I’m very excited. We have the green light to do more Idea Shops.
Stand by your beds for more info.
I’m very excited. We have the green light to do more Idea Shops.
Stand by your beds for more info.
Entrepreneur Valerie Yeang hails from Singapore, from whence she has bought highend fashion label ‘Pulling Strings’. She came to Idea Shop with a good vision for her brand but needed ideas for how to reach her target market: Affluent late twenty-somethings.
How could she get to know the market? How could she get to know her customers?
Visualising a ‘customer base’ is hard. It’s intangible and vague. We helped Valarie fill in the gaps and make her customers real by asking a few questions. (Where would you want your ideal customer to live in London? Where would they work? What would they do?’) We started running scenarios with her and we could see she got a good picture of her perfect customer. Amongst other things, she thought they’d live in Notting Hill. Time for research then! We suggested Valerie go to Notting Hill – did she pick the right spot for her customers? Could she ‘see’ them there? The further we explored this approach the clearer her customer became. We suggested picking up local newspapers to the area, going out to Notting Hill at peak times and at quiet times. How could ‘Pulling Strings’ become a real part of that location? She liked the advice and said she’d put it to good use.
Building a profile of your ideal customer, or of a few different types of customer is really useful exercise. It will help you think of new ways to talk to them about your existing products and services. It may even inspire you to create new products and services to meet their needs. Give them names. Cut out pictures from magazines of what you think they might look like. Think about where they go on holiday, do they have a family, do they have a partner, where do they live, what technology they use, where they hang out, what books they read, their hobbies, what makes them happy, sad, angry. Get to know them as well as you know your best friends and you’ll soon think of great ways to connect with them.
Jo Rixom from Status Employment came to Idea Shop about creating awareness of mental health issues in the workplace. Here’s what happened:
Status Employment are a charity providing employment support to individuals recovering from mental health conditions. 1 in 4 suffer from mental health issues, and yet it’s a massive taboo in the workplace.
Jo wanted to create awareness of mental health in the workplace but wasn’t sure how. She has a clear target of getting 101 people with mental health issues back into full employment in Lambeth.
Status Employment had already created leaflets which were distributed to private companies. Jo clearly cared a lot about the work she was doing but beyond the leaflet drop, couldn’t work out how to create more awareness.
It took quite a lot of in depth discussion, we wanted to understand what had been done before and what had and hadn’t worked. Firstly we looked at how to build on the existing leaflets. Adrien, an Art Director and one of the Ogilvy Idea Shop volunteers, explained how typography, colour and logos can be used differently to say different things. Then we came up with a some different designs directions that would support the aim of creating awareness of mental health in the workplace.
Then we explored ideas for awareness creating event.
First and foremost we want people to want to be involved in addressing the issues associated with Mental Health. 1 in 4 of us suffer from mental health problems. But it’s still a taboo subject. How can we encourage people to learn more?
We proposed organising an event in the Lambeth area. Ideas included inviting local artists from a college to paint well know celebrities who suffer from mental illness. This would challenge the preconceptions of mental health. For instance pictures of Stephen Fry and Winston Churchill – both mental health sufferers. The local element and the celebrity element would draw people in and start conversation about mental health. We discussed having a Q&A session at the event with people who live with mental health talking about their experiences in the workplace.
We then looked at research and how this could help Jo think of more ways to tackle her problem.
Adrien and I encouraged Jo to explore what approaches have been used to address the public’s approach to drugs, alcoholism, sexuality, racism about other taboo or once-taboo subjects – how have these been different? How effective where they? What made them stand out/work? What can Status Employment learn from them? With this knowledge, Jo would then have leverage with her team to try something different and new.
A six point strategy was then formed:
1) Create a ‘Big Ideal’ for Status Employment by finishing the sentence: ‘The world would be better if……. ‘ This Big Ideal will help make their aims more concrete and so more achieveable.
2) Research what has been done – review campaigns and learn about approaches – apply to that to the context of Status Employment and create assets that are true to their brand and their new way of thinking.
3) Hold an event to create publicity, start conversations and learn further from those affected and those attending.
4) After the event encourage discussion online using social media. Then conduct further strategic planning based on the learnings.
5) Repeat points 1 to 4 until objectives are met and progress is made – how have they changed? Developed?
6) Continue research and brand development. As confidence develops from point 1 to 5 encourage further PR and brand leveraging.
Jo said this simple approach of a 6 point plan really helped frame her thoughts. She said she was going to put it to good use. We believe that by looking at what other organisations had done successfully, Jo would understand there are many ways to skin a cat successfully. She’d be inspired and motivated to approach this awareness problem from a new viewpoint. Adrien and I are both looking forward to seeing how things develop.
Inspiration we suggested included:
Awareness Test: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahg6qcgoay4
Car Demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvxGXSGuHbA&feature=related
Kick homophobia out of football: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy7QqloN8Do
Don’t drink and drive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQtTREndJKk
Binge drinking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jftfU30xJg&feature=fvw
Stigma – depression: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64EWjvxqbYg
Posted by Nick Bennett, Account Manager at OgilvyOne
Whisky Connosr is an exciting new online resource/social network for all things whisky related.
Designed and developed from the ground up by Founder Jean-Luc Thiébaut, this stunningly well made site was for me, one of the most exciting things we saw at IdeaShop.
Whisky Connosr started out as a simple online journal for Jean-Luc to record notes on the various whiskys he has sampled as an amateur connoisseur
Today it has close to 3000 active members and 2000 listed whiskys
Jean-Luc clearly had a great foundation to work and some excellent ideas on how to turn the site into a viable revenue stream but he was keen to hear our thoughts on how he could further develop the user base and spread the word of Whisky Connosr to the internet masses.
1. Become *THE* whisky information resource on the web by offering the site as a platform for key bloggers in the industry to have there opinions heard. Analyse the space and engage key bloggers, etc who’s style, opinion, etc fit with the brand you’re trying to create.
2. Setup an Expert Reviewer category for the site to allow these key bloggers some form of notoriety & status within the whisky connosr community. Value exchange is key when trying to engage bloggers. There has to be something in it for them.
3. Create a Whisky Connosr *badge* or *seal* for contributing bloggers that highlights them as a credible source of expert information for visitors to their own blog. This will play to the bloggers ego while simultaneously promoting Whisky Connosr as a professional and credible whisky Institution if you like.
4. Develop fresh, interesting, engaging multimedia content with those Expert Reviewers that will draw new users back to the site in other ways than just simple search;
- weekly podcasts
- video reviews, etc.
Try and grab the attention of newsmedia such as Metro, Evening Standard, Guardian, Sunday Times to try and promote the site. One idea we had was to use the data gathered from the site’s user base to develop quirky (anonymous) statics that will make a good headline.
Once Whisky Connosr reaches a good critical mass of users, engage distillers, retailers, and other trade bodies by attending trade shows, conferences, etc and selling the clear benefits of Whisky Connosr.
Frank Bair from Artisans Carpentry came to visit Idea Shop with a simple problem – how to drive traffic to his website without spending a fortune on adwords. We talked to him about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), PR and advertising.
Frank has a great product; high quality but affordable carpentry performed by reliable trustworthy traders. He also has a lovely new website. He recognises the website’s potential to drive new business, but is not sure how to get people there.
Research shows few people look beyond the first page of search results. Frank needs to be on that first page. To get there he needs to optimise his website for search engines. This means showing search engines that your site is relevant to certain searches. There’s lots written about how to do SEO. Below is a crash course.
Search engines judge the relevancy of your website based on how often the words in a search are used in your copy. These words are called keywords. If I type “Carpenter London” into a search bar, the search engine then looks for sites that use those keywords. Then it sorts all those sites into an order. The sites it judges to be most relevant go first. Where you come in that order is called your “ranking”. Having more keywords in your web copy is good for your ranking – but don’t want to over do it because then your site becomes a horrible read. You can research what keywords are right for your business using Google’s free keyword tool. You can research out if you’ve overused your keywords by having friends to read your site. https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
2. Where to put those keywords
Search engines read from left to right, top to bottom. That means using a keyword in the top left of a page is better than using one in the bottom right of the page. The words used in links, headers, urls and navigation are considered more important than those in body copy. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keywords in links, headers, urls and navigation, if possible. Again, there’s a balance to be reached; you don’t want really long navigation copy, or all your headers to sound the same because you’ve crammed the same keywords in over and over again.
3. Body copy
Search engines like pages with copy on them. Aim for around 250-300 words per page, where appropriate. Search engines also like sites that have lots of incoming links. So create good quality content, and update it often. That way more people will want to link to you.
Links going in and out of your site make it look popular and makes search engines think it’s more relevant. Think about links that are relevant to your user, then find a way to include them that seems natural. You might add a links section to all your pages. Or you might work links into body copy. Don’t just cram links in thoughtlessly because it will devalue your site. In Frank’s case relevant links could be interior design blogs, kitchen and bathroom suppliers and non-competitor tradesman, (electricians etc). These sites may be willing to do a mutually beneficial link swap.
5. Putting yourself out there
Frank could also create content for external sites and link to them. For example, he could create a gallery on flickr.com to showcase work completed by Artisans Carpentry. Or he could create a Youtube channel filled with DIY how to videos. He could make these videos himself, or simple select existing youtube content to go on his channel. Frank can also drive traffic and improve his natural search ranking by becoming active on local DIY and home improvement forums and blogs, posting relevant comments and including his url in his signoff.
6. Page description.
Once he has achieved the holy grail of being on the first page of search results, Frank mustn’t rely on people clicking though to his site to get the info they need. Research shows that including your telephone number in your page desciption (the copy that appears with your link on the results page) can significantly improve the number of calls you receive. (The same is true of having your digits in the header of every page on your site which Frank is already doing.)
Knowing how people find your site and how they interact with it once they are there is invaluable when it comes to improving traffic. We pointed Frank in the direction of another free Google tool, Google Analytics. This is a free service that allows you to see exactly that. It means adding a little piece of code into each of his pages but it will help him figure out how to attract more visitors and turn more visitors into customers.
8. And finally
Search engines are always changing and developing so its important to stay on top of the latest SEO techniques by checking online.
A quick search for “Carpenter South London” revealed a couple of paid for results, (where people pay to have their site come up at the top of the search results), at the top of the page and more down the right hand column. Of the natural search results (where people haven’t paid for a high ranking) the first two are carepenters adverts on Gumtree.com and Trustatrader.com. We recommended Frank follow suit with ads of his own on both these sites. Frank told us that most of his business comes from word of mouth. To capitalise on this we recommended he email satisfied customers an email voucher that they can forward to friends. The voucher could offer a discount and a free consultation. He also mentioned an ad in a local paper that generates a lot of leads. We recommended he continue to use this.
We also thought it would make Frank stand out if he were to craft some wooden leave-behinds with his url burnt on to them. This could be something useful, like a fridge magnet or a paper weight, that customers would leave somewhere visible, thereby keeping Artisans Carpentry at the front of prospective customers minds.
Next we looked at activities beyond SEO that would attract more visitors. Here’s a few of those ideas:
Approach local papers about a DIY column.
Do carpentry displays at local events and fetes.
Start a campaign – starting a campaign not only generates PR, it also positions you as a market leader. The campaign would need to fit with Artisan Carpentry’s values of quality, trust and workmanship. Within that remit, it could be about anything from more use of sustainable material, to bringing back apprenticeships or to a campaign for more reliable traders.
Donate leftover wood to local bonfire night displays.
Create wooden play equipment to donate to local play areas.
As you can see, a lot was squeezed into our hour and half brainstorm with Frank. We can’t wait to see the results. And we know where we’ll be going next time we need some home improvements.
BK Enterprises is a local convenience store that provides phone and Oyster top ups as well as Newspapers, snacks and food and drink. The shop is owned and has been run by a lovely dude called Kenny for 20 years. He also sells Jamaican patties (which in his opinion are the best you can buy), has recently set up an internet area in the back and is in the process of obtaining an alcoholic beverages licence. Over the last few years he has found his store footfall dwindling due to the appearance of a Tesco, Lidl and Costcutter nearby as well as other newsagents opening up over the road.
Our challenge was to get more customers through the door.
We suggested a number of things.
The first thing we noticed was that Kenny was a lovely guy with a deep knowledge of the local area and that actually he is a really strong selling point. So why not look at changing the name to reflect that. Nobody says ‘I’m nipping down to B K Enterprises for some milk’. They would however say that they’re ‘popping over to Kenny’s’.
One of the things we pointed out was that when people move into an area the first shop they go to tends to become their local. So we suggested going to the local lettings agents and giving them a welcome pack with local information and a welcome voucher for new tenants to the area. This would be redeemable in the shop for something like bread, milk and tea, or a free paper etc.
We also told them to put an A-board outside the shop to advertise the patties as no-one know about them until they are already inside the shop.
We suggested that for the internet users he offers a cup of tea or coffee.
They sell stationary and used to get customers coming in from the post office over the road. We discovered that his traffic had begun to decrease when it closed down. We thought that he could apply for a Post Office franchise as there are none in the local vicinity and there is already a post box outside the shop. And because Kenny was one of the people who campaigned to keep the original one open, this could make a great local news story and get his shop in the local press for some free publicity.
Post by Jamie Romain, Art Director, Ogilvy One
Macmillan Cancer Support visited the Idea Shop with a campaign brief outlining the need to raise awareness that people with rarer cancers should get fairer access to the drugs they need to prolong their lives. It’s a really important issue that the Idea Shop team were only too happy to help with.
The benefits of drugs to treat rarer cancers, while often hugely valued by patients, frequently prove non cost-effective under the NICE Technology Appraisal processes and aren’t widely available on the NHS as a result.
The campaign brief detailed a range of audiences that Macmillan Cancer Support intend to target including MPs, Health Thought Leaders, NICE, health correspondents, influential bloggers and the general public. The aim of the campaign is to generate national and regional coverage to raise awareness of the issue amongst the target audiences and encourage the public to get involved and write to their local MP / newspaper.
We talked Macmillan through the need to pull together a detailed communications strategy setting clear guidelines on timing. We recommended stretching the initial deadline to beyond May as the campaign would still be equally as effective working as a sustained campaign, rather than an immediate push before the general election when the media will be incredibly crowded with competing messages.
The Ogilvy team recommended splitting the target audiences into three distinct groups that each require different messaging and tailored approaches.
Ogilvy stressed the need for a case study in order to help people to engage with the story in a personal manner. An individual’s story would greatly assist the campaign in terms of the strength of the argument created for enabling fairer access to drugs. We batted around a few ideas for ‘lines’ to promote the campaign, which we’ll keep under wraps for now.
Macmillan is currently very strong in terms of generating media headlines. Therefore we recommended focusing on amplifying current online activity – such as utilising the Facebook page and creating a Twitter stream purely for the campaign to raise awareness of the issues these people are facing. By utilising digital streams Macmillan can create a value exchange, enabling supporters to actively engage in the campaign and share their views in addition to spreading the word about the need for fairer access to drugs that treat rare cancers. To that end we talked about initiating a “retweet campaign” to support the call to action to write to MPs or sign a petition.
Ogilvy talked about the importance of listening to what is currently being talked about online and then engaging in that conversation. Engaging influential bloggers is key to spreading online chatter and we recommended a listening exercise in order to help Macmillan identify relevant individuals.
We also talked about right and wrong ways to approach bloggers and active twitter users – think of it as a conversation you are joining, be respectful, earn your right to be there, then add your two cents, just as if you were joining a conversation down the pub or over the garden fence.
The chatter online will drive traffic to a dedicated part of the Macmillan Communities site where the call to action will be clearly stated, either in the form of a petition or a template letter.
Macmillan is keeping Idea Shop updated on their progress and we are fully behind the campaign.
Keep your eyes peeled for the latest coverage: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7189796/Terminally-ill-patients-being-penalised-by-Nice-for-having-rare-conditions.html
Post by Sophie Gray, Ogilvy PR
The Brixton Pound is a local currency. It’s money that sticks to Brixton. Brixton Pound’s creators hope that it will encourage use of local businesses and produce as well as ensuring money that is spend in Brixton, stays in Brixton.
The challenges Brixton Pound faces are 1) Get more businesses to take B£ 2) Get consumers to “ask for their change in Brixton pounds”.
Before the brainstorm descended into a very interesting debate on economics, these are the ideas we had
1. B£ Bling jewelry design competition. (Think big blingy rings and pendants with the B£ sign, instead of a dollar sign)
2. A poster campaign with the line “A Brixton Pound is worth more than a pound” and this month’s offers – lots of the businesses who accept B£ have money off deals if you use the local currency. These posters would work best in on community noticeboards and the like.
3. Get community leaders involved – ask local vicars and religious leaders to ask for next week’s collection in Brixton Pounds, then distribute leaflets as people are leaving the service.
4. Get children involved in a “Ask for your pocket money in B£” campaign.
5. Make more of the brilliant B£ logo by improving the “B£ accepted here” window sticker – something round (pound shaped) with the dots and grooves of a pound around the outside would be more instantly recognisable and would stand out from other window stickers.
6. Make “I asked for my change in B£” stickers available at the cash register – if people can see that others have supported Brixton Pounds, they are more likely to do so as well.
7. Capitalise on the existing community support for B£ by creating t-shirts for people to wear – this allows you to use your supporters to spread the word. The B£ imagery and logo are really appealing and would create very desirable clothing.
8. Look at ideas for stalls you could set up at community events so you can have a presence there; the Windrush Square opening party later in Feb; Lambeth Country Show and Streatham Festival. This would be a great place to start the B£ Bling competition. Or to give away “Ask for your pocket money in B£” money boxes.
9. B£’s first birthday is coming up – there should be a party to celebrate. We discussed a few money related themes for this. Brixton Pound Bankers Ball, The B£ Stock Exchange and so on.
10. There’s an existing leaflet aimed at businesses and consumers. We recommended having one leaflet for businesses and one for consumers because they both need different information and will respond better to different kinds of communication. The exisiting leaflet lists all the places that except B£ by area. We suggested creating genre specific flyers – B£ Dinning, B£ Pubs, B£ Style and so on. These flyers can be leaf in restaurants, pub, fashion store etc, respectively.
11. Change dishes, bills, till stickers and menus are an ideal place to remind people to ask for their change in B£. We suggested creating materials for these points, including round pound shaped “Ask for your pocket money in B£” stickers to go in the bottom of change dishes in pubs, bars and restaurants.
Find out more about the Brixton Pound and where to get/spend yours here http://brixtonpound.org
Art School Royalty is a fledgling brand still trying to work out how to announce itself to the world.
Brainchild of Christos (who had travelled all the way from Manchester!), Art School Royalty presents a unique concept by fusing the world of student art and commercial retail together through a talent led initiative.
Basically, Christos wants to offer hungry young design students a public outlet by printing their work on unique, high-end t-shirts. The business model is not unlike the social graphics tees co www.threadless.com but with the alluring twist of only featuring designs from art school students/alumni. Tee by the future Tracy Emin anyone?
However, Christos was caught at a ‘chicken-or-egg’ moment. He needed work from designers to produce the t-shirts, but he had no examples to convince them it was a great project.
We recommended he organise talks at Manchester’s best design schools (by getting to know the professors and college heads) to pitch his idea to the students directly. As a club promoter, he also had access to a ready made brand building tool – Art School Royalty could sponsor the best nights in Manchester, thus aligning itself with the right cultural hotspots (and potential customers)! Also, with access to many of the latest bands, he should try and rope in lead singers and musicians as brand ambassadors to wear his t-shirts and effortlessly (and cheaply) communicate his brand values to his customers.
He already had a good idea to initially create an online forum to display his products with minimum expense but the long term goal is to get them into boutiques across the UK.
Ultimately, we stressed that it would be down to him to engage with the students effectively as they really hold the keys to ASR’s success.
Good Luck Christos, we look forward to wearing your merchandise soon!
Post by Hugo Bennett
Youth Worker and Consultation and Participation Officer Le N Ho had become frustrated with the negative perception of young people in contemporary society – particularly in her local borough of Newham; just next door to Idea Shop’s mother ship in Canary Wharf. After a submitting a winning application for a £3,500 grant to develop a community campaign, Le came to Idea Shop to see how to make the money work hardest.
Knowing that at the source of the misconception is a lack of understanding and awareness, Le had planned to run a series of workshops and develop a magazine to highlight the achievements of hard working young people. After discussing the benefits of intergenerational activities it became clear that in order for these to work the negative perceptions of young people must first be challenged. Rather than investing in the production of a single magazine, using newly affordable and flexible production services such as Newspaper Club would allow newspapers to be produced and distributed to a dispersed audience, especially one with varying access to the internet. Also collaborating with successful young people such as designers, photographers and writers would allow for co-creation and provide role models to draw other young people engaged with the project. By capitalising on the popularity of basic digital tools such as camera phones the idea of co-creation could be extended to the wider audience.
Successfully accessing and communicating to young people is a challenge major brands with multi-million pound budgets are struggling with, let alone individuals with money & time pressures. Involving young people themselves in the creation of the communications and activities will help draw in others and help further elevate success stories from local area – such its track record in providing successful sports professionals and cultural icons such as Jermaine Defoe and the late Alexander McQueen – eventually providing a reason for the wider community to reconsider their views.
Post by Keiran Bradshaw