29/10/2020

What’s your branding style?

Finding the right branding style for your business is essential. It is the first thing people notice about your company, and often the last thing they forget.

As they say, there are no second chances at a first impression. So, let’s jump right into it. How do you find the right branding style for your business? 

Take stock of your competitors

First of all, it is helpful to look around you at what others are doing.

If you’re in an industry that has a very particular ‘look’ (for example, the established, corporate look-and-feel of the financial sector), it can be a smart move to go for something completely different.

Perhaps you see a lot of muted colour palettes around you, and you think a bold choice would give you a recognisable edge. This could differentiate your brand effectively. 

Or, it might work the other way. By adopting a similar style to successful competitors, your audience may view you as a brand that looks familiar to them, and brand loyalty could be easier to establish.

Your branding isn’t for you

This may sound wrong at first glance. Surely your brand needs to reflect you as much as possible?

Let me explain. Your branding needs to reflect your business. But not you, as an individual.

I think it helps to remember that your brand choices shouldn’t be purely based on your personal style and preference.

At the end of the day, your branding needs to capture your target audience. It needs to be all about them. 

Every branding decision you make needs to come back to the key question: will my target audience respond positively to this?


That’s why it can be helpful to distance yourself a little when choosing your branding style. 

Your absolute favourite colour combination might be neon pink and mustard yellow, but is that a choice that fully aligns with your business values and audience?

Shop around

If you’re struggling to decide on the brand style for you, it can be helpful to take inspiration from other sectors. 

What brands draw you in - and why?

Think about your first responses to certain websites, marketing campaigns, imagery and social media. And then think about what you want people’s first impressions of your brand to be. 

Should they feel at ease when they encounter your brand? Or excited by how different it is? Do you want to look conformist and professional? Or offbeat and quirky? 

Establish the type of brands that evoke similar feelings and then really analyse how they’re achieving that. Is it through their tone of voice, or maybe their colour palette?

If you're looking for some guidance or need help settling on the right branding style, give us a call on 0333 242 3990 to chat to a branding expert.

29/10/2020

15 powerful marketing quotes

These quotes can inspire your team and boost ideas about where you want your marketing to go!

Just 15 great quotes about marketing…

1.“Many companies have forgotten they sell to actual people. Humans care about the entire experience, not just the marketing or sales or service. To really win in the modern age, you must solve for humans.” - Dharmesh Shah, CTO & Co-Founder, HubSpot

2. “Do you have a product or service that people want? If you don’t have that, nothing else matters.” - Noah Kagan, Founder of Sumo

3. “Master the topic, the message, and the delivery.” - Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Apple

4. “Spending energy to understand the audience and carefully crafting a message that resonates with them means making a commitment of time and discipline to the process.” - Nancy Duarte

5. "Whatever the status quo is, changing it gives you the opportunity to be remarkable." - Seth Godin

6. “The only way to outdo, to outperform the competition is to offer something unique and something better than they have.” - Tim Soulo, Head of Marketing and Product Strategy at AHREFs

7. “The best marketing doesn't feel like marketing.” - Tom Fishburne, Founder & CEO, Marketoonist

8. “Good marketers see consumers as complete human beings with all the dimensions real people have.” - Jonah Sachs

9. “Where we always start is: What’s the user’s itch? What’s their pain point that occurs frequently enough to build a habit around?” - Nir Eyal, Author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

10. “Marketing strategy will impact every piece of your business and it should be tied to every piece of your business.” - Brandon Andersen, Chief Strategist of Ceralytics

11. "Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like." - Brian Chesky, Co-Founder & CEO, Airbnb

12. “Advertising brings in customers, but word-of-mouth brings in the best customers.” - Jonah Berger

13. “We not only need to understand the demographics of our customers, but we need to make sure that we create content for each of these different stages of the buyer’s journey.” - Kyle Gray

14. “Consistency is key. Whenever you start, give your audience something to look forward to.” - Julia McCoy, CEO at Express Writers

15. “Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.” - Henry Ford

After some marketing advice or guidance? We can help. Call 0333 242 3990  to chat with an expert.

28/08/2020

What makes a great homepage?

Your homepage serves as the introduction to your site and, ultimately, to your brand.

It’s also a sort of contents page which should effectively signpost users around your site clearly.

As well as looking great and making a good first impression, your homepage should also prioritise converting leads. 

Take a look at how to get the most out of your homepage...

Make sure you clearly tell the world who you are, and what you do

Unless you’re a globally renowned brand, a good website homepage should effectively communicate who you are and what you do, to encourage your audience to stay on your site and find out more. 

It’s thought that you need to engage users within the first 16 seconds. And you know what they say, you never get a second chance at a first impression.

If you are unsure about your key message and what your brand is trying to say, spend some time refining this first. 

Include great design and strong images

The best content and copy in the world can get overlooked if your design and use of images doesn’t engage people.

A well-crafted homepage will combine graphics, text and multimedia in a creative way, to ensure the main purpose of the page is communicated effectively - but looks visually appealing. 

It is worth noting that images of your team are really important to include, and your own personal photography will tend to be more engaging than generic stock images. 

30/07/2020

Brand strategies for architects

The importance of specialised marketing and brand strategies for architects

Traditionally, architecture wasn't a sector that embraced bold marketing or branding strategies.

It was a sector that relied on word-of-mouth referrals and an existing reputation in certain circles.

The reasons for this could be that architecture services aren't immediately easy for the general public to grasp.

Marketing an unclear concept can be a roadblock to both architects and marketers. A lack of understanding in both sectors may have limited how marketing and branding were historically handled.

This seems to be changing - which can only be good news for architects and architecture firms.

Architecture - such a visual sector - has much to gain from bold marketing and branding strategies.

‘Sometimes, the resulting confusion over what the end product offered by architecture studios actually is - a built object, a service, or a spatial experience - leads to ineffective branding and marketing strategies.’ - Anca Mitrache, 'Branding and Marketing, An Architect's Perspective.' 

A brand strategy will inform every aspect of a business. From briefing clients to the company's visual identity, to communicating throughout a project, a cohesive brand strategy will maintain consistency at every level.

For architecture studios who want to branch out their client base, up-and-coming architects or for studios wanting to revitalize their services, branding and marketing is essential.  

In the past, architects tended to market to other architects. That involved displaying their portfolio proudly, using technical jargon and attempting to appear as impressive as possible.

Where this sector may have been missing a trick is through clear and easy to understand branding.

Translate services into simple ideas

Simple branding could appeal to a wider prospective audience, and disrupt the market by translating specialist services into layman's terms. The market reach of this type of branding could be huge.

Can we help with your branding? Call 0333 242 3990 to chat to an expert.

19/06/2020

The disruptive power of simplicity

There is power in simplicity. 

In the world of design, this is common knowledge. ‘Keep it simple’ is the mantra of many a graphic designer. Clean lines, minimalist shapes, stripped back visual identities - none of these concepts are new or groundbreaking.  

But recently the approach of ‘keeping it simple’ has moved well beyond the logo. 

Simplicity has become the key characteristic of disruptive brands. 

Branding experts Siegel+Gale are so fascinated by the concept of simplicity that they research brands every year for their World's Simplest brand report. This report surveys more than 15,000 people across 9 countries and ranks 800 brands. It’s a definitive understanding of the success of the simple brand.

‘Keeping it simple’ appears to be the one factor all big industry disruptors have in common.

Simplicity not just in design, but approach - at every level. The most successful brands were those that prioritised easy-to-use experiences or fulfilled certain functions that simply made life easier.

Siegel+Gale found...

  • 64% of consumers are willing to pay more for simpler experiences
  • 55% of consumers claim they’ll pay more for a brand that delivers a simpler experience
  • A stock portfolio of the simplest global brands outperforms the major indexes by 330 percent.

The top 10 world’s simplest brands were found to be:

  1. Netflix
  2. ALDI
  3. Google
  4. Lidl
  5. Carrefour
  6. McDonald’s
  7. trivago
  8. Spotify
  9. Uniqlo
  10. Subway

“The top performers in our study operate in crowded, highly competitive marketplaces. That said, their ability to consistently deliver their brands with simple, compelling experiences sets them apart,” said David Srere, co-CEO and Chief Strategy Officer at Siegel+Gale.

“Companies will benefit greatly by keeping it simple for customers…or suffer the consequences.”

We can see the effectiveness of the simple approach in our day-to-day lives. The ‘one swipe’ purchase bar on my Amazon app can testify to that! The simplicity of Amazon’s buying process prioritises a lightning-quick customer experience - making it all too easy to contribute to Jeff Bezos’ sprawling empire.

We see a similar user experience with Netflix - ranked the no1 most simple and successful brand. Their original tagline ‘movie enjoyment made easy’ still stands true today.

Netflix’s automation recommendations are designed intuitively so the next big thing is quick and easy for us to find. How many of us had to scroll endlessly to find ‘Tiger King’? None of us. It was one day simply there. We didn't have to think twice about it.

Netflix - as do the other most successful brands - remain committed to smooth, easy user experiences, instant accessibility and global brand recognition.

It’s simplicity done perfectly.

As Manchester businesses, what can we learn from these disruptors?

Key takeaways:

Empathise with your customer. I mean, really empathise. Getting on exactly the right wave-length as your customer allows you to anticipate their pain-points and experience their user journey. What road bumps stand between them and a seamless experience?

Embrace tech. People love easy-to-use tech. Think McDonald's self-service screen. A few taps and you're done! Without having to scream your order at a spaced-out server.

Streamline your services. Netflix offers one thing, done well. Amazon offers many different services, but keeps things simple with intuitive e-commerce tech that doesn't overwhelm their customers.

We'd love to help you out with a rebrand. If you're after something timeless, simple and disruptive - let's discuss! 

You can give us a call on 0161 672 7822, or drop me an email at jess@22group.co.uk

12/06/2020

The 10 steps that will establish your brand identity

Brand identity.

It all starts with a strong brand.

A strong brand needs to be more than just a flashy logo, or a well-chosen colour palette.

A strong brand is a brand whose values, culture and objectives are all aligned.

Branding is all about public perception - the knee-jerk reaction someone thinks when they see your name.

Brand identity is closely related to your visual identity. How do you present yourself?

If you haven’t updated your logo in years and it is beginning to age, you might want to consider how it showcases your brand.

If we think about your visual identity as clothing, then a sloppy logo and a tacky slogan are the equivalents of dressing your brand in nothing more than some faded hand-me-downs.

Not exactly likely to make a good first impression.

Your brand identity needs to go hand-in-hand with your values, your story and your culture. When everything is consistent, the strength of a brand really comes through.

The 10 steps that will establish your brand identity...

1. Know your values

Your brand values are your foundations. They should be guiding principles that will help define your brand to the rest of your team and to future clients. Your values are like your DNA, or your blueprint: they will determine every other decision you make.

A value could be ‘clear communication’ if your brand prides itself on the straightforward and direct way it shares information. The values you choose can be a combination of realistic and aspirational. Some values will be things you already pride yourself on. Others will be values to aim towards.

2. Create a customer persona 

Knowing your customer inside and out is almost as important as establishing brand values. A customer persona is a profile of a typical customer of yours. This should be as detailed as you can possibly make it!

Think about the age and gender of your ‘average’ customer, their hobbies and family life. Think about their income, their pain points, what motivates them. By understanding your customer, you can understand how to best market to them.

3. Set ambitious but achievable goals

An aspect of establishing a clear brand identity is thinking about where you see your brand going. Your brand should have a trajectory. Everyone should be working toward the same goals.

Setting these goals will help you make important decisions, such as how to approach a marketing campaign, or what new logo to choose. Your goals should inform your brand personality and identity.

4. Consistency across all touchpoints, both on and offline

Part of a quality brand is strength. There is a reason Apple is such a juggernaut of a brand. Their brand identity is very firmly established. Their aesthetic doesn’t budge. Their marketing and messaging are consistent across the board.

Another good example is Lush. Lush is a global brand with a fiercely loyal customer base. Their brand identity is absolutely consistent, with recognisably friendly company culture, cruelty-free values and a consistent ‘look’ in every single one of their stores across the globe.

5. Make sure your content marketing is ‘on brand’

Your content marketing is the voice of your brand. It is every email you send, every piece of social media you post and every piece of text on your website.

The content your brand distributes should have the same tone of voice and core message. This should always reflect your values. If one of your values is ‘warmth’ but your emails are consistently formal, your content marketing could be weakening your brand identity.

6. Establish a visual identity and colour palette

A large part of your brand identity is the visuals people associate with you. McDonalds instantly brings to mind that red and yellow, and those golden arches. Nike’s ‘swoosh’ is instantly recognisable.

Your visual identity is like the clothes of your company. You have to make sure you choose something that is a perfect fit and ‘on brand’ - after all, it will determine the first impression people have of you. 

7. Develop brand guidelines

Brand guidelines are style guides that determine the aesthetic visual identity of your brand. They ensure consistency across the board. Brand guidelines are a huge part of cementing your brand identity.

Once you have official guidelines set in stone you can begin to distribute them across your entire team. This ensures everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet and everyone is familiar with the essence of your brand.

8. Address and remarket the company culture

Your company culture is something that few businesses consciously think about. The culture of a company is all about how the team operates. For a strong brand identity, it is worth taking a long look at the culture of a company. Redefining the ‘essentials’ of how you work can help with your consistency across the board. 

9. Get the team onboard

Your brand identity is all about your team and the individual personalities that make it up. It goes without saying that you have to have the right people.

If you have a clear brand identity you're more likely to get noticed by like-minded individuals. Include your brand guidelines in any job advertisement you send out to ensure you’re attracting the right people. 

10. Work on a brand strategy to be used across the board

A strong brand is nothing without a strong strategy. Your strategy should cover how to boost your engagement, how to connect more with your target audience and how to nurture those leads and enquiries that you get.

Your brand strategy should focus on two core things: your brand and your customers. Working out how to get a connection, a relationship, between your brand and your customers is vital to your success. 

Here at 22 Group, we're brand specialists. We can study your target audience, research your market and develop a bespoke strategy for your brand.

Our designers are experts at crafting unique and impactful visual identities. We can write a compelling brand story for you and help you define your core values.

Give us a call to find out more.

29/05/2020

What makes a successful brand?

A brand is a number of elements rolled into one.

Image, symbol, language, name, design. All of these jigsaw pieces help make something recognisable and unique.

A brand is an identity, first and foremost.

Just like ranchers who branded cattle with their own recognisable mark to distinguish them from other herds, your brand is yours and yours alone - a unique trademark.

So, what makes a brand a brand?

Because there are brands, and then there are brands. The brands so huge they are recognised by young and old alike across all corners of the globe.

Their power moves beyond just a striking logo, or a well-chosen colour palette. Their power lies within their brand story, the associations of their brand - that unspoken public perception. 

A successful brand, then, is one that is considered as a whole.

Here at 22, we don’t just want to create brands, we want to create identities and experiences.

The products we create move beyond just logos and designs. We believe a whole is greater than the sum of its parts, which is why we take a holistic approach to our branding.

Our designers, developers, marketers and copywriters all work collaboratively at every stage of our process, resulting in a cohesive end-product that is consistent across the board. 

Investing in your brand is investing in your future.

A quality brand won’t have to be rebranded for years to come. A timeless visual identity will find relevance across a span of audiences and contexts.

A true branding success is marked by something that lives beyond the person who created it. An immortal creation. Just as the name ‘Disney’ has moved well beyond the individual, so too does a successful brand.

It generates a life and identity of its own.

27/03/2020

Weathering the storm of COVID-19.

Within the space of a week, a week that has seemed to span a year, it's already become a cliché to call these times 'unprecedented.'

COVID-19 has changed the landscape, politically, socially and economically, so dramatically that normal things like commuting to the office now seem like relics of the past.

I don’t think it’s alarmist to say real structural change is occurring during this period. Uncertainty is the new normal and change is the only constant.

What then, does this mean for business, for day-to-day survival? And, most importantly, what can we do to weather the storm?


Content and communication

If you haven't already, consider your content marketing strategy.

It may seem like a low priority task, but communication, now more than ever, will oil the wheels of commerce - or, at least, nurture those important leads for when the time is right.

Customers, prospects, leads, employees - all need clear channels of communication.

With the majority of the country now working from behind a screen, it is important to remain connected. Content marketing is a cheap, quick way to directly engage with your audience.

Communication during turbulent times is hugely important, but it may be overwhelming when you feel swamped. Maybe we can help. As our resident copywriter, I would be more than happy to create bespoke content for you (for emails, website, banners, social media) absolutely free. Email jess@22group.co.uk for more details.

Consider reinvention

It may be wise to throw away the rule-book. If your traditional ways of working are suddenly rendered meaningless, consider doing a 180.

The companies quickest off the mark have been those who recognised the necessity of changing direction, and did so swiftly.

Examples of this are LVMH, the French luxury goods company behind Louis Vuitton, making hand sanitiser free of charge for the use of French hospitals and public services.

More practical pivots include restaurants who have closed their doors, but who are still offering food via delivery.

Be mindful of your reputation

In unprecedented times, consumers will remember how companies acted. We’ve seen examples of this already.
CEO of Topshop, Philip Green, made the decision to let his workers go without pay. This provoked a social media backlash, with many calling for a boycott of all Green’s stores.

Mike Ashley, owner of Sports Direct, also faced criticism for refusing to close his stores, claiming they offer ‘essential services.’ His sudden, and already infamous, U-turn looks likely to tarnish his reputation – for how long is yet to be seen.

Reputational risk may not seem high on the list of short-term concerns, but its impacts will be long-lasting and potentially ruinous. Brand reputation can be nurtured through transparent communication and actions that are in line with company values.

For example, Marks and Spencer, the quintessentially British brand, have widespread customer loyalty spanning generations and a solid reputation. The M&S brand survived recessions and two world wars, always prioritizing their values above everything else. During World War Two they helped to patent the design for utility clothing and raise funds for the RAF. For more on the importance of brand values, read here.

Customer loyalty isn't a solution to every problem, but it can act as a reassuring life-jacket when the storm hits – and in the aftermath that follows.

Stay safe!

Jess


Jess Cawdron

Copywriting & Marketing

0161 672 7822

jess@22group.co.uk

10/03/2020

10 quotes that prove brand storytelling is the future of marketing.

Have you ever wondered what skyrockets certain companies into the stratosphere and not others?

Let’s focus on the big dogs, like Apple or Virgin.

What factors contributed to their meteoric success?

Luck, of course. A healthy dose of luck never harmed anyone’s chances.

But another factor to consider would be their single-minded, rock-solid marketing strategies.

These two brands are prime examples of establishing long-term loyalty. Loyalty that surpasses technological change. Loyalty that turns someone into an Apple customer for life, who scoffs at the idea of buying their tech from somewhere else.

richard-branson

‘We would be nothing without our story.’ – Richard Branson

How did they manage it?

In short, they told stories.

Richard Branson describes entrepreneurs as ‘professional storytellers.’ He says that Virgin’s story is what attracts people to their products and services, and also to work for them.

Business storytelling, or story-first marketing, gives your customer a compelling reason to work with you or buy from you. It humanises you.

And we all know, people buy from people. Moreover, people remain loyal to people they trust.


I’ve compiled my favourite quotes that connect business and storytelling:

1. ‘A great salesperson knows how to tell a story in which the product is the hero.’ – Peter Guber, Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment.

2. ‘And do you know what is the most-often missing ingredient in a sales message?  It’s the sales message that doesn’t tell an interesting story.  Storytelling . . . good storytelling . . . is a vital component of a marketing campaign.’ – Gary Halbert, marketing guru.

3. ‘Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make but about the stories you tell.’ – Seth Godin, author, entrepreneur. 

4. ‘People think in stories, not statistics, and marketers need to be master storytellers.’ – Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post.

5. ‘Successful organisations and companies share the stage with their best storytellers. Brands are a collection of narratives. Unleash your best stories.’ – Carmine Gallo, author and keynote speaker.

6. ‘You can’t sell anything if you can’t tell anything.’ – Beth Comstock, business executive.

7. ‘If your stories are all about your products and services, that’s not storytelling. It’s a brochure. Give yourself permission to make the story bigger.’ – Jay Baer, content marketing strategist and keynote speaker.

steve-jobs

8. ‘The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.’ – Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple.

9. ‘Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill when it comes to business.’ – Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur. 

10. ‘Logic makes you think. Emotion makes you act.’ – Alan Weiss, author and public speaker.


If the idea of storytelling in marketing is new to you, it could be the one approach that breathes life back into your brand.

For more ideas, or to discuss a story-based rebrand, contact me at jess@22group.co.uk

Jess Cawdron
Copywriting & Marketing
0161 672 7822

signature-jess

06/03/2020

5 incredible brand stories from Manchester businesses.

I can hear you sighing already.

‘More marketing buzzwords? Really?’

Of course, the idea of the ‘brand story’ isn’t new. It’s as old as marketing itself.

But never before have we been so submerged in misinformation, waffle and a daily drone of stuff.

In this landscape, authentic brands with a clean, clear message and honesty at their cores will stand out like a fresh breeze cutting through a sweaty summer day.

Storytelling connects. Always has, always will.

Here are 5 examples of Manchester businesses that harness the power of story-telling in their brands...


1. SpareRoom

Launched in Manchester in 2004, SpareRoom is the busiest flatshare website in the UK.

The founder of SpareRoom, Rupert Hunt, is a self-described ‘unlikely entrepreneur.’ He tells the story of moving to London to be in a band after completing a ‘Mickey Mouse’ degree called ‘Pop Music.’ In his spare time, he would make websites.

When he moved back to Manchester, he launched SpareRoom from a spider-ridden shed in his parents’ back garden. He funded it on his credit card and worried about it later.

Told with perfect self-deprecation, Rupert’s origin story humanised SpareRoom and made me see the business with different eyes. It’s a story of humble origins and unexpected meteoric success. More importantly, it's funny.

Check out Rupert’s brand story here: https://www.spareroom.co.uk/content/about-us/how-we-started/


2. Sweet Mandarin

When I was researching various brands and businesses, the story of Sweet Mandarin, Manchester's well-known Chinese restaurant and cookery school, really stood out to me.

It’s a classic tale of rags to riches.

The origins of this family-run business start with the CEO's grandmother, Lily Kwok, who worked as a maid for an affluent English family, the Woodmans.

She travelled with the Woodmans from Hong Kong to the UK. On this 30-day voyage, she began to practise and craft recipes in the kitchen of the ship.

The Woodmans treated Lily like part of the family. When Mrs Woodman died, it was revealed that she had left Lily a sum of money in her will. This became the seed capital Lily needed to kick-start her own restaurant.

Lily’s business grew in popularity. She served the likes of Cliff Richard, The Shadows and even The Beatles. Her legacy is now carried on by her grand-daughter, who runs Sweet Mandarin today.

Read Sweet Mandarin’s brand story here: http://sweetmandarin.com/our-story/


3. Cat Café

The brand story of Cat Café revolves around two sisters, Ellie and Sarah Close, who were inspired to start their business by the ubiquitous cat cafés of Japan. 

They stress the importance of spending time with animals for our physical, mental and emotional health.

The concept of their café is offered as a solution: ‘Cat Café can give you a new perspective, it can make you present, and it can refresh and heal an urban soul.’

Their brand story gains its strength from the powerful conviction of its mission. The sisters envision opening a Cat Café in every UK city. They just want all us urban folk to ‘be more cat’! 

Despite being a dog person, the strength of this brand and their commitment to their feline friends won me over. I’ll be paying it a visit.

Read their mission statement here: https://catcafe.co.uk/mission-statement


4. Northern Soul Grilled Cheese

Northern Soul Grilled Cheese, the UK's first grilled cheese business, has become something of a Mancunian institution.

Founded by Dan Place in 2015, the successful franchise started as a pop-up and has now expanded to a Northern Quarter site with a 70-cover unit and a smaller site in Piccadilly.

Dan's story is built on the adage 'do something you love and you won't go far wrong.' As a champion of Mancunian businesses, Dan was driven by the personal desire to give people secure, independent jobs in a vibrant area.

Location was certainly Dan's number one concern in the early days of his business. His original pop-up was a small site with basic electric, no running water, drainage and had no windows or doors.

But, what it did have was a lively location, right in the heart of the Northern Quarter.

From humble beginnings to local success, check out Dan meeting Man vs. Food's Adam Richman at Northern Soul Grilled Cheese here: https://www.northernsoulmcr.com/


5. Stockport Gin

Stockport Gin is a family-run business, launched by husband and wife Cheryl and Paul Sharrock and run from their home distillery in the village of Compstall.

Their brand origins begin simply with their love of gin.

The couple's passion for gin led them to sample local gins from everywhere they visit. When they realised Stockport didn't have its own gin, they leapt on the chance to create something unique.

Almost by chance, they made a deal with Selfridges. They managed to find the right person to speak to, sparking a chain of events which, Cheryl admitted, 'sounded almost too easy.'

Since then, their business has rapidly expanded, leading to a real juggle of the work-life balance as their distillery happens to also be their family home!

Read more about the story of Stockport Gin here: https://www.stockport-gin.com/pages/our-story


How does your brand story compare?

Here at 22 Group, we can curate your bespoke brand story for you.

To find out how we can transform your brand, drop me an email at jess@22group.co.uk

Or give me a call on 0161 672 7822

We'd love to hear from you.

05/03/2020

Learn a thing or two from the greatest business pitches of all time.

Peter Marsh of ABM, advertising extraordinaire and business pitch master, was known for his surprising presentation skills.

Learn a thing or two from the greatest business pitches of all time...


The pitch. That compelling moment in time. The pitch is the 100 metre sprint that stands between you and your business securing that deal. The art of the pitch is truly the art of persuasion and the number of ways we can go about this is infinite.

The components of a really unforgettable pitch appear straightforward: be clear, be authentic, be memorable. But to execute a pitch so audacious that it goes down in business folklore takes something special…

The year is 1977.

The setting is Allen Brady & Marsh’s (ABM) advertising agency.

ABM are the mavericks of the advertising world, headed by the charismatic directors, Rod Allen and Peter Marsh.

Marsh, or ‘Mr Showbiz’ as he was known, had the reputation of being a flamboyant performer who liked to surprise his clients mid-pitch, often with a musical number. With a background of performing on the stage, Marsh made sure his pitches would always stand out.

The office of ABM is the stage to one of the most theatrical pitches in business history. The key players are ABM and Saatchi & Saatchi. At stake is a significant deal with British Rail. Saatchi & Saatchi are the heavyweight champions of advertising; ABM are the wildcards.

When British Rail’s team, headed by chairman Sir Peter Parker, enter the office of ABM their first impression is of disarray. The advertising agency is off-putting to say the least: overflowing ash trays, filthy coffee mugs, newspapers strewn on the floor. They are greeted by a surly receptionist who files her nails and refuses to look up and greet them before she has finished the page of her magazine.

‘How long do we have to wait?’

‘Dunno,’ she replies.

The British Rail team are kept waiting a full 20 minutes, all the time being wholly ignored by the receptionist and passing advertising staff. Just as they are about to leave in disgust, a door opens and the director of ABM, Peter Marsh, and his advertising team finally reveal themselves.

“You’ve just experienced how the public perceive British Rail,” Marsh says, to surprised faces. “Now let’s see what we can do to put that right.”

Marsh and his team then launch into their pitch, outlining their plans to overhaul public opinion of British Rail.

They are hired on the spot.

Marsh’s theatricality was certainly his trademark, as displayed in another of his famous pitches in 1981. The battle for the Woolworths account was a high-stakes deal at which Marsh threw the full weight of his flamboyance.

For this pitch, Marsh took his clients to a theatre he had booked out for the day and performed a musical number that would become one of the most instantly recognisable jingles of the decade: ‘That’s the wonder of Woollies.’ Taking off his outer dinner jacket to reveal a sparkly suit beneath, Marsh intended his pitch to symbolise Woolworths discarding their old self to reveal their new, shiny future.

Appreciative of the show, Woolworths assigned them the deal.

By 1982, ABM were one of the top 5 advertising agencies in Britain.


As far as our business pitches go, we’ve never tried anything as bold as these approaches before!

Let us know what you think of Peter Marsh and his legendary pitches.

Would they win you over?


Let me know at jess@22group.co.uk

Jess Cawdron

Copywriting & Marketing

0161 672 7822

17/02/2020

Our values: the heart of 22

Maybe it’s our Manchester roots that make 22 Group friendly, straight-talking, and confident. We're committed to our responsibility to deliver incredible results, with heart.

There’s more to crafting an effective and distinct brand than a knock-out logo or a sleek website. Whilst important, these more tangible aspects of brand identity work best when combined with what already exists at the beating heart of any solid brand: its values.

Strong marketing is built upon clear brand values. Integrating the message of a company into its marketing increases engagement with customers who admire and align with these ideals.

Showing what the company stands for - its personality, so to speak - resonates with people and reaps results.

For example, think of brands like IKEA who celebrate simplicity and are known for their minimalist style and easy to build products. There’s Spotify’s playful spirit, easily pinpointed in their 'Listen Like You Used To’ adverts. Or Dr Martens, who recently captured both their long-standing rebellious image and product durability in the ‘Tough As You’ campaign. Good branding also has a ripple-like effect, sticking with customers and helping to build brand reputation.

Essentially: think of your values as your brand DNA.

Brand values show your ‘true north’ (no geographical bias intended) as they act as an orientating guide for both your clients and colleagues. They define the business. The blueprint the business. They also show us here at 22 Group what each individual client strives towards and what, together, we’ll focus on conveying.

Distinguishing the message of a company goes a long way. And, whilst it’s important for us to be attuned to the brand values of our clients, we also realise it’s probably important to outline the 22 Group team’s shared ethos — so you know exactly who you’re taking the dive with. Of course, communicating these values is also key so prospective clients can clearly identify connecting strands between our brand and theirs.

So, we’ll go first ... Here’s what our brand stands for:

Friendliness.

A cornerstone of our company’s culture, we put this shared value into practice daily. Cultivating positive and long-standing working relationships amongst ourselves and with our clients is genuinely important to us. It’s all about being our best selves and bringing out the best in each other.

Straight talking.

Honesty and authenticity sets us apart. In a world inundated with options, decisions and choices to be made, it’s nice to know who you can rely on to get the job done. We won’t set unrealistic goals or mess around with your expectations. Building open and honest relationships is always our aim.

Confident.

We believe in ourselves - and you should too. Our passion for each aspect of what we do shines through into our work and you can trust us to give it our all. We recognise our capabilities and are comfortable to try new things in order to make the most of our talents.

Committed.

We take pride in what we do. Loyal and long-standing client relationships are just as important to us as project details. Each and every one of us is dedicated and genuinely invested in our work - and to upholding our brand values.

If it sounds as though we’re kindred spirits, or you’d like to make your brand stand out in a crowd, get in touch with our team: jess@22group.co.uk 

Manchester

+44 (0) 161 672 7822
enquiries@22group.co.uk

26 Dale Street, Manchester, M1 1FY
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