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Branded Marketing Materials – Getting Your Name Out There!
Apr 11th, 2017 by contact@ignite

In a previous blog, we’ve looked at the value of branded marketing items. Personalising items such as mugs, pens and keyrings is a proven way of getting your name in front of potential customers, particularly in a business to business context.

 

In marketing there is an old rule, which claims that a potential client or customer will need to have seen your brand’s name seven times in order for it to have made an impression, or to have been remembered for when they need your services. These subtle ways of leaving an impression on your audience are important in winning a place in their attention and being the name they think of for your area of service.

 

We recently came across another Leeds based company, offering a similar proposition for those who want to get their name seen and remembered. Rather than simply branding promotional items however, Funky Muppet offers the chance to customise balloons and promotional decorative items. It’s especially important, when you have a captive audience, to make the most of that chance to make an impression.

 

At corporate events, brand launches, shop opening and trade fairs, have eye catching branded materials goes a long way to draw attention and counts towards those seven instances of having seen your branding or name. By customising items such as balloon arches and displays you can create atmosphere and interest at an event. This is a great way to mark out your stall at a trade fair, for example, with a large balloon arch being a way to grab attention over other competitors (when your all vying for attention in a busy hall at an expo everyone is a competitor). This is also a great idea for a shop entrance, have a branded arch of balloons, in company colours with your brand name on, or even spell out your company’s name or some messaging in balloon lettering.

 

With more new Leeds businesses opening all the time, this a great way to get your name seen in a growing business city.

Yorkshire Travel-Revisited
Jan 6th, 2017 by contact@ignite

We recently had a look at the great holiday opportunities on our doorstep in Leeds, by casting our eyes towards the Yorkshire Dales. Today we thought it would be interesting to have a look at the value of tourism to Yorkshire more generally, and to have a look in the other direction, towards York and East Yorkshire, another very popular area for tourists in our area and in the UK at large.

 

Regional website Yorkshire.com notes that the total value of the industry of tourism to the Yorkshire region is £7 billion annually. This is a significant sum and a large contributor to the economy of the region more generally. The county of Yorkshire has seen a real boost in recent years with the Tour de France hosting its Grand Depart here in 2014, putting the region on the map for tourism from the continent, as well as further highlighting our region as a tourism destination within the UK. The Yorkshire Tourism Board also provides figures which suggest that tourism counts for as much as 7.2% of Yorkshire’s income and supports 11% of Yorkshire’s workforce, amounting to around 240,000 jobs.

 

The City of York in particular is a notable destination for visitors. Attracting around 4 million visitors annually, with around a quarter of those typically being from overseas, though the number of overseas visitors, particularly those from continental Europe, increased in 2014, as a result of the Grand Depart. York is also a popular tourist destination for those from North America, with the history and culture of the region, represented in the narrow and quaint streets of the old areas of the city, offering a quintessential representation of England’s traditions and heritage.

 

It’s easy to see why York is such an attraction both for those in the UK and without. The history of the city spans millennia,. From the Roman settlement of Eboracum, to Jorvik and the Vikings and the Wars of the Roses more recently. Much of this history is evident in the city. The Roman walls which surround the old city are still in very good condition. The Jorvik centre, though sometimes out of action due to its subterranean location and the city’s propensity for flooding near the river Ouse, is a fantastic tourist spot for those looking to learn more about the Viking’s occupation of the city. The museum allows visitors to travel around a recreation of what York during the Viking period would have been like, demonstrating the lifestyle and culture of this period with models and animatronics.

 

The Minster is of course another iconic attraction within the city. It’s staggering scale and fascinating history make it one of the region’s top attractions. A guided tour is worth the investment, with details such as the Minsters sloping floor (to allow for easy cleaning from the dirt of all the pilgrims who visited) making the trip come to life.

 

The East of Yorkshire, along with Humberside, has been put on the map more recently, with Hull’s being City of Culture for 2017. The East coast of Yorkshire offers some of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, Whitby, with its Gothic history and Abbey along with Scarborough and Filey further up the coast attract millions of visitors a year.

 

Hotels are an obvious choice for accommodation for those looking to visit. With York and East Yorkshire’s seaside towns having a range of different price points for those looking to visit. From Bed & Breakfast accommodation to more expensive boutique hotels. If the weather is on your side then camping is of course a great option for accommodation again, and is great value for money. Alternatively, an increasingly popular choice is the Holiday Lodge option. Log Cabins such as Bay Tree Lodge near York offer many of the comforts of a cottage self-catering stay, but with the charm of a cabin stay. In this case it also comes with its own Hot Tub, to add an extra luxury to your stay.

 

Yorkshire remains one of the chief tourist destinations in the country and with offerings such as York and the picturesque East Coast seaside towns it is not hard to understand why so many flock to this part of the world year round- we’re lucky they’re right on our doorstep here in Leeds.

A break to the Dales – on Leeds’ doorstep
Dec 7th, 2016 by contact@ignite

One of the finest advantages of living in the Leeds area, or Yorkshire generally, is being so well situated for its national parks and natural beauty. With some of the most stunning landscapes in the world on our doorstep, do we make the most of our good fortune? We thought we’d look at some ideas for a break to the Yorkshire Dales to provide some inspiration.

Transport

Getting to the Dales from Leeds is reasonably straight forward. With trains towards Skipton, known as ‘the Gateway to the Dales’ running from Leeds station every half hour during most of the week and hourly on Sunday, this is a good bet if you’re heading for the Dales but don’t want the hassle of driving. Bear in mind that on weekends, traffic on roads heading into the Dales can build up, particularly with those heading into the Dales for a break on Sundays.

Once there, you can get around to many Dales locations using DalesBus, which run buses most of the week and year round. With the scenery of the Dales being its chief attraction, the bus is an appealing way to get around, with the journey being a chance to take in some of the remarkable vistas the national park has to offer.

Things to do

As well as the stunning scenery that the Dales can boast, there are a few other factors which make it such an attractive destination. With its agricultural background, the Dales is known for its fine produce. As well as a host of real ales, as well as locally supplied farm shops and restaurants. The Lister Arms in Malham and the Aysgarth Falls Hotel at Aysgarth are two of many with national reputations for their food, much of which is locally sourced.

Similarly, Brymor Icecream in the Dales, a previous farm which has diversified to offer a variety of wonderful ice cream flavours and has quickly grown a national reputation.

With kayaking, rock climbing as well as a number of quirky cultural attractions, such as the scarecrow festival at Kettlewell also on offer, there’s a great deal to do beyond taking in the landscapes- although that’s a good place to start.

Where to Stay?

Whilst living so close by can mean that its tempting to make it a day trip, to really get the chance to explore why not make a weekend or a week of your trip? Waking up to the sound of the wildlife in the Dales is a treat, and with considerably less light pollution than its more urban neighbour of West Yorkshire, the night skies of a treat for those who do decide to make it an overnight stay.

With a number of campsites throughout the Dales, as well as a number of reputable hotels such as the Rendezvous, on its doorstep near Skipton, it might well be worth looking at extending that day trip into a longer stay in one of the country’s best loved national parks. Let us know how it goes!

The most burgled areas in Leeds
Jan 5th, 2016 by contact@ignite

Leeds LS13 tops the most burgled areas list

Leeds LS13 tops the most burgled areas list

We’ve got lots to be energised and happy about when we talk about Leeds. Leeds is a brilliant centre of commerce and a great shopping centre, but there are a few things that residents might like to change about it. And one of those things is the high burglary rate of some of the areas around Leeds.

There’s been a documentary on Channel Four recently which highlighted the areas that were most likely to have insurance claims because of burglary (and by implication, the areas which had the most burglaries). It didn’t make for good listening, especially if you live in Bramley, Leeds LS13, or in Wyke in Bradford.

Leeds based EDT Security’s Dave Tilford said: “It’s more important than ever to make sure that your house is very well protected with regularly maintained burglar alarms in Leeds.” He added, “It’s important not to read too much into the areas that have been highlighted in the documentary, which stops short at saying that they are rife with crime. It just means that you have to be careful and take the appropriate precautions”.

Get in touch with Dave Tilford by visiting www.EDTSecurity.co.uk

Read more at the telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/9826026/Leeds-tops-list-of-burglary-hotspots.html

Mother nature wreaks havoc across Yorkshire and Leeds towns
Nov 26th, 2015 by contact@ignite

credit: The Telegraph.co.uk LNP

credit: The Telegraph.co.uk
LNP

The heavy rains of last weeks storms saw floodwaters pouring across the county. But whilst some of this can be attributed to rapidly rising river levels, problems were also caused by the autumn leaves which had blocked drains and culverts. The rising floodwater, combined with heavy rainfall meant that the water couldnt escape through the blocked and damaged drains and many small becks found themsselves flowing down the roads through local towns, rather than in culverts.

Using branded merchandise to market your business
Sep 30th, 2014 by contact@ignite

You probably associate branded merchandise with huge multi-nationals and large corporations such as McDonald’s and Nestle (think of the free toys that are often found in cereal boxes or handed out at restaurants) but promotional gifts can be a great way to connect with your customers, raise awareness of your brand and boost sales.

Even small firms can benefit from using branded merchandise and free gifts can be a great way to achieve specific objectives such as encouraging customers to visit your shop or to increase awareness of a new service or product.  However you decide to use branded merchandise, you’ll need to begin by setting a clear objective suggests the Marketing Doctor when talking to Leeds businesses. Investing in branded merchandise may well seem like an unnecessary expense but provided you choose the right merchandise and combine that merchandise with clear, carefully thought out objectives, you could generate a valuable return on your initial investment.

You need to choose the right merchandise to attract your target audience: free beermats handed out by a brewery are likely to be more successful than, for example, free key rings.  Choose something creative and it’ll generate interest and help establish customer loyalty.

Image courtesy of iwdonline.co.uk via sxc.hu

Image courtesy of iwdonline.co.uk via sxc.hu

Before decided which type of branded merchandise to go for, you’ll need to spend time weighing up the costs.  Pick a reputable supplier: any reputable supplier will ask you what kind of return you are looking for on your investment and the message you’d like your branded merchandise to convey. It’s worth considering that by making a handful of long-standing, loyal customers feel valued with a carefully chosen gift can have the potential to offer a return equal to sending out thousands of direct mailings or advertising in your local paper.

The rule of thumb should be that the more you spend on the marketing merchandise, the more targeted your campaign needs to be.  Send your carefully chose merchandise out to your carefully selected customers and then keep a record of the results to give a clear picture of the success of your campaign.  Remember that merchandise doesn’t necessarily have to be sent out: branded merchandise can also prove effective when handed out at conferences, your fave Leeds marketing networking events or to clients at meetings.  If you run a shop, you could display your free merchandise next to the till, ready for customers to help themselves when they make a purchase. Face-to-face distribution also offers the advantage of helping you gauge which contacts are really worth giving gifts to. For more information, please visit: www.marketingdoctorleeds.co.uk

Rather than ordering huge numbers of one type of branded merchandise, order small quantities at first and test to see which type is the most successful.  Ask customers where or how they heard of you or why they decided to buy your product and then place an order for more of the merchandise that’s offered you the best return.

The Changing Face of Wedding Photography
Sep 11th, 2014 by contact@ignite

A Leeds Weddings Photographer Gives us his Perspective on Trends, Fads and Pictures that Stand the Test of Time

www.stevebootle.co.uk

Image credit shezita
www.freeimages.com

Wedding Photography has come a long way.  Remember looking at your grandparents wedding photos, or even your parents? Many are all formal stuffy lines of people or cheesy soft focus portraits, with identical size photos presented in an album.

Just as the clothing and styles of the day can instantly date the era of a wedding, there are often trends in the style of photography too.  Photographers have been slave to fashion and trend since the beginnings of photography in the 1800s.  However, the subtleties of style and taste dictate that what was once a clever style very quickly passes to a fad and soon becomes passé or a gimmick.

Take selective colour pictures, where one element is picked out in a vibrant colour and the rest is black and white? This was hugely popular with the advent of the new millennium,  but became overused and passé very quickly.  This was probably due to two things – firstly it was only “clever” while the technology to do it was new, and secondly the smartphone generation has allowed everyone to download a simple app and replicate it.  The 80’s saw sepia as the new style, and high end fashion shoots of the 90’s brought a trend for ‘tilt’ as well as deep saturation and highly vibrant photos.

“A retro look at the touch of a button and instantly a boring subject becomes interesting or ‘fashionable”. 

The most recent trends have been for ‘fake vintage’ and HDR (High Dynamic Range), but these are sure to pass as other trends have before them as the ability to replicate them by all the guests en-masse on their Smartphone with the help of Instagram or Hipstamatic increases.

There seems to be a misconception that a poor photo can masquerade as a passable one using a range of easy applied  ‘effects’ and that over exaggeration often conceals a lack of substance.  Don’t get me wrong, I love using many of these apps on my iPhone but in professional photography I try to steer clear.  I would of course always edit in a style agreed with the couple, but I would strongly advise also providing a “clean edit” set of pictures as well as the “styled”.

“Lasting fashions are unquestionably those that have the widest appeal over the longest time.”

A great photograph will stand the test of time providing a beautiful and timeless memory.   The best photography stands the test of time. You will want your photographs to be enjoyed by your children and probably your grandchildren some day. Other than your memories, these photographs are the lasting true record of your day. The old adage ‘less is more’ applies as much to photography as it does to so many things in life.

 

Have these predictions come true for offices across Leeds?
Apr 24th, 2014 by contact@ignite

In a blog post early in 2014, an office furniture company predicted the following: that kitchen and dining areas will become a prominent feature of office design, stating that as people congregate around kitchens and eating areas, so employers will improve conditions for workers. Well, insiders at Ignite Leeds have found that a nice shiny new kitchen for your office workers kitted out with all the right office/kitchen furniture might be a nice thing, but beware that it’s kept nice and clean as well!

A spokesperson said:

“Staff-run kitchen areas are a true horror story and a food poisoning outbreak waiting to happen. In many cases, we find that nobody’s sure who’s actually in charge of these areas, which means that nobody takes responsibility.”

The survey asked office workers when was the last time their staff kitchen was thoroughly cleaned. The results were alarming:

  • Within the last week 2%
  • Within the last month 5%
  • Within the last three months 11%
  • Within the last year 15%
  • Never 30%
  • Don’t know 37%
What document management means to Leeds companies
Dec 11th, 2013 by contact@ignite

If you run your own business, you’re likely to acknowledge that we’re still a long way from the idea of a paperless office!  A build-up of paperwork is something that most of us have to cope with from time to time, but if you’re struggling to deal with a huge backlog of un-filed paperwork, it would be time to consider using the services of a professional document management company.

Document management services usually fall into several different areas generally categorised as scanning services, data capture, document conversion and archive management.   Document scanning services are designed to help companies deal with paperwork, with the intention of improving productivity, freeing up storage and reducing business running costs.  Document scanning is the ideal way to safely and effectively address document storage issues, ensuring that essential documentation is stored either on site or in a web-based document storage system.

Document Management Leeds

Document Management in Leeds – image by jaylopez at sxc.hu

When looking for a document management service, it’s important to find a document management company that offers a flexible service which can be adapted to suit the individual needs of each business.  For example, you many have documentation which must remain on site and/or documents that can be removed for scanning so it’s important to find a company that offers both on-site and outsourced scanning options.

Data capture services are designed to extract data from a wide range of documents and for maximum accuracy, it’s important to select a document management company that uses both single and double key entry.  Highly skilled operators at www.pro-doc.co.uk can efficiently processes many thousands of data fields each day, enabling the return of data in as short a time as possible.

Document conversion services are designed to convert documents into a huge range of different media types.  Most document management companies in Leeds offer the option to return data to clients directly into their own document management software or though specially designed software, created to aid the successful management of a document archive.

Once you documentation and paperwork has been converted into the required digital format, files can then be returned to you on a wide range of different media types.   Most document management companies offer the option to import directly the files into your documentation software, whilst some also offer the facility to provide management effective archive management software.

So rather than feeling as though you are constantly battling with a paperwork mountain, why not consider using the services of a document management company?  Document management is becoming an increasingly popular option for many companies and is seen as an effective way to bring paperwork bang up to date whilst freeing up time and valuable storage space.

Yorkshire is a prime location for entrepreneurial growth
Nov 6th, 2013 by contact@ignite

power-1037003-sAccording to a study carried out by EY, entrepreneurs in Yorkshire and the North of England are capitalising on large opportunities to grow in the UK.

Companies led by entrepreneurs across the North of England have achieved a 24 per cent growth in their turnover during the past year, beating their counterparts in the south of England and London by 19 per cent, the Midlands by 12 per cent and Scotland by 17.1 per cent.  These figures are the results of an analysis of 128 businesses which have enjoyed fast growth.

The figures have been supplied by companies who made it to the final of EY’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ competition which was split evenly across the United Kingdom.  The winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year award is James Lambert who is the chairman of R&R Ice Cream, a Yorkshire-based company which owns brands including Skinny Cow, Kelly’s of Cornwall and Fab.  R&R Ice Cream started out by employing just five people and now has a work force of almost 3000 with an annual turnover of just under £750 million.

EY Partner and UK Entrepreneur of the Year Leader said: “The importance of entrepreneurs in leading the economic recovery is clear, with their contribution to the growth, revenue and jobs vastly ahead of the economy in general.  It reinforces research by NESTA showing that 6 per cent of outstanding growth companies create half of new, high value jobs.

“The impact on regional economies and confidence cannot be overstated, with entrepreneurs providing a major boost for local innovation, pride and job creation.  Innovative and fast-growing businesses have helped the UK regions to become world players in many industries.”

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