Posts Tagged ‘Greg Canty’

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

Big, Brave, Bold ….Belief

February 7, 2014

Teamwork.com

The .com domain name for Greg Canty gregcanty.com 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. VacationRentals.com $35 million in 2007 
  2. Insure.com $16 million in 2009 
  3. Sex.com for $14 million in October 2010
  4. Fund.com 2008 £9.99 million
  5. Porn.com 2007 $9.5 million
  6. Fb.com by Facebook for $8.5 million in November 2010
  7. Business.com for $7.5 million in December 1999
  8. Diamond.com 2006 $7.5 million
  9. Beer.com 2004 $7 million
  10. Israel.com 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 www.teamwork.com 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 teamwork.com 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

Complaints make Great Gifts!

January 22, 2014

Complaints make Great Gifts

“Can I meet you in the morning” was the request.

Oh no.. from the tone I felt a complaint coming – I wondered what was wrong.

This was a really good account and we were just at the early stages of working with this client. The project was quite complex, which involved quite a few members of our team.

There were quite a number of elements to the project including graphic design, web design, social media, event management, internal communications and PR. We pride ourselves on being able to handle all of these in-house, which is a real strength of ours.

Our team had been briefed well and each of us were working diligently on our own part of the project and liaising directly with the client.

Our relationship had started off in a really positive manner so I was really concerned and confused that something could be wrong.

We met and sure enough our client expressed a concern about how things were going with the project.

The client’s problem was really simple - While we were all quite clear about what we were doing he was overwhelmed by the correspondence and interaction from so many people on so many different aspects of the project. Collectively we were able to handle the huge variety of tasks but this was just way too confusing for him.

To alleviate this problem we arranged that all of our correspondence would come through just one person and we organised it in such a way that we were only dealing with one aspect at a time – while this did not seem like the most efficient way of dealing with things for us it was the best way as it worked for him.

This approach has been working out great and the project has been progressing really well since.

While we all hate complaints they are in fact precious gifts.

A customer instead of staying silent and suffering with a scenario that isn’t working for them has taken a huge step and communicated that something is wrong.

Take the complaint, listen attentively to it, understand it, embrace it and deal with it – complaints are precious gifts that can only make you better.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

I had a great 2014 because …

January 1, 2014

visualisation

For the last few years I have been doing this simple little exercise at the start of the year to help get focused around things that are important both personally and professionally.

I have found it to be really useful and one that has made a big difference.

I don’t know about you but making plans and actually achieving them is always challenging and at the start of the year I find myself at the start of that loop all over again making promises that often will never materialise!

A few years ago I was inspired to go about my goal setting in a different way thanks to a book I read called “The Art of Possibility” by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander (a really interesting motivational book by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and his wife who is an executive coach).

Benjamin Zander, the conductor had the task every year of bringing out the very best from a large group of very talented musicians.

His approach is rooted in the power of visualisation – the simple idea behind this is that if you visualise what you want to achieve then there is a much better chance of it actually happening (unbelievers ….stop reading now !!)

Here goes ..

Take a pen and paper and simply write your diary entry in advance for the last working day of the year to come..

Imagine just before you switch off the lights in the office, before you head out the door to do some last minute shopping and enjoy a well-earned rest, you quietly write your diary entry.

Tuesday, 23rd December, 2014

I had a great year because ….

Be specific, include personal and professional goals and when you are done

Sign it!

Place your note in an envelope and seal it – on the last day of every month open your envelope and have a peep to see how you are progressing.

…what are you waiting for?

By the way ….Happy New Year!

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

Doing the Small stuff Great

November 27, 2013

Kerrie O'CallaghanSomeone has to answer the phone and someone has to let visitors into the building and greet them as come into the office.

This isn’t rocket science but at the same time it needs to be done right. You would hope that the person with this responsibility would carry out the task in a pleasant and friendly manner – after all, it is often the first impression that anyone would experience of your business.

We’ve been really lucky down through the years in that all of our team are pleasant and friendly and will give a really good impression of Fuzion.

The primary responsibility for answering the phone (we all do it by the way) tends to lie with the ‘junior’, the person who is newest to the team. Initially we find that the newbie is more than happy with this role but after a while they do want to feel that they are progressing and that this task is moved onto someone else.

While everyone who has worked with us has been great at that ‘hello, meet and greet‘ role we had one person who really stood out; Kerrie O’Callaghan.

Day after day we had people on the phone or who had come for a meeting specifically commenting about how special their greeting was.

This wasn’t an isolated incident but an absolute trend – she did this important, junior, simple but yet important task incredibly well.

Not surprisingly the hugely talented Kerrie, who did everything with 150% enthusiasm, progressed quickly and went on to do every task incredibly well but unfortunately for Fuzion she had the emigration bug and is now enjoying huge career success down under.

It’s funny how someone who does the small things great ends up also doing the big things great..

Kerrie, we miss 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

Bob Savage joins the Smarter Egg Club

November 26, 2013

Bob Savage - EMC

You have to hand it to him – Aodan Enright from Smarter Egg did a great job!

Not only did he do a great job with his really interesting and enjoyable event this week, at the White Horse in Cork but he has done so well with his Smarter Egg concept of learning, which has evolved gradually since he began a number of years back.

I was one of the early converts – I was immediately intrigued by what Aodan described to me when I met him at a networking event years ago and he didn’t disappoint with a very unique (I hate that word now) business and personal learning experience.

Aodan even had me speaking at one of his first events, which I was thrilled to do.

(I recommend you have a peep at his website and consider trying one of his programmes – it won’t disappoint)

This week at his event he had a number of guest speakers and the high point of the evening was his one to one, up close and personal interview with Bob Savage, CEO of the highly successful EMC in Cork.

I’m not sure if it was the intimate atmosphere of the venue, the fact that Aodan worked for Bob before or if it was just his interrogation skills but it led to a really superb interview and one that gave us a rare insight into a modern, successful business leader.

At times  when asked a question Bob was a little unsure about answering and even stopped to mention that the event was being recorded. Good job Aodan!

However he did open up and gave us some gems:

  • He is big on teamwork and creating a great place to work
  • He loves genuine, enthusiastic people and hates the opposite
  • Passion for what you do is essential
  • He views what he does as a vocation and does acknowledge that he has made personal sacrifices with other parts of his life to reach and maintain the position he holds
  • One of his strengths is that he is accessible and he achieves that by ‘walking around’ interacting with the team and learning from them
  • He takes time out to introduce the EMC recruits because be believes they are the future of the company
  • His secret sauce of success is quite simply ‘people
  • Walking the walk is essential
  • He acknowledges the mentoring and support he received along his journey and admits that at times maybe he didn’t deserve it
  • He has his bad days the same as the rest of us and admits that things have not always been without problems but it is how you react and deal with them that’s vital
  • He loves the excitement of indigenous industry and sees huge potential in Ireland
  • He values his role on the board of Enterprise Ireland
  • In the future he could see himself consulting, assisting businesses and even life coaching “while my stock is still high”
  • Company politics is knowing when to open your mouth and when to shut it!
  • He would have advised his younger self to be more patient, more respectful and mannerly

The particular gem that I loved and took from the session was when he spoke about working hours.

At times you need to do 75 hours in a week but you clearly can’t do that all of the time. The trick is to know when to do it!

That’s one I definitely need to take notice of …way too many 75′s!

Aodan…keep up the great work and Bob…thanks for the refreshing openness and the gems, and welcome to the Smarter Egg club

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

Balancing the debits and credits of life

November 25, 2013

Work, Life Balance

Where did that time go?

31 years ago this boy was a raw, innocent 18 year old working as a junior accountant in a mid sized accountancy practice on the South Mall in Cork. At this stage I was two months into my apprentice and I was learning the basics.

Ironically, I had done Economics and Business Organisation in secondary school so Accounting was brand new to me!

For every debit there had to be a corresponding credit was the golden rule – if you got that, your accounts would always balance. If they didn’t balance something was wrong and you had to search for your mistake.

It’s probably easier for everyone now with the computers and the accountancy packages – we had to do it all manually with ledgers in my day. Imagine trying to dig through that lot to find where you went wrong..

I was in practice for 6 years and then went onto industry and eventually swapped the accountancy role for a general management one and that was the official end of my debits and credits (except for my own projects at least).

That debits and credits discipline always stood to me and I do think accountancy and the privilege of working with so many businesses at at a young age was the best business degree anyone I could ever hope for.

You listen and learn from clients, you understand the drivers of their businesses and you use your expertise to help them. In many ways I do exactly the same now except the expertise is quite different and I don’t have to worry about those debits and credits.

The strange thing is that life is full of debits and credits and it too must balance and if it doesn’t something is wrong.

I’ve been working hard all morning …. head out for a nice coffee

My crew work their socks off ….  take them for lunch on Friday

I’ve been stuck in that proposal for hours …. time for a stroll and fresh air

We’ve been working hard all year …. where will we go for our Christmas party?

Work, work, work …. spend time with friends, meet the kids, visit the folks

Busy doing stuff for everyone else …. get tickets for that gig

I’ve been working my socks off all year …. maybe a new car at the start of the year?

Whatever you do today make sure you balance your books!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 10,125 other followers

%d bloggers like this: