How challenger brands can amplify their story

Competitive advantage and Challenger BrandsWhat makes a challenger brand?

The classic view of a challenger brand is David vs Goliath, the plucky newcomer against the established incumbent.

Its an easy to see the appeal.  There aren’t many people who don’t find themselves rooting for the underdog in these stories (and in sports finals!). Its a story with immediate appeal and a very strong hook!

In reality, there’s often more to the challenger story. There are huge companies, like Nike or Red Bull, who think and act like challengers, as well as being market leaders. The challenger ethos runs deep in their souls.

Thinking differently can be strong strategic option and lead to great loyalty and market share.… Click here to read on

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The £81,000 VATMOSS question

81,000 questionWhat are your options for selling digital products in 2015?

There are some big changes coming for everyone who sells downloadable products or memberships, ecourses through their own websites.

The usual tax laws about applying VAT are changing significantly from 1 January 2015,  right across Europe.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you are based, making any sale into the EU means you will be liable to pay VAT at the country rate where your customer is located.

Click here for the full definitions and guidance notes from the EU.

If you have something that you sell on your own website, doing nothing is not an option.… Click here to read on

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What do the VATMOSS changes mean for people selling online in 2015?

EU VATMOSS changes in 2015As of 1 January 2015 all digital products and service sales to EU countries will be liable for VAT.

Any sale made, even if it is for $0.99 or £1 will require compliance and registration with the VAT Mini One Stop Shop (VATMOSS), if you are UK based sole trader or business.

In the UK, VAT registration has previously only been required when businesses reach £81,000 in a 12 month period.

These changes may leave many small, microbusinesses who sell e-books and e-courses asking whether the complexity and cost involved in complying will make it viable for them to trade in 2015.… Click here to read on

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What can marketers learn from Jonny Wilkinson?

What we can all learn from JonnyWhat we can learn from Jonny

Jonny Wilkinson, former England Rugby international and Toulon captain, will play his last game of rugby this weekend. I’ll be joining the many rugby fans, across the UK and the South of France who’ll be watching how the final chapter of his playing career unfolds.


Love him or loathe him, Jonny redefined what world-class performance looked like in international rugby.

Much has been written about his obsessive perfectionism, lengthy practice sessions and steadfast refusal to embrace the limelight.

But the level of respect (and love) for Jonny goes well beyond his ice-cool goal kicking and pressure-cooker game winning performances.… Click here to read on

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Is there ever a good time to use QR codes?

It did make me smile but it does make a good point!QR code - Chris Hare, Linkedin

There is rarely, if ever a good time to use a QR code.

With the best intentions, these are meant to make it easy for people to find your website/facebook page/promotion.

Unfortunately the technology isn’t particularly user friendly. You have to download/open and app to use the codes.

For most people it will be faster to open Facebook or Google on their smartphone and search directly.

If in doubt, just don’t use them!

 … Click here to read on

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Which social media networks should I be using?

Its quite easy to feelSocial media in donuts.jpg overwhelmed with the sheer volume of what’s being shared on social media and the number of places you could feature your content.

When you are choosing social media networks its important to understand what the different networks are used for and what kind of information is shared on all of them.

This slightly tounge-in-cheek photo gives a really good overview of how differently the same information could be shared across different networks.

Which networks should I choose?

Unless you’re a gigantic global brand you won’t need to be present on all of these straight away. There are two key considerations as to which channels to choose:

1.… Click here to read on

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Building your reputation – advice from Le Petit Prince

Wise words from Le Petit PrinceThis photo (and quote from The Petit Prince) neatly sums up what makes some businesses and brands truly stand out, in terms of their reputation.

Not everything comes down to numbers or metrics. Some of the most important results you create may well be impossible to measure in the a conventional business standards.

Reputation is one of the most vital assets in business, and is very difficult to quantify on a balance sheet.

There are legal and ethical standards you’ll be operating to. These form the basic foundation as far as reputation building goes.

Just doing these parts well will mean you have a business that is respected – but most customers will expect you to be sticking to the right side of the law so you won’t be winning many extra brownie points.… Click here to read on

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What is the difference between a blog and a website?

These days, the answer is they can be two separate things or they can both be part of your website.

A few years ago, blogs and websites were two very different things. Blogs were often a personal online diary (like my travel journal) and websites were a company’s online brochure or shopfront.

The online world has evolved very quickly in the last few years and now it is common to find blogs sitting within conventional websites. The blog is really a publishing engine which allows companies to put updated information on their site and out into the wider web quickly and easily.… Click here to read on

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