We now have the right strategy in place and a brand that really communicates our strengths

Having Laura on board as our marketing director has transformed the way we market Chantry Kitchens. We now have the right strategy in place and a brand, imagery, website, brochure, stationery and signage that communicate our strengths, all aimed at a clear target market. Laura does everything a full time marketing director would do from running all our advertising campaigns, to writing the copy and managing suppliers to get the most from our business. It’s all backed up by a sound marketing strategy which means we are really focused on what we want and getting the best results. I am really excited to see what the future holds for us and having Laura and her team at Circle looking after us has been invaluable.”

Graham Ware, Managing Director, Chantry Kitchens

It feels like she is working for us full time but at a fraction of the price of recruiting a full time marketing director.

Choosing Circle to develop our marketing strategy was the best decision we could have made. Laura quickly gathered key internal, customer and competitive insights. She was able to translate this into a meaningful growth strategy, new positioning, brand strategy, promotional plan and full action plan. She crafted marketing messages that now really communicate what makes us unique and presented the strategy to the whole company, with great feedback. Laura has helped us with the implementation of every aspect of the strategy and rebrand as our outsourced marketing director. It feels like she is there, working for us full time, but at a fraction of the price of recruiting a full time marketing director. She has become a key part of the Sportcal team.”

Sarah Smith, General Manager, Sportcal

Good marketing copy: to capitalise, or not to capitalise?

Anyone who has worked with me will know I spend a lot of time creating powerful marketing messages. One of my biggest bugbears in copy is the overuse of capitals or Title Case. There is a trend in business writing to turn words into capitals, making the word sound ever so important.

The problem is, it doesn’t. It also isn’t grammatically correct. What’s worse, it makes it much harder to digest the information. With so much noise in the marketplace, it is essential that your customers can quickly and easily digest your marketing message. If not, you may well lose them. So please, no more capitals.

So your headings should not be in capitals. Those products that aren’t really products, they shouldn’t be in title case, departments definitely not, anything you are trying to make seem important, please beware. Unless it’s a proper noun, place or person it shouldn’t be in capitals. If you are just not sure leave the capitals out.

Here’s what the most influential newspapers say about the overuse of capital letters.

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Buy cheap buy twice: Could you be de-valuing your business?

One of my friends has this great phrase “buy cheap, buy twice”. I got to thinking about it recently when I chose a cheap (well cheaper) brand.  A few months later, I inevitably trudged back to the shops to purchase the number one, expensive brand. That phrase has been rattling around my head ever since. It proves a point that I discuss with many of my clients about positioning, brand value and pricing. There’s a good reason why brands hold the number one spot and are ‘reassuringly expensive’.

This product was a boring old vacuum cleaner. And the brand was of course, Dyson.  Known for their innovation and five year guarantees, my little cup of joy overflowed using this spanking new vacuum cleaner.  Sad, I know.  But there’s something so satisfying about parting with the kind of money that would get you a nice European city break if immediately you can see it was money well spent.

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What New Year’s resolutions will you make this year?

So a brand new year is upon us. If like me, you start every year with a few resolutions, why not apply this same principle to your business. Unlike the personal ones like ‘go to the gym five times a week’ and ‘give up chocolate’ (pah, like that’s ever going to happen) – why not start the new business year with resolutions that will help you achieve your business goals?

Here are some of the resolutions I would advise business leaders to make this year.  Use them to write your 2013 business resolutions:

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The best decision we made was to appoint Laura Pegg of We Are Circle

It all started with the words “I think we need a new logo”. Which meant all the stationery had to be changed. And the business cards, the email footers, signage,merchandise materials and of course the website, which we already knew needed a makeover. In all the hundreds of decisions that these changes required, the best one we took was to appoint Laura Pegg of We Are Circle to project manage the exercise. 

Using her considerable expertise, she has guided us every step of the way, encouraged, cajoled, filled in the gaps, steered us away from pitfalls – all with exceptional attention to detail. Laura gave us a first class, professional service and we are delighted with the outcome.

Tim Hill, Partner at Jolliffe Cork LLP Chartered Accountants.

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