Tag Archives: websites

Data & Brands – An Introduction To Creative Data From The Cannes Lions Festival

How do you create a brand using data?Last week was the Cannes Lions week, where some of the world’s most known brands descended on the south of France for the world’s biggest annual awards show and festival for professionals in the creative communications industry. This year Unilever; Intel; Facebook; Twitter; AirBnB; Google; Vice and more, were amongst the most talked about brands.

The world’s foremost professionals and leading thinkers were present to talk about this years’ hot topic: DATA.

What Data?

The word ‘Big Data’ is thrown around a lot with the advent of new technologies but what this is is alien to most businesses. Not every business has the capacity to filter through the vast amount of information it collects about a customer or client whether intentionally or incidentally to their business interactions or transactions. However, the use of this data has enabled the creative industry to drive complex ideas, and drive mass engagements to tell stories more than ever before.

Creative data is the data which can be used to produce highly targeted campaigns.

Tech and Global Brands

Marc Matthieu, former vice president of marketing at Unilever and soon to be Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung, said brands don’t get built the way they used to and if people think about the top brands in the world, it’s no longer Coca-Cola but the “Google’s and Apple’s of the world”, see the full article here.

What Marc says, to a large extent, is true. Technology has now become such an integral part of our lives that it has seems inconceivable that you wouldn’t just ‘Google’ something on your iPhone. What drives these companies is essentially how they are using the data that they collect to create a brand that seamlessly fits into our lives and delivers value.

Theo Theodorou, head of EMEA at xAd, says that Ad tech firms have begun making their mark for this very reason. He said that advertising technology is making its mark more than ever before because these companies are offering data driven ad targeting in location based mobile technology.

This means information provided by you through your digital interaction can be, and is increasingly being used to target you in very clever ways, wherever it is you are in the world.

While collecting ‘big data’ is all well and good, what companies are doing with that data is more important. According to AirBnB’s CMO, it is important to “work with talented people who understand how to tell a story out of data and use that story to inspire creative people, so the foundation on which the creatives are asked to work is actually robust”. In essence, extracting information and creating a story is not dissimilar to the function of a trade mark communicating brand values to customers when buying a product. To this extent, creating these stories is to create a brand and to create a brand is to create intellectual property, which is an asset and one which will require careful management if it is going to be successful.

The Googles and Apples of the world are some of the most prolific intellectual property generators developing some of the most advanced technology the public has yet to see and their success is because of successful IP strategies and management. Making your brand stand out requires more than extracting a story from the details of many, it involves a clear intellectual property strategy that allows you to create the value and continue commercialising it.

What makes your brand stand out?

In our post Brand Name – 8 Points To Consider Before You Name Your Product Or Service, we highlighted some of the elements that would help in creating a distinctive brand. For example, the data collected by a business may reveal some important details such as age demographics, shopping habits, location etc. When creating a story out of those details choosing an appropriately distinctive name to represent it is important as it will allow easy association and will help translate your product to your respective market.

Take for example the Compare the Meerkat campaign as a trade mark, it was noted that Jason Lonsdale of Saatchi and Saatchi was quoted as saying “They’ve done something unexpected and a bit bonkers, and it’s paid off. A campaign based on talking animals and a pun sounds like a terrible idea, but it works.” See the full article here.

Finding an appropriate name is half the part, however, as registering it is what will help maintain its aura. In this example, Alexsandr Orlov (the Meerkat) is actually a UK trade mark, see here.

Tech is king, but first movers win

If someone had already registered ‘Compare the Meerkat’ the campaign would have suffered immeasurably compared to what the brand is worth today.

With technology taking over every aspect of brand communication, being smart about brand strategy involves a lot more than creating innovative stories and concepts. It involves understanding the insights offered by data and the value of your intellectual property as much larger chess pieces in a commercial strategy that will help your business grow.

Intellectual Property & Food Photography – 3 Steps To Innovation

What are you doing with your food?

We all have something to say when it comes to food but the real question is what are you doing with it? Other than eating it of course, the movers and shakers of the digital age have found innovative ways to give you more than just a culinary experience.

Recently we wrote about ‘Is Posting Photos On Twitter A Breach Of Chef’s IP?‘ where we explored the relatively new phenomenon of taking pictures of the food we eat while at restaurants. Albeit commonplace, many restaurants, particularly some chefs, have seen this as an appropriation of their intellectual property.

1.       Identify your intellectual property and where its value lies

In our post ‘Is Posting Photos On Twitter A Breach Of Chef’s IP?‘ we looked at what intellectual property elements are involved in making and preparing food, as well as taking photos of it. We concluded that intellectual property will not protect your meal because of the underlying element of fixation that is required in order to be able to define what it is you are trying to protect. You can’t eat someone’s copyright nor would you expect to eat their trade mark, as Lord Justice Jacob expressed in his ruling referring to Bongrain’s cheese trade mark application.

Sombre news as it may be for some, others in the industry have taken advantage of the phenomenon, embracing innovation and turning it into profitable opportunities.

2.       Don’t do what everyone else is doing, take advantage of what it is they are doing!

In the last couple of months we’ve stumbled across some truly innovative ideas. Israeli based winery ‘Carmel Winery’ have come up with an interesting take of photographing your food with a viewing to uploading it onto social media. It is called: Foodography, and it is a project born by the “art of food image capture using a smartphone”. In essence, it involves a series of specially designed plates which (are protectable through Design law) allow you to take the most artistic image of your meal possible using your smartphone, see the how it works here.

Those of a more traditional disposition may see this concept as completely bizarre, however, it is more than just a mere gimmick. A recent article in business insider reveals that some chefs are embracing this digital phenomenon, also known as #Foodporn, and using it to their advantage. A good food shot can result in increased publicity and bookings for the restaurant. Certainly those restaurants equipped with specially designed plates that turn every amateur using their phone into a professional food photographer, and critic, wield a lot of commercial power.

3.       Go the extra mile

The trail doesn’t stop there, however. A new app developed by Google can now count the number of calories in your food through your Instagram photos. Im2Calories incorporates artificial intelligence which uses algorithms to estimate the number of calories in your food photos. Unlike the food you eat, this software is protectable by copyright and patent legislation. The real challenge is how big can you stretch your idea?

One thing is certain, the #Foodporn revolution is real and companies are commercialising it. The key is to understand where the value of your idea lies. Chances are that your winning recipe will only be half the ticket. Your appetite for innovation on the other hand extends the commercial opportunity beyond mere gustatory and olfactory senses.

Take control of your website, before you lose it

Take Control of Your WebsiteWebsites are absolutely essential to modern marketing.  Some industries are particularly reliant on them, for example travel and hotel businesses, who face fierce competition when their customers can quickly type a destination into Google to find scores of operators vying for attention.  Still, for anyone starting, or buying a business, the website is almost certainly one of the most important assets to consider.

Who, then, could take control of your website? There isn’t always a straightforward answer.  If you have any doubts, you could be in for a shock.

Doone Valley Holidays

That’s what happened to Mr Harman and his wife, who bought a holiday business, Doone Valley Holidays in 2003, based at Cloud Farm, and they invested heavily in developing their online presence.  No attention was given to the fact that the site remained registered to its previous owner, Mr Burge.

Cut to the Harmans 7 years later, when their business moved to a new address.  Despite the considerable financial investment they had made, and the length of time they spent at Cloud Farm, they had not thought to make sure the site was registered in their own names.  So, after they moved on, the former owner, Mr Burge, was able to take control of the site.  Which he did.  The former site content was no longer accessible, and all that remained was a notice:

“Doone Valley Holidays. Announcement. Doone Valley Holidays at Cloud Farm Look forward to seeing you in 2010”.

Imagine Mr Harman’s surprise when he began hearing from potential customers, that they couldn’t access the website.  Perhaps worse, although Mr Harman had taken time to let people know they would be moving, the heading mentioned above made it seem, at first glance, that the business would still be running from Cloud Farm.

Inevitably, these circumstances lead to:

  • lost business
  • considerable time and effort
  • legal costs
  • wasted marketing fees

It could have all been avoided if, at the time of buying the business, ownership of the website was given the attention it called for.

The dispute came to a head, and legal action resulted in an award of damages and interest in July this year, to the tune of £40,000.  Unfortunately, financial compensation is rarely enough to put a business in the position they might have been in, had the disruption, costs, and pressures which accompany litigation not arisen in the first place.  Prevention is better than cure.

Take control of your website

If you know the right questions to ask, a few simple steps can leave you free to build your business without worrying about waking up to find that someone else has taken control of your website.

You can find out more about doing business online, buying a business, website ownership and domain names on our website.  The full report for this case is available online here: Harman v Burge.

Why You Should Care About building Your Business on A Solid Foundation

Last week I suggested questions to ask your business lawyer.  But let’s accept it – legal isn’t as much fun as working in your business, or marketing it.  Legal stuff just isn’t sexy.

So, if like millions of other entrepreneurs, you are tempted to ignore the legal stuff, or to write it off as a lower priority in your limited start up budget, think again.  Remember the foundation of your home isn’t sexy either, but that’s not to say that without it your home would crumble beneath you.

Why starting up too soon can be the wrong move

It’s common when you’re starting up in business to want to focus on actually getting started so you can begin marketing your products or services.  In the rush to sort out business cards, a website, telephone, email, premises, and the like, it’s all too easy to forget that the right time to consult a lawyer is BEFORE you do these things.

It is the exceptional entrepreneur who hasn’t already got their website under way before they come to see us.  Some even have an e-commerce site nearing completion, have already chosen a name, settled on their domain name, incorporated a company, commissioned a logo design, before even thinking about finding an Intellectual Property and Internet lawyer.  Usually they turn up for guidance about Intellectual Property rights, such as trade marks, or because they realise they need some website terms.  However what they are really after is legal documentation – and even then almost as an afterthought.

The idea that a lawyer might be able to add considerable value in getting you started up on a more successful footing isn’t there for the majority of start ups.  What a pity.  Because with the experience of life, business, and the law that many of us lawyers have, there are useful tips and know-how  we can pass on about how to start up in business or online successfully.

Risk of Infringing Trade Mark rights of others

Although to some extent this impatience to get up and running quickly is understandable, remember that starting too soon could get you off wrong.  You may then have to spend as much time again putting right your early mistakes.

For example, the sort of distractions you may face flow from choosing a name that may be someone else’s registered trade mark.  If you’re LUCKY this will come to light quickly after you start your business when you will have invested little more than a website, business cards, email address, and other marketing materials.  What will be involved is to effectively start over with a new name, and new marketing materials.  In the next blog post in this series, I’m going to share with you the story of how this actually happened to me personally.

The longer you continue investing in a name that you cannot own, the more serious will be the repercussions for your business if someone else has trade mark rights in your chosen name.

Equally problematic is setting up with utterly descriptive and non distinctive names.  A descriptive name may give you a marketing short cut in those early days when nobody knows you exist and what you do.  But what a waste of time it is to build up a business let alone an online brand using an utterly descriptive name.

Risk of getting a website you have to scrap

Another risk is that of ending up with the wrong sort of website.  It is not unknown for people to have to start over with a new website once they turn their attention to getting it seen in the search engines. That is often when it is discovered the structure of the site is not effective for indexing by the search engines.  You then find your time and money and resources going in to having a new site built, instead of towards search engine optimisation.

Given that websites are often the biggest item of expense for start ups, and involve complex technology, it is surprising that so many people commission them without first taking legal advice.  If you end up with a flash site, when all you asked for was a good looking site, or an ecommerce site that alienates your potential buyers because it is so difficult to buy from, or other unsuitable website, then such a mistake could literally wipe you out.  The cost of a replacement site may be affordable for you, but the lost opportunity to get proper business benefits from your site should not be discounted – and the lost time in putting it right, could mean you run out of money before you can recover from this early mistake.

Make sure you understand websites and the possibilities first

The majority of businesses commissioning a website do not have a clue about the choices and considerations that determine the right site for them.  They rely on snatched conversations with web designers instead of getting proper independent advice.  A website is a bundle of Intellectual Property rights.  So it’s important to understand the ramifications of the contractual arrangements you reach with your web designers, as this can have long term implications for your business.

If you know deep down that you’re not paying enough attention to the legal stuff – and for some of you this reluctance may be partly down to a fear of legal fees, or simply be a perception that legal is boring – then resolve to consult a business lawyer immediately.  You do know the legal framework on which you build your business matters, so stop distracting yourself with the next thing that will keep you from seeing what’s been staring you in the face all along.

British Library Course

We cover the issues discussed on this blog in more depth as part of our workshop at the British Library Business and Intellectual Property Center, follow this link to find out more. The next course is on 5 August.

What Next?

Register for the Free Teleconference to find out about our new system for assisting online businesses to access legal help at prices all SMEs can afford.

This post is part of a series, to view all of the posts in this series, please click here.

Legal Big Bang and Dawn of a New Era in Law – Azrights Introduce Latest Online Product, "Website Contract in Context"

Website Contract in Context, to be released on 23 March, fills a gap in the market for legal advice for small businesses setting up or extending their online presence. In conjunction with SEO Contract in Context, which is available as a free resource, small businesses will have an effective alternative to consulting specialist lawyers at hourly rates in excess of £250 per hour, buying a contract template, or not seeking independent advice when commissioning websites, or engaging internet marketing consultants. These transactions are complex and significant to the future success of their business, and the In Context products from Azrights are an invaluable resource to help ensure their projects succeed.  
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