.

A&BS exists to put business into culture and creativity into business by advocating the value of cross-sectoral partnerships to encourage collaborative working. The charity says this year’s shortlist is one of the most diverse in recent years with a strong emphasis on cultural organisations delivering projects that enable both social and economic benefits for rural and urban communities.

Arts & Business Scotland Chief Executive David Watt said: “This year’s shortlist is a fantastic reflection of the innovation and creativity which exists between the cultural and business sectors, contributing to a thriving and vibrant cultural offering here in Scotland.

“Throughout the judging process what was abundantly clear was the value that cultural organisations bring to both rural and urban communities though their social and economic impacts. It is hugely encouraging therefore to see such a diverse range of businesses demonstrating a willingness to support this activity in Scotland.”

Creative Coathanger Galashiels - The Everything Creative festivalBrand Satellite & Creative Coathanger have been shortlisted in the Business Creativity category.

Business Creativity sponsored by Inksters Solicitors

Launched in 2015, the Business Creativity category recognises a business for taking the lead in establishing and developing partnerships with one or more cultural organisations in order to drive and develop commercial opportunities for both parties which impacts the wider community.

Giles joins Cultural Enterprise Office’s team of Industry Associates

Cultural Enterprise OfficeGiles Etherington has been added the Cultural Enterprise Office’s team of Industry Associates as their Brand Creation and Branding specialist.

The Cultural Enterprise Office (CEO) supports Scotland’s creative businesses.

They offer a range of services to help creative micro-businesses and individuals build the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. CEO provides creative businesses with specialist information and advice, as well as training and networking opportunities.

They have a team of over 30 Industry Associates, with specialist knowledge representing the full spectrum of the creative industries, from architecture to games & app design, and a cross-section of business areas, from crowdfunding to gallery curation.

Taken from the CEO’s website:

Our Business Support team are experts in exploring your needs and will be your first port of call as you begin your journey with us.

We dig in from the word go with an informal discussion to understand your needs. This will ensure you receive the right support for you and your business. Help us, help you.

We’ll discuss your roadmap through our service, which could involve any of the following:

  • Space for you to reflect on current challenges
  • Tailored advice and direction to specific resources
  • An appointment with one of our In-house Advisers
  • An appointment with one of our Industry Associates
  • Referrals to CEO programmes
  • Direction to other helpful organisations