How to find the right name for your business

Choosing a business name

So you’ve developed a product and committed yourself to your business. But you’ve hit a snag. 

What the hell are you going to name it? 

It doesn’t need to be perfect – but the name you choose is going to be central to your brand’s image.

Yes, you can change it later on. But a strong decision now saves you the time, money and tears involved in a rebrand. 

Need help naming your business? Let’s hear from some of the world’s leading brands. 

1. Make it personal 

Using your surname as your brand can be a great way to pin down a “legacy” feel, but it’s not for everyone – and you might struggle if your a Smith!

Other options are linked to shared experience and inside jokes. We don’t suggest an outright pun (hello Jason Donner Van) but brands have found inspiration in weird places… 

Which takes us to point number two!

2. Be inspired by fiction

Ever found yourself identifying with a fictional character? Jerry Yang and David Filo felt a certain familiarity when they encountered the repulsive and filthy Yahoo creatures in Gulliver’s Travels.  

So, of course, they named their infamous guide to the world wide web after them. 

3. Search the dictionary 

Hasn’t everyone wondered what the world would have been like if Jeff Bezos has chosen a different name for Amazon? No, we have not. But it did nearly happen. Jeff originally had his heart set ‘Cadabra’ – but he encountered an unexpectedly macabre issue – people thought he was saying Cadaver. 

Instead, deciding on a name close to the beginning of the alphabet (pre-Google, the internet directory was indexed like a phone book) he scoured the dictionary and settled on Amazon. Many brands have a similar story – why not try it out? 

4. Make up your own word

If you feel especially creative and want to avoid the risk of your brand name having negative connotations, why not make one up? When George Eastman named his photography company he wanted something short, snappy, and easy to spell. He also liked the letter K. The obvious choice? Kodak.

You could also try a portmanteau of existing words. Lego was created from the Danish words legt (play) and godt (well). (NB: Lego is also Latin for ‘I put together’, but the brand claims this is a serendipitous coincidence.) 

The downside here is that people may struggle to spell – or even remember – your name. 

5. Say exactly what it does on the tin

Who can forget these no-nonsense adverts from Ronseal? They show us that branding isn’t all about being unusual. 

It’s always worth considering a descriptive name for your brand. Consider Toys R Us. It wasn’t an exciting name, but you knew exactly what you were going to get from the store. 

On the downside, this kind of name can be limiting if you decide to expand. 

6. Visualise what you want for your brand

Visualise the future of your business. What do you see? 

The name Volkswagen literally means “people’s car”, and was born from a desire to produce a car for the masses. (The idea came from Adolf Hitler – but let’s not think too deeply about that.) 

Is there a dream you have for your product that could influence the name? 

Have any of these tips given you an idea for your business? Let me know if the comments!

And if you’re looking for a copywriter please get in touch.

The best way to brief a professional copywriter

Hiring a professional copywriter is a great investment for any business. But if you want them to nail that copy and maximise your investment – you need a clear brief.

A good copywriter will always have a list of questions to get a clear view of your business and what’s expected from your relationship. But make sure you’re prepared.

This simple guide will equip you with the knowledge needed to get the most from your copywriter.

1. Consider your tone of voice 

Is your brand fun and edgy – or professional and educational? Now’s the time to decide. 

If you’ve already established your brand and tone of voice you need a straightforward copywriting service. Your copywriter will learn that tone and create a consistent content campaign. 

Alternatively, your content lacks a voice – or it’s all over the place. In this case, you’ll want to work with your copywriter to create a clear and consistent voice and brand message.

2. Figure out what you want from your copywriter

This is an important step to consider before briefing your copywriter. There are many reasons to hire a freelance writer – whether that’s SEO-enriched articles, lead generating email campaigns or a complete website rewrite.

Establish this early on. It’ll help inform the content, ensure you’re hiring the right type of writer and could save you some money – many copywriters offer deals on larger projects.

3. Describe your product in your own words

You’re the best advocate of your own business. Hearing you describe your product (or service) with passion, in your own words, is a golden source of content for a writer.

Think of it as the copywriter telling your story the way you wish you could tell it. The more information we have, the more accurate the portrayal.

4. Think about what you admire about your competitors 

We all have things we admire (and dislike) about our competitors and major industry players. So, let your copywriter know these likes and dislikes and we can incorporate it into your content. 

Is there a certain tone of voice that your competitors use that you hate? Let your copywriter know. Jealous of a piece of content? Ask for a new-and-improved version!

5. Define your customers (and dream customers) 

Understanding your target audience is key to a good copywriting campaign.

Who is your audience? What are their pain points? What do you want them to do? Essentially, what is the point of this content?

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for amends

Finally, this job is a collaborative process. Because whilst it’s not your writing, it is your message. That’s why copywriters tend to include one set of amendments in their original quote. 

7. Have fun!

Branding and marketing are fun. Have fun and it’ll come across in your content!

If you’re looking for an Edinburgh-based copywriter to help with your website get in touch.

Gillette We Believe Campaign

Everything you need to know about Gillette’s ‘We Believe’ campaign

Boys will be boys: Gillette under scrutiny for new advertising campaign

Shaving brand Gillette has come under scrutiny today for its latest advert “We Believe”. The politically-charged ad takes a look at the role of masculinity in the time of the #metoo movement.

Created by female director Kim Guhrig, ‘We Believe’ examines issues facing today’s man. Its underlying message that men should be accountable for each others’ behaviour, has riled some people up.

Should brands make political statements?

So, is this a disastrous move or a clever way to start a conversation?

The advert opens with examples of bullying, sexual harassment, and toxic masculinity. Interspersed with reports of the #metoo movement and references to a “boys will be boys” mentality.

Later on, men step in to prevent negative behaviour as a voiceover warns that how we act now influences future generations.

The advert closes with the encouragement that men strive to be “the best a man can be”. A reference to the brand’s slogan: “the best a man can get”

Negative responses to the Gillette campaign

Negative responsive are pervasive on Youtube and Twitter. Commenters accuse Gillette of everything from being tone-deaf and jumping on an “anti-men” bandwagon to emasculating its own customers. Going by Youtube alone, the negative opinions strongly outweigh the positive, with five times as many people giving the video a thumbs down. 

Others are sceptical of any brand bringing politics into an advert for razors.

But, is the advert really that bad? Because it’s not just men who can learn from the message. And the way we behave now will influence the future. That’s a strong message for everyone – whether it’s to do with the way we treat each other or how we treat the planet as the whole. As Bernice King said of the advert: “this isn’t anti-men, it’s pro-humanity”.

A message supported by the brand’s actions

Of course, the main reason for an advert like this is to build brand reputation and get people talking. But that doesn’t negate its positive message.

The response from Gillette’s Brand Director, Pankaj Bhalla’s was: ”We expected debate. Actually, a discussion is necessary. If we don’t discuss and don’t talk about it, I don’t think real change will happen” (source: CNN business).

Gillette’s 3-year commitment to supporting men’s charities lends authenticity to the film. Gillette will donate $3million to organisations that help men “be their best and inspire the next generation.”

Gillette created the market for women’s razors

Gilette launched the first razor for women in 1915 as fashions changed and women began to wear sleeveless outfits. The campaign promised to “solve the embarrassing personal problem” of hairy armpits. Help those who “wanted to appear at their best”. The campaign effectively created the need and resolved the need for feminine razors in one swoop.

And with that, Gillette launched an industry that is worth $1billion dollars a year in the USA alone.

Finally, I leave you with the words of Twitter user Andrew P Street: “If your masculinity is THAT threatened by an ad that says we should be nicer then you’re doing masculinity wrong”

If you’re looking for an Edinburgh-based copywriter to help with your online marketing get in touch.

biggest marketing fails 2018

How did brands fail at marketing and PR in 2018?

Like most people, I love a bit of schadenfreude. Especially when it comes to the big brands. And I’ve been obsessed with marketing fails ever since the infamous #susanalbumparty incident. So let’s take a look at some of the biggest marketing fails of 2018!

For a start, there are certain things in the world of public relations that tend to go without saying. Avoiding racism and sexism should be high up on that list. But in 2018 more than a few brands fell foul of them.

Doritos: Lady-friendly crisps


Finally, we can eat snacks!

Womenkind around the world rejoiced when Doritos finally announced they were launching female-friendly bags of crisps. Not. The idea that feminism was about women needing miniature, handbag sized, quiet crisps is an insult to anyone who has ever eaten a family pack to herself in bed. Or, you know … thought about equal rights.

H&M: Coolest Monkey in the Jungle

biggest marketing fails 2018

H&M had some swift PR clean-up to do after an advertisement showing a black kid in a “coolest monkey in the jungle” hoodie caused an uproar on Twitter. The image was deemed “inappropriate” and “racist” and had the clothing firm scrambling to apologise for its oversight. H&M lost their shop in South Africa and partnership with The Weeknd in the aftermath.

Heineken: Sometimes Lighter is Better

biggest marketing fails 2018

Heineken were the second brand to get themselves into hot water over a poorly conceived advertisement was deemed racist. It’s difficult to see how the advert, where a beer is pushed past 3 black people to reach a white woman – all alongside the caption “Sometimes, lighter is better” – was signed off. The advert was so bad that some viewers suggested the offense caused was an intentional way to get the brand talked about. Whether it was intentional or not, the advert became one of the biggest marketing fails of 2018.

Dominos Russa: Free pizza for life

biggest marketing fails 2018

Just how far will people go to get free pizza? Really flipping (eh!) far, is the answer. Dominos wasn’t the only brand to be caught out by people’s love of freebies last year but was the most notable. The offer of free pizza for life to anyone with a Dominos tattoo was cut short within days after hundreds of people got inked.

Snapchat’s insensitive cock-up

Snapchat came under fire in 2018 for displaying an advert for a “Would You Rather” game that made light of domestic violence. The question displayed was “would you rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown”, referring to Brown’s assault of Rihanna in 2009. Rihanna called the platform out herself, saying: “I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess. I’d love to call it ignorance but I know you ain’t that dumb!” Snapchat lost over £600m in market value as a result.

You had one job, KFC

biggest marketing fails 2018

It’s pretty incredible that a business that relies so heavily on one ingredient would run out. However, KFC managed it. In early 2018 KFC had to close the majority of its 900 UK branches when a mix up with a new supplier lead to a chicken shortage. Some diners went to the extreme lengths of calling the police and KFC suffered a huge loss in profits. It’s safe to say they’re unlikely to repeat the error!

However, credit where it’s due, the response from the brand’s marketing team was admirable. KFC was rearranged to FCK in a cheeky apology message to its customers. This quick thinking prevented KFC’s chicken shortage becoming one of the biggest marketing fails of 2018.

Those were my top PR and marketing fails by big brands in 2018! What were your favourite pieces of schadenfreude last year?

If you’re looking for an Edinburgh-based copywriter to help you smash your marketing this year get in touch.

Youtube script writer

Copywriting for Youtube Scripts: Phnom Penh

I often find myself copywriting for Youtube scripts. This is an example of a piece I wrote about travelling in Phnom Penh. The task was to make the Youtuber sound like they’d visited (neither of us have) and encourage subscriptions to the channel. 

*Shot of someone shooting a bazooka*

Ever dreamt of fulfilling a childhood fantasy and shooting a bazooka?

Come to Phnom Penh! 

Hey it’s [name of channel] again! We’ve spent the last 3 years travelling the world and helping thousands of people choose their next travel destination. This video is part of our South East Asia playlist so please keep watching for further tips.

Today we’re giving you our expert guide of what to do in Cambodia’s Phnom Penh.

*So why visit Phnom Penh?*

Phnom Penh is a beautiful city in Cambodia that has been labelled the jewel of Asia. Not only is there always something cool to do, it’s super cheap.  So, here are our top 5 activities to make the most of your visit:

1. Shoot a bazooka

Seriously, who hasn’t wanted to play with a rocket launcher ever since watching Die Hard? At the Cambodia Firing Range in Phnom Penh you can tick a major item off your bucket list and live out that childhood fantasy.

2. Eat a tarantula

This may not be to everyone’s taste, but travelling is all about trying new, crazy things, and what’s crazier than eating a deep fried tarantula? This is such a popular thing to try in Cambodia they have to have them delivered in from Thailand.

3. Visit the famous markets

Asia is known for its awesome markets, and Cambodia is no different. The markets come to life at night so be sure to head there when sun starts to set for the chance to try some local delicacies and enjoy the Phnom Penh nightlife.

4. Witness the genocide museum and killing fields

Travelling isn’t all about fun, it’s about learning about different cultures and their histories. And like most places, Cambodia has had its dark times. Visit the genocide museum and killing fields to learn more about the atrocities that happened here as recently as the 1970s.

5. Get up close and personal at the wildlife centre

Animals that have been rescued from poachers and illegal traffickers are taken to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre to be nursed back to health before their release back into the wild. The centre’s “life of a zookeeper” programme lets you get up close and personal with the amazing local wildlife whilst helping the centre continue with its mission.

Where would you like us to talk about next? Comment below to let us know! This video is part of a playlist so keep watching and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel for our top tips and recommendations for traveling the world.

Travelling the world

The five things people never tell you about travelling the world

Who doesn’t dream of packing in the 9 – 5, hopping onto a plane and travelling the world? 

Sounds amazing, right? In many ways it is, but here are five things that people will never tell you about their gap year.

You’ll probably shit yourself

You’ve arrived at your first destination, your body’s not used to the food yet. You’ll get the runs. Make sure you’ve got a good idea of the toilet situation for those first few days. The last thing you want to do is run into a public toilet only to find a bucket and a tap next to a hole in the floor, and no time to figure out how to use it all. 

You’ll dress like an absolute idiot

The moment you step off a plane in another continent the laws of fashion cease to exist. Everyone you see will be wearing elephant print MC Hammer pants and a Chang t-shirt. Gross, you say, until a couple of days later when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and realise you’ve already succumbed. 

You’re still a tourist 

Travellers like to think they’re off the grid, and that surrounding yourself with culture is a big part of the experience. However, it’s 2018, everyone’s been to Thailand and there are “influential” travellers being paid to promote businesses on instagram. The world has been well and truly branded. The truth is you’re more likely to find yourself hanging out with a lad from Manchester who it turns out went to university with your sister than getting to know the locals. 

 The jobs can suck

You didn’t ditch the day job dreaming of moving to another country to work in a call centre. But that’s the reality for many travellers. Your digital nomads have the opportunity to work in cool co-working spaces or spend hours pilfering the wifi in a local cafe, but there’s a lot of grafting too. If you’re looking to spend a long time in Australia you’ll need to do 88 days seasonal work. Which sounds alright until you find yourself stuck in a field in the middle of nowhere picking mangoes for months. 

 And so can the accommodation 

 I once spent a month living in a dilapidated cottage in Italy. The solution to having a shower there was waiting for a 2-litre cola bottle to fill with rain and pouring it over yourself. But it was free, and still better than most of the hostels you’ll see on your way. Who really wants to spend months of your adult life sharing bunkbeds with strangers?  

blogs about plastic

36 million ways to reduce our plastic waste today

Today we’re encouraged to think about the effect our plastic waste has on the environment and how we can begin to undo the mess we’ve made. Today, on National Refill Day, like every other day, we will drink 36 million bottles of water. And that’s in the UK alone.

Because we’re binging on plastic

What’s the problem?

We’ve known for years that: ‘recycling is GOOD, waste is BAD’.

But it’s only been in the last year or two that the devastation we’ve caused with one-use plastic has become so visual, so impossible to ignore. We’re seeing statistics that over a million sea mammals and birds die every year, alongside pictures of turtles with straws up their nose and dead seagulls full of lighters and sandwich bags.

In the news this week an autopsy on a whale showed that it had died after swallowing EIGHTY plastic bags.

And nowhere is safe

We’ve even found that snow in the Antarctic, the world’s most remote continent, has been contaminated with micro plastic.

What are we going to do about it?

Did you know that if just one in ten of us reused a bottle once a week we’d save 340 million bottles from landfill every year? [3].

Imagine if we stopped using them all together?

We care, but do we care enough to do something about it? Because I refuse to use tiny plastic cups at work. I try to say no to straws and reuse my bags. Yet, like most people, I often forget to bring a refillable bottle on my travels and have to go to a shop for my guilty hydration fix. We all care. But we need to care enough to take action.

So what can we do to reduce our plastic waste?

  • Individuals – Carry a bottle. Find a bottle that you like enough to carry about. Spend enough of it that it won’t leak or start to smell. And the crucial part – carry it around.

There are increasingly more opportunities to refill your bottle for free as businesses become aware of the demand and their own responsibilities.

  • Businesses – Join the refill movement. City to Sea has started a movement called “Refill” that encourages businesses to offer free water to anyone with a reusable bottle. This is a great opportunity to take part if you run your own business. It needn’t be a fully altruistic pursuit. You’re welcoming potential customers onto your premises. And flaunting your social responsibility.
  • Hipsters – Drink an orb. If all else fails. Someone’s invented an orb made from seaweed that you can eat once you’ve finished your drink. Because that sounds super convenient to carry around in a bag.
Advertising: Got Milk

Got Milk? A simple and effective message

Copywriting is all about finding the most effective, but simple way of getting your message out there.

It’s important to have a simple and focussed message that can be relayed across your entire marketing strategy. To do this you need a clear understanding of what your brand is and what you want from your marketing.

Got Milk: A simple marketing message

The “got milk?” campaign is a fantastic example of the strength of a clear and concise message. The slogan was developed as part of a campaign for the California Milk Processing Board’s campaign to reignite America’s love of the white stuff.

The campaign took its strength from the simplicity of the message. In just two words the audience were asked a question that reminded them of the place milk has in their lives and the adverts illustrated this further.

The memorable campaign ran for 20 years. You can see the famous advert below.

Finding the essence of your brand

So now ask yourself this – if you had to boil your brand down to just a few words, what would you say?

This article was first published by Orange Crush Digital, a web development and digital marketing company based in Leeds.

How to create headlines that will grip your audience

Writing attention grabbing headlines
Headlines are the first, and possibly the only impression that you’ll have to impress your potential reader. Because even before the first flighty, millennial mind was short circuited by a smart phone, people were getting bored by articles by the second line. Your headline must engage them from the first sentence, because it’s unlikely that more than 20% of readers will make it any further.
As far back as the mid-twentieth century, advertising mogul David Ogilvy said: “Five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.” In other words, a massive 80% of your persuasive power must shine through in that FIRST line!
So be prepared to dedicate a good deal of your time crafting a headline that’s irresistible to your target audience and promises a clear benefit upon reading the article.
 How to give your readers what they want
With 80% of readers dropping off after the headline you need to give them what they want. You need to capture the attention of your audience with a promise that’s both intriguing and relevant to their interests. So before you start writing any content you need know: who your audience is, what they want, and how you’ll give that to them.
By defining and researching your target audience it’ll be easier to create headlines that they’re interested in and are specific to their needs. With this in mind, the perfect headline will be useful, create a sense of urgency around the subject and provide a benefit they haven’t found elsewhere.
Once you’ve created a headline, go back and ask yourself:

  • Has your reader been offered a reward?
  • Could the headline be more intriguing?
  • Is your headline believable?
  • Does it trigger a strong emotion, or evoke an action?
  • Will your reader be nodding in agreement?
  • Does it accurately reflect the article
  • Will my target audience find it interesting?

So thanks to the 20% of you who made it this far. I’ll be linking to other articles on the subject of headlines as I post them. If that doesn’t compel you to read further, keep an eye out for my other stuff.

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