Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Don’t follow precedents when you can set them

April 7, 2014


Did you hear the one about the straight talking solicitor?

When I’m not planning world domination for the best little PR and Creative agency in the land, I write for a living – usually press releases, sometimes begging & cajoling emails to journalists, creative PR plans or reactive statements for potential crisis situations – click click all day long.

Thanks to the challenge of doing something different to make our client stand out in a crowded sector I got to work on something a bit different – something that I would love to do a lot more of – an animation script and concept document.

It was fun and flowed surprisingly easy; the client knew what they wanted to say and even easier they wanted it said as simply as possible – but we wanted to introduce their special personality into it as well.

The best of all was they were willing to spend the necessary time with me to develop the ideas together so that everyone was in agreement with as little back and forth as possible.

Through the project we also got to work with some really great guys in Dog Day Media. A young and vibrant multimedia production company based in the Rubicon centre in Cork who are now making waves internationally.

I can honestly say it was one of the most fun projects I have ever worked on.  All of us around the board room table of a solicitor’s office (which for me is often one of the most intimidating places you could be!) were having fun with everyone contributing to the ideas and the flow of the animation.

The process was pain free, the copy was agreed relatively quickly with our own initial thoughts on what the animation should look like.  Dog Day Media took the script, followed our direction and then put their own creativity and brilliance to it and now through teamwork we have created a simple piece that communicates everything we wanted in a clever and engaging way.

It shows that my client has personality; that they really care about their clients, that they will fight tooth and nail on their behalf and promise at all times to speak plainly and leave no stone unturned to achieve the best results.

This is something we should all promise our clients.

They also say in the animation that they set precedents not follow them.

By doing this animation, they have done just that….. Ernest J. Cantillon Solicitors Well done!

Deirdre Waldron is a Partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Cork and Dublin


Destination Branding and the special “DNA” of Corkonians

March 24, 2014

Cork region

We’ve been privileged to have been working on a really interesting marketing project in conjunction with Colliers International, Placematters and Location Connections for the Cork region, which was commissioned by some of the key stakeholders.

Destination branding is something all cities and regions must now consider as they must market themselves in a clear, concise and consistent way to all target audiences they wish to attract. How a region markets itself must be believable and true so that the actual experience matches the reality.

As part of this marketing process you must first understand what the offering is, decide what parts of this offering are attractive to relevant target audiences and then package this offering in a clear brand description for the region.

All the subsequent marketing of the region should be consistent by all stakeholders so that maximum return on investment is achieved and that target audiences develop a clear understanding of the unique offer from that destination.

As part of the research work we conducted about the Cork region we discovered that many people are attracted to the size of Cork, “it’s not too big and not too small“, they love how quickly you can get from the city to the country, they love the nearby  coastline  and they also love the friendliness, humour and warmth of the people.

Even the Huffington Post identified Cork as an “overlooked city in Europe that must be visited in your lifetime!

It is easy to understand the physical attributes of the region but the people dimension is one that is more difficult to pinpoint.

The Queen visits Cork, Friendly City

Is it really true that Cork is a friendly city just as the Lonely Planet Guide declared in it’s Top 10 List of cities to visit? The guide praises the city saying ‘Cork is at the top of its game right now: sophisticated, vibrant and diverse, while still retaining its friendliness, relaxed charm and quick-fire wit.

How can you explain this friendliness?

Do Corkonians really have this special “friendly” gene in their unique DNA?

In our research in Cork we conducted questionnaires with many foreigners working in the Cork region and they consistently told us how they had no intention of staying initially but this is now home and they would not be leaving. Cork is great fun and the people are very “friendly“.

As much as this proud Corkman would like to think people from Cork do not have a special gene, no more so than people from any other part of Ireland.

If it’s not a special gene then why do we behave in such a manner?

  • In Cork you can enjoy a good career with small SME’s or with large multinationals without the big commute.
  • You and your children can receive a great education right on your doorstep
  • You can enjoy a vibrant and friendly city where strangers still chat to each other that is easy to access
  • It’s a relatively safe place to live, visit or go to college
  • You can be in the country or walking on a beach within half an hour
  • You can enjoy a lively, entertaining, art loving, multicultural place where independents can still thrive
  • The food and entertainment offering is diverse and top class
  • You are connected to the world and major city hubs via an airport that is 10 minutes from the city centre.
  • On the very practical side of things Cork is a significantly cheaper place to live than Dublin and a more economical place to do business.

While the career opportunities aren’t as great as in Dublin or London, an internet world makes this less of a problem and the overall sense of well-being from an exceptionally better life balance makes the Cork region a very clever place for people to choose to live their lives.

So why are people from Cork friendlier, warmer and wittier?

Maybe this ideal sized region with an abundance of natural attributes just makes us happier?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Colliers International offer Destination Consulting services

Placematters are Destination Branding experts

Location Connections are an International FDI  site selection consultancy

Neil Prendeville – Game Changer for who?

February 22, 2014

Neil Prendeville - 96FM, Redfm

When your main rival steals your prize asset it will no doubt be a Game Changer – for who depends on yourself.

This week we saw Cork’s Red FM, the second most popular radio station in the city make a bold, brave move by securing the services of popular and often controversial DJ Neil Prendeville from their local dominant rival, 96FM.

Neil is extremely popular because he is a brave DJ who isn’t afraid to take on issues and give his opinion. Many love him, many will tell you they hate him but most importantly for Red FM, many many listen to him. In terms of radio shows it is by far the most popular outside of  some shows on the national radio stations.

This was a huge move as Neil Prendeville, who has been with the station for 25 years has a large and loyal following, 116,000 listeners according to the latest JNLR figures.

While the move is an obvious game changer I wonder is it a game winner?

The listener profile of RedFM is much younger than it’s local rival and this move will certainly bring an audience that are not a natural fit for the current profile of the station.

Stevie G - Red FM Stephen GraingerUnfortunately this move meant that some great and very popular DJs in RedFM lost their contracts including the Cork music legend Stephen Grainger or Stevie G as he is known. Stevie G would have had a good following but unfortunately for him, nothing to match the pulling power of Neil’s show.

While the change will bring new listeners who will “move the dial”?- will it work overall for the station?

It is understood that Neil will operate his usual morning time slot, which will attract his loyal listeners but where will the younger RedFM listeners go to? I can’t really see them staying with the station as Neil’s show is quite different.

Ironically the success of this game changer depends on how 96FM react – will they try to find a like for like replacement, who I doubt will be able to compete with Neil or should they grab the opportunity to do something new, challenging and totally different and inject fresh energy to morning radio in Cork?

When a competitor grabs your prize asset it’s up to you to make sure the change works in your favour and not the other way around.

96FM, it’s up to you!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Superquinn and the Sausage that lost it’s Sizzle

February 17, 2014
Superquinn - The Last Day

Feargal Quinn pictured with family as the Superquinn name is taken down

In marketing we often say “Don’t talk about the sausage, talk about the sizzle!

Instead of talking about the “thing” we talk about how it makes you feel, the benefits, the mood, the emotion, that sense of occasion.

A sausage according to wikipedia is: a food usually made from ground meat with a skin around it. Typically, a sausage is formed in a casing traditionally made from intestine, but sometimes synthetic. Some sausages are cooked during processing and the casing may be removed after.

Yummy.. Imagine marketing that product!

Ironically this week where we witnessed the last nail in the coffin of the once fabulous Superquinn brand we heard the MD of SuperValu, Martin Kelliher reassuring customers that the sausages would be retained!

Is that the very last thing to survive of the brand or does the sausage in some way represent everything that was once special about Superquinn for shoppers?

When I worked in Dublin for Guinness during the mid nineties I was living near the Clondalkin area. Even though I had my own music store in the Mill Centre in Clondalkin where there was a Dunnes Stores, my weekly grocery shopping was done in Superquinn in Lucan, a good 20 minutes away by car.

Somehow shopping in Superquinn just didn’t feel too painful (I hate shopping) because of the atmosphere, the store layout, the smells, the unusual selection of food, the food samples, the fabulous wine selection and the genuine friendly service. Of course the sausages were different and these were bought from time to time!

Feargal Quinn and his team were delivering a product and service at a level way above all other Irish grocery competitors, which helped to build the successful brand, Superquinn.

The Superquinn brand was built using a unique mix of ingredients just like their famous sausages, which they had clearly perfected.

Incredibly there is a support group for their famous sausages!

On this support group they say:

Superquinn sausagesIn 1976 Superquinn perfected the pork sausage, nothing else even comes close. If I was a pig I would feel privileged to donate my body to a noble cause like this. Following a trip to Germany in early 1976, Feargal Quinn decided that Superquinn would create the perfect sausage for Irish tastes. Superquinn butcher, Pat Kelly was the lucky man faced with the ultimate challenge

Feargal Quinn seemed to take this approach with everything he did in his stores – they were different and they were better.

Over time the other grocery chains improved, the differences weren’t as different as they once were and the special ethos that once defined Superquinn started to dissolve.

When Feargal Quinn sold the stores to an investor group who had no experience in the very challenging sector the once special sizzle started to disappear and the business went backwards.

Are you minding the sizzle in your business?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Garth and the Powers of Scarcity

February 10, 2014

Garth Brooks

Blame it all on my roots…” I can hear it already!

Yep, you guessed it, Garth Brooks madness has descended upon us, the hype, excitement, the rush to get tickets and even the unhealthy need to feel like line dancing again… OK, well maybe not the latter, but it certainly does seem to have taken over the country by storm.

In the aftermath of the ticket scramble, I can fortunately say that I came out of the rush with a golden ticket. A great friend took it upon herself to queue for 15 hours in the depths of January, and I am truly grateful to her for her powerful and determined effort.

Throughout the madness, I couldn’t help wondering why we put ourselves through it all when Mr. Brooks has just announced his extra fifth concert in Ireland next Summer – surely we all saw this coming? We know this routine well at this stage, so why didn’t we act accordingly?

Did we become swept away by the hype of the PR and advertising and the power of scarcity?

Those of us who remember, are very aware of Garth’s on-stage presence that swept through 90’s Ireland making an impact on the landscape of the decade.

I can’t say I’ve ever seen him in concert before, but I certainly have been a fan since the 90’s. Is his stage presence and talent really going to make those all-night queuing binges in the depths of January well worth it?

I certainly hope so!

Is it simply down to his genuine popularity, the good PR and Advertising or is it more a fear of missing out if we don’t get tickets?

The powers of the media are certainly at play here when you see photos of 20 year old’s queuing all night for tickets. Seeing as most of them probably don’t remember the 90’s, have they really been bitten by the country music singers talent bug or are they just craving to be a part of what has been advertised as ‘the latest craze’?.

Are we all to blame here with rational thinking going out the window and a frenzy driven by a fear of losing out?

I know I certainly am.

With all the promotion and hype that became involved, people’s greed and opportunism surfaced incredibly. Sadly people went out of their way just to snap up tickets and sell them on at three times the value while walking out of the ticket outlets, just to leave genuine fans out in the cold…literally!

All of the above could have been avoided if all 5 concerts had just been announced at once.

We potentially would have missed the hype, excitement and the anticipation of praying for the ticket phone line to be answered if all five concerts had been released together.

The power of scarcity…is this the best tactic of all?

Máire Coffey - FuzionMáire Coffey is a PR Executive with Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Cork and Dublin

Big, Brave, Bold ….Belief

February 7, 2014

The .com domain name for Greg Canty can be registered with Register365 for the total price of €8.95 per annum.

The .com domain is the big one, the universal one, which is easy to register and without any fuss. For example with the Irish domain .ie you need to jump a few hoops and at least make some attempt at proving that you or your business has a valid reason for being able to claim that name.

The frenzy at the beginning of the internet boom was the practice of some very clever people anticipating which domain names would be popular in the future. They purchased these in the hope that at some point in time they might earn a windfall when they could sell them off for big money.

A lot of domain names are still registered to people who will never use them and are still waiting for their big pay day!

According to Wikipedia the top ten most expensive domain names are:

  1. $35 million in 2007 
  2. $16 million in 2009 
  3. for $14 million in October 2010
  4. 2008 £9.99 million
  5. 2007 $9.5 million
  6. by Facebook for $8.5 million in November 2010
  7. for $7.5 million in December 1999
  8. 2006 $7.5 million
  9. 2004 $7 million
  10. 2008 $5.88 million

It looks like the last big money transaction was in 2010.

What would make you pay this kind of huge money for a domain name?

  • It must be a core part of your brand and who you are – so much so that you can’t have anyone else using it and must get your hands on it
  • It must have huge earning potential in order to justify such a huge price tag – unless of course you have so much money that earnings are not a critical part of the equation

Even if these two elements are in place do you have the resources to pay out big money for a domain name and this must be weighed up against what you could do with this amount of money – could you make your existing domain name or a new name just as powerful if that fund was put being a marketing campaign?

Big, Bold, Brave

Teamwork LogoLast week I was at the Guinness Store House (a strange experience for me – I could see my old office from the top floor) for the launch of a domain name by a Fuzion client and great friends of mine, Digital Crew.

The guys have an incredible cloud based project management application called TeamworkPM, which only after a few years is creating a storm online and is quickly becoming the standard within the sector for managing projects.

These guys from Cork had paid over half a million euros for the domain name and were celebrating with friends and clients – at 9pm the new domain name was set live.

When I first heard this news I thought someone was pulling a fast one on me and when I realised it was true I wondered if they had totally lost their marbles!

This was certainly a BIG move, they are paying and playing big, they are thinking big (huge!) but then again they have a global product so it is a big market. What’s more they have big plans to develop a whole suite of products under the Teamwork name. 

It was definitely a BOLD move …they aren’t a Google, a Facebook, a Microsoft, a Twitter but this was a big bold move, which shows that they see themselves in that Premier league table.

BRAVE ….I’m not sure if I could have written that cheque!

To be fair to these guys this is isn’t the first time that they have been Big, Bold and Brave.

When Digital Crew were working on their core web development business and on some complex web projects they realised they needed a project management application to help co-ordinate their teams and the multiple tasks that were required. After playing with a few different applications online they decided ….these aren’t good enough, we can do better!

While ideas are great and we all have them, the guys got together at weekends and late in the evenings when the regular client work was done and starting building a new application.

After an incredibly hard slog the application TeamworkPM was ready, which they politely rolled out.

There was no immediate success but they interacted with customers, answered countless queries, joined discussions, tracked competitors, improved their product over and over and eventually they had momentum with some serious businesses coming on board and using the application – Walt Disney, Microsoft, EA Sports, Forbes and eBay to name a few.

Word of mouth, continuous improvements and dogged determination brought TeamworkPM to a point where the income from the application had surpassed their core business income.

They made an incredibly Big, Bold and Brave move to divest of their core business and put everything into their TeamworkPM application. Every month there is a big new feature added, which is a challenge they set for themselves.

Within a year they have added significantly to the team and even sent one of the founders to take office in New Zealand (poor Sam – we all know he hates the glorious weather and the beach!)so another time zone could be looked after.

While they have been making Big, Bold and Brave moves for a long time the decision to pay over half a million euros for the domain name is about something much more.

They have incredible BELIEF in what they are doing, in their own capability and in their vision. They know exactly where they are taking their business.

To Dan, Peter, Sam, Billy and all the Teamwork team …..thanks for showing us what Big, Bold and Brave looks like. My belief is your domain will be worth it!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

What do you do?

December 16, 2013
Robert de Niro

Hi – What do you do Robert?

I was reading a book by Michael Port called Book Yourself Solid and in it he gives some really interesting advice about answering the question:

“What do you do?”

This is probably asked of you a few times week when you meet new people and it might typically arise at a networking event.

Your typical answer is to use your normal industry label “I’m an architect, an accountant, a solicitor, a financial consultant, a life coach, a banker, an insurance broker, a PR consultant, a social media consultant“.

While this is helpful as it does wrap “you” in a nice simple understandable package, Michael Port argues that this is possibly doing you a big disservice.

Once you mention that “label” you are bunching yourself automatically with every other person who might use the same label to describe themselves. For example if the person has had a poor experience in the past with a “wealth advisor” then the minute you mention that you are a “wealth advisor” they mightn’t like you very much and will politely shuffle away from you!

Imagine Robert De Niro answering the question by saying “I am an actor“!

Michael’s simple suggestion is that instead of using the typical label why not describe “what you do” in a much more descriptive way.

Michael’s suggestion struck a chord with me as I know when I am asked the question “what do you do” I certainly don’t want anyone to put me in the same category as any of the people working in our general area – I am totally different and I bring vast business background and a particular skill-set to the table.

So instead I might say: “Working with a great team I use my considerable experience to make businesses and organisations more successful by first making sure their proposition is presented in the best possible way and then getting as many people as possible to hear about them” …. I could even go simpler with “I work with a really talented team to make businesses and organisations better“.

Oh.. how do you do that?” and then you tell them!

What do you do?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Are you Dressed for Success?

October 14, 2013

Trading Places - Dress for success

Like many women, I admit that I spend a proportionately large amount of time thinking about WHAT TO WEAR!

Rather than it being out of pure vanity, more often than not, my decisions regarding my attire revolve around “communication”. By dressing a certain way, I like to believe that I am sending out a message – about myself, my personality and sometimes even my mood.

This is especially true when preparing to make a lasting first impression – be it at a first date, a job interview, or a meeting with a potential client. In situations like these, I want the clothes I wear to communicate that I am strong, confident, maybe a little bit quirky and fun, but also reliable and professional.

I want to “dress for success”.

Funnily enough this phrase doesn’t just apply to clothes and first dates. It also applies to your business.

Every time a potential customer sees your website, marketing materials or even a business card, they immediately begin to form an opinion about your business.  Graphic Design is the clothing of your organisation. Similar to a great interview outfit that gives you confidence and shouts professionalism, well designed graphics, that have been tailored to your businesses’ individual needs, will get your organisation noticed, create an impact and help communicate all the essential and uniquely special messages, which in the end will get you that client!

The right outfit can make you look like a polished professional while the wrong outfit can make you look quite the opposite.

What is your outfit saying about you today?

Basia Kozlik - Fuzion Basia Kozlik is a Graphic Designer with Fuzion 

Fuzion provide a full range of traditional and online graphic design services in Ireland from our office in Cork and Dublin

Tipping the Customer

October 2, 2013

Hostaria La Cross, Garda

It was bucketing out of the heavens as we stared out the window of our hotel in Garda in Italy during our summer holidays. It hadn’t let up for over an hour and it showed no signs of stopping anytime soon.

We had planned a leisurely stroll into the lakeside town and a nice meal on the waterfront but that was impossible – the tummies were groaning at this stage and the hotel restaurant was shut.

The restaurant that was directly across from the hotel (we were about a mile away from the lakeside strip) didn’t have the views that were on the lake but it didn’t seem to stop the steady stream of locals using the place since we had arrived.

Day and night there was a constant stream of Italian cars in and out of the place – it must be good if the locals were going there we reckoned. I checked on Four Square (a phone APP where you can leave tips about places) on my phone and the restaurant had some quite good reviews left by previous diners.

We decided to make a dash for it and despite it being just across the street we did get fairly wet.

Hostaria La Cross, GardaHostoria La Cross gave us a warm greeting as we entered but after doing so the waitress left us standing there – two minutes later she came back to us with two glasses of prosecco .. “welcome!“.

Wow – we were given a gift on the house before we had sat down or ordered anything.

It put us in great form and we had a fabulous meal (despite every second dish being laced in truffle oil..can’t stand that smell!)

Of course we left a big tip after our special night but really appreciated the “tip” the restaurant gave us at the start of the meal.

The last few times I have taken taxis in Dublin and in Cork I have noticed that each time the driver has “rounded down” when it has comes to the fare “€10 is fine” when the fare clocked €10.70.

The simple gesture is a big change to how it used be and it shows the appreciation of the business and invariably you end up leaving a good tip.

Last night after our meal in Bacco in Ballincollig we were offered a Limoncello on the house as we were settling the bill. They showed their appreciation for the business …”Thank you, we’ll be back

Giving the customer something they are not expecting is a clever way of saying thank you and building customer loyalty.

Are you tipping your customer?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Game, Set and Match ..

October 1, 2013

I’ve played tennis for as long as I can remember, and really enjoy a good game of doubles. I enjoy the camaraderie of doubles, and sharing the glory of a great win with my partner.

Sam Stosur

I’m competitive and I like to win, but not to the degree where the game isn’t fun anymore. For me, enjoying what you’re doing is the main thing, and you tend to get better results when you are in this frame of mind.

I’ve had so many doubles partners through the years, and some I’ve enjoyed playing with much more than others – the ones that take it too seriously, like it’s a matter of life or death, make me uncomfortable. I like to have fun on court, and I tend to play better when I relax and get into the swing of things (literally).

Doubles is about working together, figuring out a strategy, and of course, cooperation. There’s no point in getting annoyed with my partner if she makes a wrong decision on court, or vice versa. Things tend to go from bad to worse if that’s the attitude taken, and frustration sets in. It’s much better to take mistakes on board, and do your best to ensure they don’t happen again.

Lately I’ve been thinking, tennis isn’t too different to the world of business! There are ‘partners’ I enjoy playing with, and who I win with more than others, and it’s really down to how we approach the ‘game’ together.

Australian professional tennis player Sam Stosur once said “You’ve just got to get over that mental hurdle and those battles in your own head during matches when things aren’t going so well. It takes time. It’s probably all things I already knew, but for someone to talk about it maybe in a different way makes you realise things.” 

In doubles – whether it be on the court or in the office, you have the opportunity to work as a team, and that gives you a distinct advantage to playing singles, so use it and before long you’ll be hearing the words “Game, set and match” followed by your name.

Ali O’Brien is a Senior Account Manager with Fuzion PR


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