Sunday, 27 November 2011

My Christmas wish list......

So assuming Santa is real and we even had a chimney what would be waiting for me in stylishly wrapped boxes this Christmas?  We can all dream can't we! 

This would be my top ten! 

1.  A wide format printer!  Yes really.  Printing gift wrap is an expensive process with no low minimums, but I really want to try out some designs - my own wide format printer would mean I could print my own.  Oh I would need a conservatory to put it in obviously!

    2.  An hour mentoring from either Rosie Wolfenden or Harriet Vine - these girls are my business crushes!  I love how they have built Tatty Devine into a global business but are still very much a part of their local community; they are so engaged with their customers and supporters that they are a force to be taken very very seriously. 

    3.  A cleaner - yep - there is no time in the day to clean and I think the whole family would be whole lot happier if we had someone to dust those corners. 

    4.  An extra hour in the day - do I need to explain? 

    5.  Seeing as this is a fantasy list I'll add the ipad - fully loaded with all the apps I need to work with and to turn my short stories into ebooks to share with anyone that wanted to read them. 

    6.  No Christmas gift list  would be complete without a pair of fabulous shoes - did I mention I sold my Jimmy Choo's to pay for my first print run.  But these Gucci's are rather lush don't you think? 

    7.  Homelessness to be irradiated overnight with the re-use of empty buildings. How can we be in a recession, have thousands of empty office blocks across the country, and still have people sleeping on our streets? 

    8.  A decent set of saucepans!  My Habitat saucepans lasted over ten years.  My Tefal ones are less than a year old and well they are battered - so not impressed every time I pick one up I worry a handle will fall off. The sales offer the solution I think!!

    9.  A set of vintage drinking glasses - well I don't have any??

    10.  Everything to be as it should be.  There is nothing I need that I don't have and I am fortunate to be able to work towards those things that I would like to have but don't need.  In the meantime I have donated to Shelter, if you have everything you need to be warm in your own bed tonight I hope you will donate too. 

    Thursday, 17 November 2011

    Secrets and Lies in the Dragons Den

    There is a lot of coverage of Levi Roots this week.  The ‘creator’ of Reggae Reggae sauce is in court defending his ownership of the Reggae Reggae recipe.  Mr Roots, real name Keith Valentine Graham, has admitted, during the trial, that he lied on Dragons' Den about the origins of the recipe, but he has denied stealing it from his former business partner.

    Levi Roots told the Dragon’s that the recipe had been handed down by his grandmother, a story that he now admits he made up.  "When I was trying to market the sauce, I thought of every conceivable way that I was connected with music and the Notting Hill Carnival," he said.

    "I cooked all that in a bag together and tried my best to make a story about it."

    Roots, is being sued for more than £600,000 by Tony Bailey, his former business partner and best friend. Bailey claims Roots stole his recipe for the sauce. A charge Roots denies.

    Now I am no puritan, I buy Reggae Reggae sauce, infact we had it on Tuesday, I also have two of Levi Roots cookery books.  My Granny has even borrowed the books to compare the recipes with her own.  My Granny is a wise woman from Jamaica and I have always listened to everything she has told me including “buy cheap, by twice” (really handy that one in justifying expensive shoes).  And not to “wear white if I couldn’t keep it clean” she did not need to tell me that a lie will always come back and bite you in the butt! 

    This case has thrown some serious business questions out there.  My questions are many…..

    Is it ever right to build a brand or sell your product or service based on a lie? 
    Surely if you have a strong enough product you don’t need to lie about it? 
    If you lie in a business pitch what does this say about the kind of person you are? 

    Now that Levi Roots has been exposed as a liar will this change his relationship with Peter Jones?  And no one wants to be associated with someone un-trustable right? 

    Regardless of the outcome of the trial will this revealed dishonestly cost Levi (The Liar) Roots much more than the cash he is being sued for and in fact cost him his reputation as his word, is not, it appears his bond.

    As a media and marketing professional and as a buyer of his product I am sorely disappointed with Mr Levi Roots - I don't think that marketing should ever be about lying - but what do you think?

    Monday, 7 November 2011

    Not on the high street?

    'Mainstream' according to the dictionary equals 'ideas, attitudes, or activities that are regarded as normal or conventional; the dominant trend in opinion, fashion, or arts.' 

    A very simple explanation I think.  So my question is; why if black people are part of the fabric of our modern British society are greeting cards reflecting people of colour not on the high street? Or anywhere much else. 

    The UK is one of the biggest consumers of greeting cards in the world.  There are 800, mostly small business, producing glorious greeting cards for all occasions but less than 1% of those companies produce cards that reflect the 9.1 million people of colour that are part of the British population.

    Greeting cards reflecting non white people are considered 'ethnic' or 'specialist' which is why I am confused - I would say over 9 million people shopping on the high street is a mainstream consumer audience - but with so few shops being prepared to sell cards that are not 'mainstream' something is going a bit off base. 

    But, what I would really like to know are your thoughts ....