This is the place to catch up on all things Brand Camp. Check back here regularly for blog posts, opinons, news and more!

    Lynx – The Power of Tactical Advertising

    Lynx Tactical Ad Prince Harry

    Sometimes events take place that are an absolute gift for a brand. Prince Harry pictured naked with a scantily clad girl after a game of strip billiards in Las Vegas was exactly that for Lynx. Lynx and BBH (Bartle, Bogle, Hegarty), its advertising agency, are the masters of spotting and capitalising on opportunities. The above ad ran in all the major papers as the story dominated the news. Using the same recognisable typeface as “Keep Calm and Carry On” WWII Government posters, the ad creatively builds on its age-old proposition that its product makes men irresistible towards women. The ad quickly spread like wildfire across Facebook and beyond.

    Lynx are not shy about controversy and have established a reputation for sharp, witty, satirical advertising. Back in 1998 they ran the below ad in response to Bill Clinton’s private “meeting” with intern Monica Lewinsky.

    Lynx Tactical Ad The Whitehouse

    Lynx Tactical Ad Britney SpearsAnother media event that was too good to miss was Britney’s 24 hour marriage to her childhood friend, Jason Alexander, back in 2004.

    The success of each of these ads lies in their comic timing and the fact that each builds, brilliantly on the core brand promise that Lynx makes wearers irresistible to women.

    In February’s post ‘How to get your brand talked about‘ I wrote about how Branson is a master at taking advantage of tactical opportunities and gave you tips on how to think more tactically.

    If you would like your brand to take advantage of more tactical opportunities, you need to be very clear about what you stand for, it also helps to think through extreme scenarios that could happen so that you are open to spotting them as they arise. They will.

      Posted in Brand Communication, Brand Development, Great Ads | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

      The Inaugural Pathway to Profit

      Pathway to profit

      We ran our first marketing for small business event in London last week and it was a great success by all accounts. We were blown away by the feedback.

      The goal of the whole day was to inspire everyone to think differently about their business and their brand. We wanted then to shift from thinking about creating a business to thinking about creating a brand. The morning kicked off with my session encouraging everyone to push the boundaries with their businesses and to dare to be remarkable. There are so many boring businesses in the world, why create a mediocre one? As entrepreneurs we should feel duty bound to make a difference, no matter what category we’re in.

      Jacqueline Biggs

      It all starts with your vision, mission and values – it’s key to think big and to dare to be different. What’s your purpose? What change do you want to create in the world? Getting clear on this will help you to create a strong brand identity and a sense of community, something that people will want to belong to.

      I then interviewed the amazingly inspiring Shaa Wasmund, founder of She shared her great story of how she successfully launched Smarta in a recession and how the best way to get Theo Paphitis to take notice is to stalk him for two years. It clearly worked for Shaa as he is a founding partner and mentor, alongside Deborah Meaden, a formidable duo.

      Shaa Wasmund Interview with Jacqueline Biggs

      Andrew Priestley then gave a phenomenal talk on the Entrepreneur’s guide to finance. He’s the only person I know who can keep a room hooked on his every word when talking about finance. It was a great session.

      Andrew Priestley

      Next up Rob and I shared two inspiring case studies on two companies that have created very strong brand identities by getting clear about what they stand for and why it matters.

      Rob Bloxham

      We then encouraged everyone to take action, we hate passive learning sessions and wanted everyone to think about what they would do differently when they got back to their desk. We started a lively debate.

      You can check out what attendees thought about our session here:

      If you would like to come along to one of our events please email and we will add your details to our distribution list.


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        Small Business Marketing Event

        Pathway to profit

        This Thursday in London we are running a half day, marketing event for small businesses called Pathway To Profit. It is packed full of great, actionable content. Headline speakers, selected for their passion for business and a winning entrepreneurial streak, include:

        • Shaa Wasmund #1 best selling author and founder of multi million pound
        • Andrew Priestley, business psychologist and award winning coach to small businesses
        • Jacqueline Biggs former strategist at M&C Saatchi’s advertising agency
        • Robert Bloxham, SME branding expert.

        Get 10% off your tickets here 

        Over the course of the morning you will learn:

        • Lessons from creating the Smarta empire
        • How to avoid a cash flow crisis
        • How to create a brand on a budget
        • How to get your brand noticed
        • How to connect effectively with your target audience
        • How to get ‘Dragons’ involved in your business without going on Dragons Den

        At the end of the seminar you have the chance to network with likeminded entrepreneurs, so don’t forget your business cards!

        Get 10% off your tickets here

        Event Details:

        • Registration: 8.30am
        • Duration: 9am to 1pm.
        • Networking until 1.30pm.
        • Gold Ticket lunch 1.30-2.30pm
        • Location: Balls Brothers, Minster Exchange, Burgundy Room (downstairs), Minster Crt, Mincing Lane, EC3R 7PP
        • Google Map:

        Get 10% off your tickets here

        We look forward to seeing you there,

        Jacqueline & Rob

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          The Art of Storytelling

          The Art of Storytelling

          In an earlier post on brand storytelling, I wrote about how important it is to create and tell your brand story. This is because the most powerful content tells a story. We’ve all been touched by stories since our childhood, they both entertain and enrich us. To succeed, brands need to connect with consumers with emotion and relevance and applying storytelling principles to brand development strategy can make the journey more effective. Lots of brands have a great story; how they began, what makes them different, what they do etc, but many fail to leverage their unique story. Those that do follow a consistent approach; they set the scene, define the key players, keep the message consistent and deliver a happy ending that is distinctive and has clear benefits for the buyer.

          Ikea’s brand story

          Ikea is a brand synonymous with affordable, contemporary design, they sell us a story about ‘loving where we live’ and ‘making space for things that matter’, you get the feeling that they genuinely want us to feel ‘happy inside’. They encourage us to make ourselves at home in their store and signs say: ‘This could be your place. Take your time, wander through, let your kids jump on our sofas, make yourself at home.’ All of this synchs with the founder Kamprad’s mission to create ‘a better life for many’, which is further evidenced by their focus on cutting prices, pretty unique in the retail industry. In 1999 their best selling Klippan sofas were more expensive than they are today. Frugality is deeply ingrained in the corporate DNA, as is the obsession with design, which is why so many people have fallen in love with Ikea. Since launch it has gone from strength to strength with rapid global expansion. The Ikea catalogue now has a larger print run than the Bible!

          Why is storytelling so important to your business?

          • An authentic brand story makes you memorable.
          • It differentiates you as desirable.
          • It reveals how you solve a genuine problem.
          • It solidifies your culture.
          • It brings your brand to life and makes you feel human.
          • It gives you a distinct competitive advantage.
          • Your target market becomes hugely responsive.
          • It positions you as a visionary in your field.

          The Art of Storytelling

          The best brand stories are irresistible and compelling, they tell the unexpected and speak directly to the heart. Whether word of mouth or online, the ancient art of storytelling remains the same. It’s the passion, the creativity, and the integrity of the message that makes a story powerful. And powerful stories change the world.

          Create and share your brand story with me, I’d love to know what you’re up to.

            Posted in Brand Communication, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

            Twitter For Business

            Twitter for business

            Just because you open a Twitter account, does not mean that the floodgates are open and followers will come flooding in. You need a strategy; you need to plan both your content and an ‘attraction’ strategy to build your following on and on-going basis.

            Creating a messaging strategy

            As with every aspect of your marketing, you need to have a strategic approach to your content. At the start of each month I plan and write my social media content for the next four weeks. I consider this, my ‘ever-green’ content for the month and I usually take about half a day to do this. This can then be auto-scheduled and forgotten about. This is not the only content that I will share, it is the minimum, I then add topical tweets, news updates and articles throughout the month, as well as engage one to one with followers, re-tweeting and re-posting. What I like most about this upfront planning, is that if I end up being too busy to do additional tweets during the month, I am still publishing content week in, week out and this builds my profile as a thought leader on my topics.

            Planning in advance also enables you to think strategically about your content, rather than simply being reactive to what is happening in the market, though this can be important too. What you share, positions you within your niche, so plan your content around keywords you want to be known for.

            Step 1: How many tweets?

            Begin by deciding the number of evergreen tweets you want to send each day, a good start point is between three and five. If you’re just starting out, start with three.

            Step 2: What is the timescale of your plan?

            I plan four weeks ahead, but this might not be convenient for you. Decide how much time you have to devote to planning and writing, a couple of hours a fortnight, might be more manageable.

            Step 3: Decide on your keywords

            You need to choose keywords that are both relevant to your business and that have hashtag already set up, as this means that people are already following this word and using it with the hashtag, #, in front of it will increase the reach of each tweet. To search for hashtags got to

            Decide on seven areas or topics you want to be seen as an expert and authority on, one for each day of the week, then group keywords together for each topic, aim to get four, one for each week of the month. You will then need to generate three tweets around each keyword. This means you need to generate 84 tweets, sounds a lot, but it’s easier than you think!

            Step 4: Decide on the type of content

            Creating content on twenty eight keywords might sound like a lot of work, but you can make it easy for yourself by varying the type of content you create. I rotate between ten variations:

            1. Ask questions to get feedback
            2. Share a quote on my topic
            3. Create a survey or poll (great way to research ideas for longer form content)
            4. Give a piece of advice or a business tip
            5. Link to evergreen content on my blog
            6. Share 3rd party research
            7. Share photos / videos
            8. Link to presentations on Slideshare
            9. Share fun stuff on my topics to make people laugh
            10. Make provocative statements to start a discussion

            Select three that work for you and leverage the tools already built for Twitter to make your life a lot easier, eg Twtpoll, Twitpic, Twitvid etc. Then for each keyword of the day use three different content forms to deliver your message on each site. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you complete this task.

            Hint: When choosing your keywords remember you have a 140 character limit on Twitter so make use of a thesaurus!

            Step 5: Schedule your tweets

            There are a number of tools available that allow you to schedule your tweets in advance, Social Oomph and Hootsuite are two I recommend, though the one I use the most is BufferApp as it analyses your Twitter account and schedules your valuable content at peak times. Plus it tracks clicks for you.

            Hint: One of the key strengths of social media is being able to respond in real time to tweets and comments, scheduling content in advance means you’re not there monitoring conversations as they happen, so you can miss the moment. This is why it is important to use this approach as one part of your social media strategy.

            Try out this strategy and tell me how it works for you.

              Posted in Brand Communication, Social Media | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

              How To Get Your Brand Talked About

              Virgin PR Stunt

              How to get your brand talked about – Tip #1

              When thinking about how to create newsworthy stories, most companies focus on themselves and what they are up to. However, newsworthy opportunities can also come from your competition, perhaps they’re making controversial decisions or making bold claims in your market that you could react to, or maybe something isn’t going according to plan.

              Richard Branson is a genius at leveraging the competition’s misfortune for his own gain, but it’s all done with a smile and in a spirit of fun. When British Airways sponsored the London Eye, the giant Ferris wheel on the banks of the Thames, they called a huge press conference, but there was one big problem. They couldn’t get the wheel up and it was lying on the ground. Ever the opportunist, Branson seized the moment and organised an airship to fly over the the wheel – where the press had been waiting for several hours – with a huge sign saying: “BA can’t get it up.” It was so tongue in cheek it made everyone smile and of course was front page news. This type of fun-spirited approach to the competition can really help build a brand.

              A few tips on how to keep up to date with your competitors

              Google Alerts – Set up keyword searches on competitor brand and product names, as well as their key players. Don’t forget to add your brand names to make sure you know what’s being said about you too.

              Social Mention – Similar to Google alerts, but more focused on user generated content on blogs, bookmarks, in comments, videos and more.

              Social Media: Follow competing brands on Twitter, join their Facebook pages and Google+ circles.

              Newsletters: Sign up to your competitors’ newsletters and blog posts, so you’re aware of their latest promotions and launches.

              Ask your customers: Ask your customers about their views on the competition. Depending on the nature of your business, this can be done online via a quick survey using Survey Gizmo, or Wufoo survey tools, or asked in person. If you discover that you’re streets ahead in important areas then write a press release and get your stats published.

              Attend conferences: Conferences are a great way to see and hear what the competition are up to and to see the industry’s response.

              Talk to your suppliers: If you share suppliers they can be a great source of competitive insight. What do they think your strengths and weaknesses are versus the competition?

              Hire your competition: No one is more willing to share insider knowledge than a disgruntled sales guy! I used to have a client, who shall remain nameless, who advertised fictitious senior sales positions in his company and interviewed potential candidates from competing companies. He spent the entire interview grilling them about their sales techniques to get on the ground insight into his competitors’ sales strategies. I don’t personally recommend creating fictitious vacancies, but staff that come from competing companies can be a useful source of insights into what’s not going quite so well.

              When it comes to getting your brand talked about, your timing is critical. If you spot an opportunity, go for it, the faster you can create a stunt or some other form of response, the greater your chance of coverage.

              If you would like to hear more ideas on how to get your brand talked about then come along to our small business marketing seminar in London on March 15th. Click here for more information:

              Pathway to Profit


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                What’s your brand story?

                Whats Your Story

                Storytelling is a strong trend in effective brand communications, because it has such a huge impact. We live in a world where most products or services can be copied, but brand stories are inimitable. Unlocking your brand story can create incredible opportunities to connect with your target audience in relevant and authentic ways.

                Whether you are a business to business brand, a business to consumer brand or a personal brand that is just you, the aim of your communications is to create a meaningful, relevant connection with your target audience. Telling a compelling story is a great way to achieve this.

                Every brand has a story, but many never realise them or tell them in an engaging way. A compelling brand narrative is something people relate to, believe in and enjoy. If you want to stand the test of time, you need to tell yours. Your mission, vision and values are just one part of your brand story. This bigger story is what connects your brand to your consumer and makes it relevant to their lives. A great brand story is authentic and creative, it enables you to connect emotionally and personally with your consumer and inspires action. You want to take your audience on a journey with your brand.

                Successful brands tell stories that resonate because they are relevant. Dove’s Campaign for real beauty and Persil’s desire to give kids the freedom to get dirty are two powerful brand stories. Their conviction and deep-seated beliefs are the starting point for a great story about their brands. The story connects a brand truth, values and beliefs and a strong insight to the target audience that makes it both compelling and relevant. A great brand story enables you to connect emotionally with your consumers, which is the key to success.

                When I worked at M&C Saatchi’s advertising agency as a strategic planner, I spent a lot of time discussing the meaning of the brands I worked on with my clients. What did they stand for? What was the core essence of the brand? The values? The personality? The emotional and rational benefits? Plus a lot more. Each client had a different way of setting out their brand architecture and it varied from pyramids to temples to onions and beyond. Oh how we agonised over the words. Was the brand smart or intelligent? Laidback or relaxed? We spent weeks discussing nuances of synonyms and performed semantic gymnastics. Now don’t get me wrong, I actually do think that the discipline of articulating your brand pyramid or equivalent is a good one, but you have to make sure that it takes you to a useful place rather than leading to death by a hundred adjectives. I have always thought that storytelling is a much more effective way to bring a brand’s intangible characteristics and values to life. Stories have the power to evoke intense emotions that, quite frankly, pyramids do not. If you think about brand development as creating a story that people want to listen to and better, be a part of, it can give real meaning to that collection of adjectives.

                How do you begin framing your own brand story?

                An effective brand story is authentic and creative, it has the same components that you see in a novel you can’t put down, or a film you watch a hundred times. It emotionally engages the audience, touching them in a personal way. It’s the opposite of a ‘hard sell’, instead taking the consumer on a powerful journey with your brand.

                When crafting your story begin with the end in mind – what do you want your consumers to think, feel or do on hearing your brand story? Then think about how you are going to measure this. There is no point in crafting an incredible piece of communication if you cannot track its effectiveness. Ideally you want to create a story that starts a conversation.

                Once you understand the impact you want to have, try answering some of the following questions to help you identify your brand story:

                • What motivated and inspired you to start your company?
                • What’s your mission? What makes life meaningful for you?
                • What are the attitudes and beliefs that shape your business culture?
                • What makes you stand out from the crowded market place?
                • How do your products and services meet your consumers’ emotional needs?
                • How does your brand fit into their lives? What role does it play?
                • What problem are you solving for your audience?
                • What is the single, most important message that you want to convey?

                Great brand stories reveal the human side to a brand and get the audience to take action, whether it’s to think or feel differently about something, to change their behaviour or to spend money. In short, great brand stories compel people to action, so start telling yours today.

                  Posted in Brand Communication, Brand Development, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

                  The Emotive Power of Advertising

                  This is an incredibly powerful ad, that touches me emotionally. It’s not a recent launch, but it’s an ad I love, due to the connection it creates with the viewer. Take a look and let me know if you like it.

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                    Time to slay seven branding myths

                    Branding has got to be one of the most misunderstood concepts among business leaders.

                    Perhaps it’s because you get different answers if you ask them to define a brand — from a ‘promise’ to an assurance of quality or service; a perceived value or pleasure out of using or being associated with a company or product; a sustainable source of competitive advantage; a valuation of reputation; or the essence, emotion or culture of a business.

                    Or maybe it’s because there are so many myths surrounding branding, willingly propagated by strategists and people wanting to charge a fortune for something feared more than a Hogwarts’ Dark Art.

                    Myth 1: Brand loyalty is dead. Tell that to the marketers AND the accountants at Coca-Cola, Nike, Google or Apple!

                    So onto Myth 2: Branding is for the big boys only. Think of how FaceBook overhauled MySpace (MyWho? I hear you say), Easyjet took on British Airways and became a dotcom sensation. They were just ‘little ideas’ not so long ago.

                    Myth 3: Branding is expensive but worthless. OK, so some spend a fortune and screw up on naming and logos.

                    Myth 4: It’s all about big budget advertising. While it helps, this was never the case, and is even less true since the internet dawned and social media was born.

                    Myth 5: Branding works instantly. While branding is powerful, it’s not a miracle worker. It’s about building sustainable competitive advantage on the back of an authentic promise. In branding as in business, patience and persistence pay.

                    Myth 6: Not every business needs branding. Wrong! You have no business strategy if you haven’t thought about your brand, how to differentiate yourself and how to build and sustain your position for the long term in a competitive marketplace.

                    Myth 7: Brand managers own a company’s brand. No! A CEO, branding department or internal communications teams can ‘line people up’ but your staff and customers are your biggest ambassadors.

                    And if you still believe branding is fluffy, confusing or a waste of time or money, share your comments on my thoughts or give me a call to take issue.

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                      Welcome to the Brand Camp Community

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