May 20th, 2013
Striving to achieve ultimate client satisfaction is at the very heart of any decent organisation. We think the John Lewis Partnership and their Waitrose stores have got this right in spades.
Their concierge concept is part of a multi-million pound strategy to improve the in-store customer experience. These desks will offer customers a range of personalised services including flower and gift wrapping, Waitrose and John Lewis ordering via tablets and a dry-cleaning service.
Waitrose are also trialing drive-through collection points, customers can collect shopping from temperature controlled lockers.
Proof if proof were needed that if you get your on-line offering right then growth in the ecommerce market pushes sales back into the high street.
May 10th, 2013
Continuing my run of public speaking, I had the pleasure of talking at this Surrey Women Entrepreneurs event in Cobham. The audience was made up of many inspiring local businesswomen from a wide range of sectors from the owner of a local family magazine, a business advisor to personal stylist.
It’s motivational to be surrounded women, who are also driven in developing their businesses.
No one should be afraid of maximising opportunities in business and carrying this through into their personal life. I think the two go hand in hand and if a woman has a career and children it helps tip the balance in her favor.
Accentuate the positive.
May 3rd, 2013
April 2nd, 2013
We popped up to London last week to take a look round the 2013 Designs of the year exhibition at the Design Museum – or the “Oscars of the design world” as it is commonly known. The exhibition brings together the best designs from all over the world encompassing all facets of design. Of course we expected to see Renzo Piano’s Shard nominated and the Olympic Cauldron by Heatherwick Studio’s, however there were a few innovative designs focused on improving peoples lives that really caught our eye. For example – “Child Vision Glasses” by Josh Silver for children in the developing world. The kit includes a basic sight test and the glasses use liquid lense technology which can be adjusted by an adult to fit the prescription. Other innovative products included the folding wheelchair wheel by vitamins design and “Magic Arms” by du Pont hospital for children. The winner will be announced on the 17th April and it will be interesting to see who picks up this design accolade.
March 20th, 2013
After listening to two keynote speakers, the 200 delegates had a choice of four seminars. To my consternation, no fewer than 75 of them picked mine: ‘Your Personal Brand and Successful Networking’.
I only had an hour, so I walked them through basics of building a personal brand, and gave them some insights into successful networking drawn from my own experience. The one they liked most was the story of how I met Karren Brady, told her flatly I wanted to come and see her about redesigning her website – and ended up doing both.
It was a fantastic evening, and got me thinking about a lot of things. It’s clear to me that, even today, many women still want – and need – help and advice on how to present themselves in business. We’ve come a long way, but the old fears, insecurities and inequalities, both real and perceived, are obviously still out there. At the same time, I was really encouraged to see so many women determined to take charge of their lives and careers in this way. It was both humbling and inspiring. I hope some of them went away having learned something about themselves, and feeling ready to take on the world. I know I did.
March 12th, 2013
People still buy people, which is the premise for the seminar I’m giving tomorrow night at the University of Surrey on ‘Personal Branding and Networking’.
What do people say about you when you aren’t in the room? Are you known for making the most significant contribution in your professional area? Do you know how to shape and manage your personal brand?
It should be a fun night, I’m really looking forward to meeting the 65 strong delegates who have signed up to my session.
March 4th, 2013
The Toast of Surrey is this Thursday 7 March and Farrow Creative are delighted to be representing the IoD Surrey as judges at this prestigious Awards Ceremony.
Director of the Year is a highly prestigious award, so as judges, we’re looking for truly exceptional examples of business leadership. We’ve seen another incredibly strong field this year, which has made picking a potential winner more difficult than ever. Our finalists are businesspeople of the very highest calibre – they really do represent the best of the best. As well as great commercial acumen, they’ve demonstrated outstanding enthusiasm, commitment, imagination and communication skills. It’s one of those occasions where you wish everyone could win, but in the Awards, as in business, someone will have that crucial edge that puts them just ahead of the rest.
We were really pleased to see Sir Quentin Blake knighted this week for his career in illustration spanning over 64yrs.
The artist from South East London first saw his illustrations published in the satirical magazine Punch aged just 16 yrs old, and drew his first children’s illustrations for “A drink of water” in 1960. He was also a familiar face on children’s TV show Jackanory in the 1970’s with his pictures for Arabel and Mortimer.
Perhaps some of his best loved and memorable illustrations have been for the Roald Dahl children’s stories, The Twits, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The BFG, Fantastic Mr Fox, & The Enormous Crocodile to name just a few.
January 11th, 2013
The London Tube Map celebrated its 150th anniversary this week and what we recognise as the tube map today has seen some major design deviations since its beginnings on 9th January 1863.
The tube map history in pictures;
January 11th, 2013
It has been great to see David Bowie’s return to the recording studio and the release of his new album “The Next Day”. However we think that the cover design is bound to be a talking point. The cover uses the original Heroes design with a white square obscuring the musicians face, which is going to leave a few people wondering why not an new image?
It was interesting to read the designers (Jonathan Barnbook) rationale behind the concept – embracing the idea that no matter how much you try and escape your past, you are always going to be compared to it.
Sometimes the most simple designs can be the most thought provoking – as Rene Magritte quoted about his own self portrait – The Son of Man or more commonly known The Faceless Businessman, “There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us”.
The full interview with the designer is definitely worth a read.