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When Nothing Works Anymore – How Do You Get Cut Through?  

Uncategorized Feb 18, 2019

In a world where there is more and more noise, it can be difficult to be heard. Many of us feel that despite producing awesome content, we’re just not getting through to anyone.

To capture anyone’s attention requires more than good content.

This is a topic I’ve decided to research and study closely so in future posts I’ll be sharing my findings and ideas for distributing our content so as to reach more people. Watch this space.

You’re Not Alone If You Feel That Your Marketing Isn’t Working

You’re in good company if you find that your marketing isn’t working any more.

Mark Schaefer, in his new book, Marketing Rebellion, observes that his Chief Marketing Officer friends who represent some of the biggest names in the business, without exception all feel they are falling behind… on everything

They say things are just not working like they used to.

These are some of the biggest marketing stars at the most famous brands.

...

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The Business Case For Remote Working

Uncategorized Feb 11, 2019

The decision to change the Azrights business model and just retain a meeting room wasn’t one I took lightly.

With distant memories of Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer putting an end to remote working at the company back in 2013 I was unsure what the latest thinking on remote working was when I took the plunge in 2017 to move the business to remote working for all.

I did some quick Google research which seemed to validate my decision that it would be a good idea to follow the trend among law firms and move to a remote working business model.

If you want to increase your team’s productivity then remote working does the trick it seems.

I found some views to the effect that if you need to increase your team’s creativity, then it’s better to bring them together to collaborate in a physical environment. Given that the only business I was operating at the time was a law firm I reckoned that having fewer distractions of an office environment would probably...

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Licensing And Franchising – Why the Difference Between The Two Matters

Uncategorized Feb 04, 2019

People often assume that the difference between these two terms matters little, yet if you get it wrong you could be exposing your business to hefty fines in some jurisdictions. Before explaining this let’s just briefly consider what the two terms mean.

 

Franchising

Franchising is a way to scale a business once it is successful and proven.

A  well-known example of a business that has grown through franchising is McDonald's. (By contrast, Starbucks has grown by opening its own branches).

Franchising involves finding people who want to operate a business using your successful formula. To become franchisees they need to have the basic skills and experience to operate branches of your business. The franchisor provides training in how to operate the business using its proven systems and processes.

You can franchise almost any type of business. With a franchise, the franchisor (owner) is in control of the brand and training. It licenses (that is, grants permissions to)...

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Logo Design Protection Using Trademark, Design and Copyright

Uncategorized Jan 28, 2019

Using Trademark, Design and Copyright are all ways to protect logos.

The subject isn’t well understood, yet it’s worth paying attention to this to protect your business.

To understand the available legal protections for logos let’s first look at examples of the different types of a logo that you may want to protect. 

There are 3 variations:

 

1. A combined mark – that is a word and an image, looks like this:

The words incorporated within such a logo should be checked for trademark purposes before using the logo to ensure it is not already trademarked by a competitor. 

This is necessary even if you have already registered the company or domain name. 

As a separate matter also have a trademark search to check that the image element is not too similar to a competitor’s trademark.

 

2. A stylised mark – that means a word on its own like this:

The words incorporated within such a logo should be...

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Branding Basics – What We Can Learn From Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’

Uncategorized Jan 21, 2019

The literature classics have become classics because although they were written many years ago, they impart a timeless wisdom that remains relevant even in today’s society. 

So there are lessons we can take away from them. Let’s look at Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ for some branding lessons.

 

First Impressions

Wilde has this to say about first impressions:

‘Something tells me that we are going to be great friends. I like you already more than I can say. My first impressions of people are never wrong’ First impressions still carry a lot of weight in our modern day society. 

For example, when we first meet someone, that person’s handshake, their demeanour, clothes, and the way they speak all create an initial opinion about them. It can be very difficult to change these first impressions too.

Similarly, our initial impressions are often the reason we form a certain impression about a business. 

One...

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Differentiating a Service Business – Part 2

Uncategorized Jan 14, 2019

Differentiating a Service Business – Part 2

 

Challenges of Law Firm Differentiation

The objective of the differentiating proposition is to communicate to consumers that buying from you will give them a specific benefit. This benefit must be unique to you and be powerful enough to move the buyer to choose you. Where there is insufficient differentiation between businesses the buyer’s choice is more likely to come down to price.

The aim is to have such an effective positioning, and strong USP (unique selling proposition), that buyers believe there is simply no substitute for your service.  For example, if you are willing to do things differently to everyone else and meet clients on Saturday and Sunday when other law firms are closed, then your target market who values the possibility of meeting at the weekend would be hard pressed to find a substitute for your service.

It is not easy to differentiate a law practice in these desirable ways. For example,...

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Differentiating a Service Business – Part 1

Uncategorized Jan 07, 2019

I want to do a deep dive into differentiation, specifically what’s involved to differentiate a service business.

I’ll start by looking at law firm differentiation today and will discuss other service sectors in the future.

Background

More than two-thirds of businesses nowadays are in the services sector. Their founders have a specific area of expertise. So, when they set up in business it’s to deliver knowledge-based skills.

This is the upshot of the trend for the corporate sector to retain smaller teams of permanent staff and to use contractors with specialist skills to increase resources to deliver specific ad hoc projects.  Consequently, there has been an explosion in the number of self-employed people in the market.

The common issue these new businesses face when it comes to the need to stand out among competitors is how to operate in an environment that is likely to be quite competitive.

For example, small intellectual property law firms were rare...

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How To Get An Outstanding Brand

Uncategorized Dec 17, 2018

Last week in Why Purpose is Paramount I explained that it’s the responsibility of the leaders of a business to work out the “why” for the business. When looking for the purpose behind a business find one that’s capable of inspiring the team and customers too. Your “why” should be a belief that galvanises you into making long-lasting positive changes that drive growth and innovation. A business’ purpose needs to motivate team members who are involved in the business.


I was intending, this week, to explore how purpose-driven organisations stay core to their mission by keeping their “why” uppermost. However, as I began to research this topic, I realised there is a lot of ground to cover. So, I’m postponing those pieces till next year. 

Instead, I’m going to do an in depth focus on differentiation, and positioning to explain how a business might attempt to stand out among its competitors. This is...

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Why Purpose Is Paramount! – Take Aways From My Experience

Uncategorized Dec 10, 2018

Last week in Why I’ve Set Up A Second Business And Expect To Crush It As An Olderpreneur, I highlighted the trend nowadays for baby boomers to set up new businesses.

Far from wanting to retire, I explained my reasons for wanting to continue working many more years.  In fact, I’ve even started a second business, Azrights International Ltd, because I want an even greater sense of fulfillment and purpose from my work.

I see exciting new ways to contribute to the world and deliver added value.

Fulfillment Through Purpose

This question of fulfillment and purpose is an important one for all of us to think about whether we’re in business or working in careers.

Getting clarity on our purpose is widely advocated as the way to greater success, and enjoyment in life.

As Steve Jobs put it, doing work you love is important. To quote his words

You’ve got to find what you love . . . Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly...

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Why I’ve Set Up A Second Business And Expect To Crush It As An Olderpreneur

Uncategorized Dec 03, 2018

According to this Institute of Directors report a growing number of people are starting their own businesses in later life. In their article, Over-50s are the new business start-up generation, the Financial Times has very encouraging statistics for anyone considering starting out again after 50, namely that businesses set up by the over-50s are more likely to still be trading five years later than those established by younger age groups.

A study by Jones, Javier Miranda of the U.S. Census Bureau and MIT's Pierre Azoulay and J. Daniel Kim looked at an expansive dataset and supports these findings. Their research shows that older entrepreneurs have a greater chance of success in their projects than younger ones. The most successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged. This research said: “We find that age indeed predicts success, and sharply, but in the opposite way that many observers and investors propose”. “The...

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