Thursday, 28 June 2007

A Logo for the Future?

I've just finished Richard Branson's book, 'Losing my Virginity', (a Book that I would definitely recommend to any Entrepreneur!!) and one of the best things that I thought stood out from the man, is that he is always open to new ideas:

What makes him so succesful, is his ability to always try new things (even if it means taking the company to the brink of collapse). One of the most interesting facts, was how he came up with the name 'Virgin'. He was running a very successful magazine called 'Student' which was doing very well, but he felt that he wanted to cater more for the student readers in terms of music. Music records were very expensive those days, and if he could find a way of making records a lot cheaper, then he would have a massive market to which he could cater to.

He therefore decided to start a record label, but he wasn't sure what he wanted to call it. He did consider the name 'Slipped Disc Records', but he felt it lacked substance. Then someone suggested 'Virgin', as we are all 'virgins in business'.........and the rest is history :)

So, after deliberating with Wilhelm Kruger (Horizon's Marketing Guru) on the logo for Horizon Consultancy, he came up with the following design:

His reasons for the design are as follows: As the name suggests, you can go with the cliche of stretching the font over a curved 'horizon', but will this set you apart from the rest? Of course not !! So he decided, that although the horizon does signify the earth as a whole, he would make something that is 'out of this world'. Therefore, he chose to go for an 'intergalactic logo'.

As you can see, the first circle looks like a planet which has a moon in front of it. (hence the chunk that is missing:) But he does complete the picture, by using the missing chunk to complete the second 'o' in the logo :)

So, to brings things to a close, I think that it is a fantastic design!! Only the future will tell if it will ever compare to a little logo called Virgin............ :)

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Horizon who??

About 2 weeks ago, I decide to go to a Property Exhibition. Not to BUY anything, but to offer the 'Really Big and Scary International Property Company' if I could 'assist in expanding their already massive database?

Now you can imagine how nervous I was that they were going to take one look at me......laugh (as is expected) and then throw me out of the exhibition shouting 'We don't need your help as we are one of the biggest Property Companies in Europe already!!!' But......this didn't happen.

'Good morning Mr Doms, it is very nice to meet you' :) Would you like a coffee?? (starting to sweat now as I wait for the massive security guard who has been called) 'We have many property developments available at the current moment, but maybe you can enlighten us on what you think your clients would be interested in?' At this point in time, I thought that maybe they were going to try and sell me something (obviously not caring about my clients who I was trying to source developments for). But when they discovered that I was 'merely' another agent off the street..........bring on the massive security guard, his dog and..........smack !!! Hello Pavement :(

To cut the entire episode short, the really friendly guy showed me properties in Germany, Cyrpus, Turkey as well as the UK. As they cover Europe, the US as well as the Caribbean you can imagine how long it would've taken to go through all their stock. I did manage to walk away with a few business cards, and lo and behold......A meeting at their offices !!! (let's see if they actually have offices where they referred me to........said the cynic in me)

Today, I ACTUALLY went to those 'mythical offices' and spoke to a really nice guy explaining what Developments they currently have available...........(and here's the really seriously awesome part)........I could choose which Developments my clients would be interested in, but I am still able to market them under Horizon !! I could then offer these properties to my clients, and then the other company would take over and take care of the rest :) Was there ever a sweeter deal??? (The reason for this is because MANY other companies would just work on a referral system, where I would refer you and then have NOTHING else to do with you. In this case, I am with you from beginning to end without having to 'pass you along the chain')

We would obviously split the commission earned, but the client would remain my own........which meant that the client deal ONLY with me........and not some dodgy person they've never had contact with.

I think the lesson I learnt from this is that although you might as a company be small........there's nothing stopping you from asking. What's the worst that can happen?............(I hear cries of Massive Security guard, his dog and that VERY hard pavement :)

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Why be better?

The Roman Catholic Church describes the '7 Deadly Sins' as the following:

- Lust
- Gluttony
- Greed
- Sloth
- Wrath
- Envy
- Pride

But the 20th Century has given birth to a new 'deadly' sin......and this is called 'Apathy'. The word apathy, is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as the follwing: 'noun' - lack of interest or enthusiasm.

I believe that Apathy should be called the 8th Deadly Sin, as we live in times where the status quo is as follows: 'I don't have to do my best as the next door neighbour didn't amount to anything' or 'I don't need to work hard because my parents look after me' or 'I have all I need and I won't be able to improve my current situation'

So the question, if we have the means for survival, ie. Food, water, shelter (the basic physiological needs), then Why is it so important for us to continously strive to be better?

When we aren't going forward, we are essentially moving backward. There is no 'middle station' of standing still. The world is changing / in motion all the time and so must we.......otherwise we stand the chance of being left behind. Of being discarded as an 'out of date' model which cannot compete with the present, and is therefore relegated to the past.