Have We Become A Nation of Corporate Scrouges?

Nov 28, 2012 | Other

By Elizabeth Sparrow, Managing Director – Blabbermouth There was a time when I received corporate Christmas gifts such as smoked salmon hampers, bottles of Champagne and huge boxes of Belgian chocolates. But that was a long time ago when showering clients with gifts was the expected norm. Then the recession hit and we made do with Christmas cards. Now, with mass access to e-marketing platforms, traditional cards have become a thing of the past and an electronic card is all that is expected. What has caused this sudden decline in generosity during our Yuletide season? Could it be the implications of The Bribery Act introduced last year? Could it be firms’ hesitance to ‘flash the cash’ in times of austerity? Or is it simply that the economic downturn has meant tighter operating margins? Whatever the reasons behind the decline in corporate Christmas gift giving there is a question about its impact on client relations. I personally do not miss a desk covered with corporate Christmas cards that I felt obliged to display rather than being recycled on the same day of receipt, but I do miss the excitement of parcels being delivered to my office and the discovery that the gift was something I liked or could eat. Corporate gifts are a way of demonstrating to your clients that their business is valued and that you have taken the time to try and please them. Is this not something that appeals to all of us? Choosing the appropriate corporate gift is of course a minefield but with a little thought and planning you can stand out from the crowd...

New Business Start-ups

Nov 9, 2012 | Consultancy

By Elizabeth Sparrow, Managing Director – Blabbermouth The market offers a fertile ground for new business start-ups but a limited budget and an eagerness to get started results in the focus being on tools rather than identity. Unfortunately this will lead to a faceless addition to the industry with little differentiating you from competitors. Often companies start with a requirement for a logo and a website which are undoubtedly essential tools for any business but targeting this without answering some basic questions about what you want to establish may result in you having to continually re-address this. Sending out differing messages to your target market will lead to confusion and mean your brand is unlikely to become synonymous with anything. It makes it more difficult to sell your service if clients don’t immediately recognise you or the advantages of doing business with you. It does not have to cost a penny to start off on the right foot. There are a few basic questions that you should spend some time thinking about these this will form the axis on which your new business will spin. How do you want to be known, what do you want to achieve, what do you bring that is different, what problems are you addressing for clients, what type of business  do you want to grow, where do you want to be in 1,3 and 5 years? You can engage with marketing and PR companies to assist you but ultimately it will come down to you and your objectives. Once you have identified the answers to these questions then it is time to get started and...