Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Sucking up Digital Data for all it’s worth!

The Beige Information Leech.

The past 4 years have seen a massive transformation in Idealogy’s business mix. Today, digital media represents a staggering 45% of all revenue and the business has had to adapt to that new model, as digital touchpoints have become an increasingly powerful and challenging piece of integration.

Sitting at the head of that revolution has been Simon Johnson – for well over 10 years, Idealogy’s very own Beige Information Leech - building valuable network partnerships and absorbing the torrent of material, protocols and web measurement disciplines that his ill-defined and constantly changing world pours out into the ether. In an amazingly short period, Simon J. has gone from being an IT warrior, to web-site project manager, all the way to Digital Director, heading up the fastest growing revenue stream in Idealogy’s portfolio.

Today, he has total responsibility for websites of all sizes and complexity, and for both B2B and B2C clients. As part of that role, he manages site architecture, design, campaign support, programming and content, e-mail traffic and data harvesting. Add to that his partnership management – key relationships that drive the engines for all Idealogy web and digital services – and his role within the business is pivotal.

And his appetite for this voraciously data hungry environment is legendary. His love of Social media and it’s opinion forming impact is a constant reminder to the business that we need to communicate with as many people as possible, all of the time, as we manage our own and our customers’ reputations and personalities through the forums of Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, MySpace and YouTube. He pushes the business relentlessly – the results are impressive, and progressive.

So, there we have it. Simon Johnson. A man partial to his grapes. His chiropractor. Leeds United, his football team. Online gaming (whatever that is!) And the colour Taupe. Which is supposed to be soothing, but most would call it neutral. So it’s an odd choice for a man so committed to his craft and the assimilation of stuff.

Simon Johnson - Beige by name. Information parasite by nature!

Posted by Idealogy

Monday, 23 November 2009

Mettler Toledo Product Inspection. Getting up close and personal by using Microsites as the hub for Integrated Campaign communications.

Frequently Asked Question! What is a Microsite?

Wikipedia says “an individual web page or cluster of pages which are meant to function as an auxiliary supplement to a primary website. The microsite's main landing page most likely has its own domain name or subdomain. They are typically used to add a specialized group of information either editorial or commercial”. Nice!

Idealogy’s take on the ubiquitous microsite is that it provides a powerful but intimate communications hub for integrated communications campaigns and our client Mettler Toledo Product Inspection Division have chosen it as the tactical heart of each of their Technology, Product or Service based forays into B2B marketing.

Working effectively alongside Mettler Toledo’s PI SBU Marcomms teams with development schedules often in days and weeks rather than months, Idealogy have used compelling imagery and content to build a series of highly functional microsites that utilise animation, web-enabled information links, with publication downloads, product technical data and offer-based incentives for database refreshing. It’s a  combination that has been used successfully on a number of key Mettler Toledo marketing events;

Glass in Glass Inspection
Harsh Environment
and Ready Meals

Each microsite provides a vivid shop window for Mettler Toledo’s broad technical offering, covering their X-ray systems, Metal Detection and Checkweighing capabilities, and linking disparate techniques in a seamless, totally integrated and multi-lingual way. Conventional campaign tools like PR, Direct Mail, Brochures, Advertising and E-mail releases are used to drive traffic to the microsite domains. And the concept is working. Visitor numbers and lead generation are significantly up on more conventional marketing routes and the microsite, as a cornerstone of Mettler Toledo Product Inspection’s communications strategy, looks like it is here to stay.

Posted by Paul Wright

Friday, 20 November 2009

Wing UK. Onwards, upwards, online, out there!

Wing UK is a nationwide service provider for the Care Industry, and a brand totally committed to offering its Customers a first class experience. As a division of Millbrook Industries’ Ultimate Care Group, Wing works alongside the NHS, Social Services, Mobility Retailers, Internet Retailers, Direct Sales Companies and High Street Retailers by providing Direct Delivery, Repairs, Servicing, Decontamination and PAT and Loler Training from it’s 4 UK locations in Southampton, Barnsley, Ayr and Cookstown in Northern Ireland.

In the early Summer of 2009, Idealogy were asked to provide a new brand name and logo for this important Nationwide Care Service provider, which in turn has developed into vehicle livery, product and care labelling, commercial stationery, collateral, and now a contemporary, CMS based online presence which speaks directly to Wing’s 3 key UK customer groups – Care Customers, Network Engineers and Care Retailers.

The site itself – - is a bright and optimistic web environment, designed to communicate quality, confidence and reassurance to all site visitors. Supported by the strapline ‘Onwards and Upwards’ and some eye-catching visual themes, Wing UK is all set to become the largest direct delivery and service provider for the UK Care Industry.

For more information about the website contact Simon Johnson at Idealogy, Southampton, 02380211642

Posted by Simon Johnson

Thursday, 12 November 2009

“Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine.”

One of the blessings (or is it a curse?) of being the Operations Director for a Branding Consultancy like Idealogy, is that you never know what the day will throw at you.

But whatever it is, you'd better be ready!

Paul Wright has had 20 years of being ready, and the one constant is that, around his robust flexibilty, “…the times they are a changing!”.

20 years ago the marketing and communications landscape was one of brochures and trade shows and stationery and press advertising. Today, that landscape is full of terms like websites, experiential and ambient media, e-campaigns, social media, customer experience and the ‘B’ word.

So how does someone like Paul deal with that kind of far-reaching change? After all, it’s not as if he can just transfer the skills of one era and transplant them into the current milieu. For Paul, his greatest asset is his matter-of-fact approach to all things – ‘let’s not get excited here!’. And it’s a mindset that has served both him and the business well.

Whatever the question, whatever the challenge, his unruffled perspective keeps projects on the rails, long after many of us would have jumped off the train. His ability to combine a generation of traditional production skills with the competencies required to deliver complex multi-media projects is a lesson in sangfroid – he remains composed and self-assured under extreme pressure.

Which brings us neatly to our headline.

Paul’s attitude to his changing universe is one of crushing inevitability. Just don’t ask him difficult questions when he’s trying to get a can of drink out of a machine. It’s surprising how quickly that calm veneer crumbles. And the language isn’t far behind.

Pepsi anyone?

Posted by Idealogy

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

20 years old. So why do we have an Anniversary crisis to cope with?


It didn’t escape our notice that, as we approached our 20th birthday in August, we had a few difficult decisions to take. Which I suppose, as adults, shouldn’t present too many problems but it has become symptomatic of a life spent in a shifting landscape, ducking and diving, trying to flesh out an approachable personality and identity.

And that’s hard for a small business, especially one that opened as Selling Ideas the very day the headline read “it’s official, we’re in a recession”. There’s a beguiling symmetry there don’t you think?

Back in 1989, we could have been accused of recklessness, and indeed, the early years were tough as we learned to balance the rigours of running the new Selling Ideas business, with the needs of a demanding client base. But we soldiered on and we grew, putting on weight and muscle in all the right areas, developing our vocabulary, learning how to walk confidently amongst our peers. The family album had lots of attractive portraits and group pictures as we gazed, clear eyed, beside our friends and colleagues, at the flashing bulb.

We were standing tall and learning how to work well and play with others. And we were becoming independent.

But, like all adolescents, we weren’t 100% sure of who we really were. Life was so much easier in the early days, when all anyone wanted to talk about was good ideas, and we had plenty of those to sell.

With maturity comes a fresh set of beliefs and intellectual fog. We weren’t afraid of the questions we were being asked or where those questions came from – and our world had clearly become a more consumerist and commercial place. What we were scared of was our ability to consistently come up with the right answers – because that meant we had become something else, something quite different from the persona we knew and had grown comfortable, arguably too comfortable, with. Idealogy had become a comprehensive vision.

So we changed, and in all honesty, we’ll continue to adapt as the world changes around us. Today’s incarnation as Idealogy may be quite different again in another 5 years, but that’s life and, as we all know, change is good!

Now, back to the crisis!

Is a 20th anniversary a China or a Platinum, because that will make a huge difference to the party theme? Are we going to drink tea from a saucer or are we all going to show up in blonde wigs? Decisions, decisions…….

Answers and comments please.

Posted by Idealogy

Thursday, 10 September 2009

A real first for Idealogy! FIRST CLUB. Helping Fitness First make fitness pay for itself!

Here’s a breakthrough moment!

How much more regularly would everyday fitness enthusiasts go to their clubs if they also had access to a basket of other great benefits on top of the obvious health improvements? The more you train, the better-off you feel!

That’s the theory behind Fitness First’s FIRST CLUB and the cue for Idealogy to get involved with the online function for this powerful Member Benefits programme.

FIRST CLUB provides committed members with value-based offers, discounts and rewards at many High Street, Travel, Energy, Insurance & Lifestyle brands that soon add up. All Members are entitled to FIRST CLUB member benefits and those members who have been with the club for over a year are automatically upgraded to FIRST CLUB + where they will benefit from another level of rewards.

Working with initial concepts from the Fitness First internal team, Idealogy were tasked with creating a sympathetically branded web environment as a home for this fantastic campaign.

The Fitness First UK site already attracts over 100,000 visitors per month and FIRST CLUB has been designed from the ground up to say ‘Thank You’ to all members and to reflect membership needs as they migrate through the benefits offer.

Idealogy, already the creative and management resource behind, has huge experience in web-based customer experience marketing and the FIRST CLUB challenge went live in record time, due to fantastic cooperation from the Fitness First internal marketing and digital teams.

Is that what they mean by being first to market?

Posted by Simon Johnson

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Don’t make Chop mad – he’ll only turn green!

Part male model, part environmentalist, part man-child, Steven (Chopper) Barnes is a complex mixture of raw emotion and rock-solid dependability; and if you believe that lot, you’re no closer to understanding the complex make-up of one of Idealogy’s most popular, sensitive and hard working recruits – a character who embodies the spirit of this business’s customer experience and it’s responsibilities to not leaving behind a mess for others to clean up.

But for someone who harbours a (not so) secret desire to be a Transformer, Steve won’t change his unique approach to his role as Production and Traffic Assistant at Idealogy. If a project needs to ‘get out the door’ and there’s enough daylight left, it will get done. And if he has some new environmental targets to meet in his guise as Captain Planet, he’ll find innovative and compliant ways to tick all the boxes. And then there’s the modelling…….

He’s been the subject of countless photo shoots for some of our key B2B clients. The ladies say it’s his eyes. The guys suggest it’s because he’s cheap. Either way, his face has appeared on any number of campaigns for serious businesses and it hasn’t done the campaign response levels any harm. So, we’ll keep sticking him in fluorescent jackets, site helmets and rough weather gear to get the shot – unless of course he objects. Or he protests, “That’s not my best side”. But then we’ll just do it anyway!

This is a picture of a man who loves his work, quite likes a few of the people he works alongside, laughs even when the situation demands tears, and who lists music, film, playing the guitar, cycling and Star Wars as his main interests. And when we say film, we mean the real stuff – Steve is a Producer for two local Film companies one called Amber Pictures the other Steeple Productions, both have some heavyweight horror movies in their portfolio, and some interesting celebrities amongst their cast lists. They’ve even had screenings at the Cannes Film Festival.

So, Steve isn’t a person who does things by halves. His interests, like his work, get his full commitment, and to suggest otherwise would only make him mad. You see, with that kind of drive, it’s not easy being green!

Posted by Idealogy

Monday, 27 July 2009

Green Idealogy given a boost

The slightly better news for Mother Nature is that desire and virtue are no longer at odds in our minds. That said, the bandwagon effect of ethical consumerism on marketers is plain to be seen. It's obvious that ethics is affecting our culture - showing we care has become highly appealing as well as fashionable and brands ignore this at their peril. The problem is that not all embrace it fully. The resulting effect is higher prices, too much ethical noise and little substance to support it. This means that consumers get bored, feel patronised, stop listening and eventually stop buying. This is bad news for Mother Nature.

Along came New Earth, who not only have a very grown up and contemporary view of all things ethical, but also have managed to join profit and principles at the hip. Eco warrior Bill Riddle and investment guru Mark Scobie have invented a completely unique business model and radical brand architecture to go with it. Where have you seen waste treatment through composting (New Earth Solutions), the recovery of energy from waste (New Earth Energy) and an investment fund wrapped up by one brand?

These very clever boys have a very powerful proposition - so simple it hurts. Revenue stream 1: Local authorities pay to have waste biodegraded through very smart composting chemistry and technology. Revenue stream 2: the bi-product happens to be a really good fossil fuel substitute, but there's a problem; to enable the conversion of waste-derived fuel into renewable energy you need a power plant in the first place!...and these plants are capital intensive a pop so Bill and Mark have set up an investment fund so they can do just that – build their own - and they've already predicted a return of 12%-16% on the investment.

Don't you just wish you'd thought of that!

As brand consultants on the Investment side, we are very privileged to be advising on and producing collateral for the launch of the Eclipse and Premier funds. This is a great addition to our green credentials, already strong with Biottle, a bio-degradable and crushable 500ml water bottle, already attracting interest from some very big and scary brands. Right on.

Posted by James Surridge

Monday, 20 July 2009

This time it's personal

Flash is great. It's come a long way since it was first released as piece of vector animation software over 10 years ago. It's still great FOR animation - probably the best, but now developers are using it to build whole applications for on-line use.

When The National Skills Academy asked Idealogy to develop a way of NSA website users being able to customise and save personalised versions of their 'Smiles-Of-Britain' campaign logo then we knew Flash would be the right tool for the job.

A mini Photoshop would have been near impossible for on-line use only a couple of years ago - but not now - we could be prototyping the functionality within a couple of days - the hardest part was deciding what functionality we needed; what was logical and what was feasible for the application to run efficiently as a web application.

We decided upon giving the users the ability to choose from a selection of 'Smiles' logos to which they could draw on with a pencil tool. They would be able to choose from a range of colours and change the stroke width of the pencil too. We added an eraser and an undo function as well as having the ability to completely clear the canvas and start again.

So it was all very well being able to scribble away, but to give the option for greater personalisation we decided to include an upload facility, enabling the user to upload a picture of their own into the application - they could then scale, skew, rotate and re-position it to their hearts content and to cap it all off they could enter a line of text to the logo which could also be positioned where they pleased.

So there were three parts to this application in reality: the User Interface - Flash took care of that, the functionality and interactivity - Flash took care of that too and the storage of a users brand new logo creation - after all, it would be no good creating a logo if you couldn't use it! So every logo created would need to be saved as a JPEG in a database of users, that way you could always load your logo back into the application and change or update at a later date.

So there you have it, a neat little application that would have been pretty unfeasible a few years ago made very real today.


Posted by Paul Skinner

Friday, 26 June 2009

Great customer service starts with a smile

This summer is set to be the UK’s biggest ‘staycation’ ever (Yes! That’s a real word – just look it up on Wikipedia) as the British public resolve to spend their summer holidays on home soil. So the National Skills Academy for Hospitality is launching a campaign to celebrate the very best of British hospitality.

The Smiles of Britain campaign encourages members of the public to be on the lookout for the nation’s warmest and most welcoming smiles on the faces of people working in the Hospitality industry. And, when they see one, to snap a picture and share it on the Academy’s campaign website (

But as well as helping to highlight Britain at its hospitable best, there is also a serious commercial message underpinning the campaign. As David McHattie, chief executive of the National Skills Academy for Hospitality, explains:

“The role of the Academy is to seek out the very best training, development and education programmes in hospitality, to recognise and celebrate that excellence, and to lay down the gauntlet for the whole industry to follow their lead.

“As part of this process we want to shine a light on those in our sector who are leading the way in customer service.”

Idealogy worked hard and fast with the NSA Hospitality team to achieve almost unprecedented deadlines, in order to get the campaign – a combination of ‘YouTube’-esque web site, social networking, personalisation tools and powerful merchandising – launched and active by late May 2009.

Idealogy developed the Smiles of Britain website as a navigational addition to the current National Skills Academy website, as well as encouraging all Smilers to visit though the more conventional URL. And the response has been extraordinary, with an almost ‘word of mouth’ fervour attracting thousands of unique visitors, and of course Smilers, during the month after launch, supported by a moderate social network prompting program via Twitter. However, this was more judgement than luck because the web environment was designed to provide a ‘social networking’ ambience for new talent within the Hospitality industries – a place to share views, images and other content with like-minded colleagues.

In addition, Idealogy developed a “Draw a Smile’ personalisation tool, to encourage members of the network to create more individual images, rather than de rigeur Facebook style snaps, and to reproduce them for their working environments, common areas and homes.

Additional campaign elements included lapel badges, branded balloons, T-shirts and campaign cards.

Visit either or to see what’s putting a smile on the face of customer service across the UK.

Posted by Simon Johnson

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Calling all Project Managers!

We are looking for a confident, hard working project manager to work with us on a strong portfolio of digital projects. On top of good PM skills, a good all round knowledge and experience of the Internet is essential; with basic HTML experience a plus...interested? Then find out more here

Posted by Idealogy

Thursday, 28 May 2009

A Leap of Faith

The Lifetime Leap - An evolution of the Lifetime HF brand to widen its appeal

For the past year, Idealogy has worked alongside Lifetime HF, one of the UK’s fasting growing training consultancies for the leisure industry. Founded in Bristol in 1995 by Heather Frankham, Lifetime HF specialises in working with national and multi-national leisure organisations. Their values focus on excellence, professionalism and commitment and these values permeate a holistic approach that progresses all the way through to the achievement of desired standards and results at a company and individual level.

Much of the training that Lifetime provides is work-based-learning and, as such, takes place within workplaces throughout the UK. Lifetime delivers Apprenticeships, Work Based Learning NVQs, in-house training and open courses including distance-learning courses across the fitness and leisure sector.

The Lifetime brand already has an enduring appeal for its existing customers. Therefore, Idealogy’s aim was not to instigate revolutionary change, but to ensure that the brand appeal was extendable into new markets and sectors, without stretching it beyond its core competencies. The new brand identity and hierarchy was designed to reflect this.

James Surridge, Director for Demand Strategy at Idealogy commented, “The founding principle was about supporting fitness businesses to perform better – providing consultancy and training to deliver outstanding fitness programmes. It was also about simplicity – finding the things that really made a difference and acting on these as well as presenting training information in a way that was easy for students despite the complexity of the subject. The Lifetime name was originally chosen because it meant more than just fitness – it encapsulated lifestyle and wellness and had the health agenda of longevity linked in.”

The overall proposition also changed from ‘delivering outstanding training’ to ‘delivering the most work ready people for your business’. This works not only to differentiate the brand in the marketplace, but appeals beyond the fitness arena and into active leisure and beyond.

In the refreshed visual identity, ‘The Lifetime Leap’ replicates the first movement of the original Lifetime brand. It represents a dynamic step onto a springboard and then makes a confident leap forward, connecting more positively with the Lifetime word mark. ‘The Lifetime Leap’ not only depicts a journey that embraces change, but also achievement. This aspect is more literally brought to life in applications such as websites, collateral and exhibitions.

Within the new hierarchy, the creation of an Awarding Body presented a new opportunity for Lifetime to enhance its credibility. Whilst the connection with the existing brand was maintained, there is a distinct difference in the offering and business structure and this was reflected in a new ‘Lifetime Awarding’ Brand Identity

Idealogy are now implementing both internal and external programmes to relaunch the Lifetime brand, working alongside Lynda Brown, Lifetime’s new Head of Marketing We would welcome your comments on the developments Idealogy has made to the Lifetime Corporate Identity and Awarding body. Please use the slide show to view the completed visual presentation.

Posted by Anna Ecuyer

Friday, 24 April 2009

Don’t like yours much

Simple recently asked Idealogy to come up with a campaign to promote the benefits of it’s products in fighting the signs of ageing, so we started thinking and bounced ideas around in one form or another for over 6 months.

From our initial ideas the project went through several iterations; we finally decided upon illustrating how someone with a poor quality lifestyle would age quicker and more harshly than someone with a healthier lifestyle. Simple products would obviously help this improvement too of course and we would promote the New Repair Anti-Wrinkle Range.

Then someone came up with the idea of showing a young, beautiful woman ageing (time-lapse style) from 25 to 75 very badly. We could do a quick rewind and then show the young woman ageing more ‘gracefully’. Some shock-factor tactics that we could use on the Simple website.

So about a month ago we started to put the piece together. The first thing to do was to cast two models who could feasibly be the same person at different ages of their life. Once chosen we arranged for them to attend a photo-shoot on the same day, enabling us to have the exact same lighting and feel for both.

Some additional Photoshop and a couple of pieces of animation software later it was looking pretty scary; a time-lapse video with 2 very different endings.

Initially the video was promoted through the national press (Heat magazine doing a massive article showing celebrities aged badly), health & beauty blogs and traditional PR via press contacts. Secondly, Simple’s quarterly email newsletter had a feature on it which also tied into a competition to win a photo of yourself aged. Then finally a version was seeded via a network of social media sites, blogs, forums and of course YouTube.

The Simple website itself had special landing pages that traffic was driven to and an interactive version of the video that allowed the user to pause the ageing process whilst reading skincare do’s and don’ts

First responses are good, with traffic up 800% on the first day of release and 1700% on the second and holding steady at 1700% on the third.

Take a look and tell us what you think – we’d love some feedback.

Posted by Paul Skinner

Friday, 17 April 2009

Carbon-neutrality? When you need to make decisions that take your environmental credentials forwards or backwards, being in neutral is not an option!

What, exactly, does this expression "carbon neutral" mean? There seems to be no viable definition – at least not in the very places you could arguably refer to as reference points. So, in desperation we turned to good old Wikipeadia which quoted “Being carbon neutral, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset”. Ummmmm!

In recent Google searches on the term, we also found a wide variety of ways the term was being used, and more than a few questionable claims. (Can you really fly carbon neutral on company jets, even if it's "more affordable than you think"?) Beyond that are questions about how companies are achieving their carbon neutrality – because not all commercial offsets are equal. Is planting a tree ever enough? Is a paperless environment a realistic objective?

And if a business, any business, has a carbon footprint, how does that equate with having a net carbon neutral profile? Doesn’t a footprint leave an impression, imply size and volume? You can see where this is heading can’t you?

In demonstrating our concern about all this -- and all companies that have made, or are thinking of making, some kind of carbon-neutral claim should consider this – as claims continue to grow in both self-importance, scope and popularity, the very value of our claims will diminish alongside the scale of our emissions (however we choose to measure them!). Getting our carbon ‘badge of honour’ becomes another me-too action for all but a handful of companies. At best, carbon neutral will be seen as de rigeur, no longer having any street value outside of the internal morale of the company itself.

That's okay. But beyond that is a much bigger issue: will carbon neutrality become just a cover-up for lack of real action? Are we heading blindly towards a torrent of opinion, backlash if you will, against companies making carbon-neutral claims without having taken the relevant steps to improve their energy efficiency and use only energy derived from clean, renewable resources? Like ISO and ‘Investors in People, is Carbon Neutrality going to become the next trap to sidestep when businesses are asked to defend their environmental position while tendering, partnering or regulated trading?

How much can a true SME possibly achieve? Is receiving a County Award as an environmental champion the beginning or the end of the process? Doing something, in our opinion, means that we are anything but neutral. We are able to make sensible but tangible decisions about our environmental impact – from turning computers off at night, to using long-life light bulbs, and from using recycled toilet paper (urgh!) to having so many recycled paper bins you can’t move – and these are all positive steps. But are they big enough? Persuading our clients and partners to give into their carbon-neutral inclinations is a much harder process, but in the absence of any real diktat from a government that seems mildly distracted at the moment, it’s an ideology worth embracing!

So we’ll continue to do the very best we can, while casting a wistful gaze at the word neutral and wondering why the real wordsmiths haven’t cracked that particular, yet valuable, nut. If I want to be neutral, I’ll park out the back and get a parking ticket from the traffic fascists. Thinking about changing our environmental gears from 2nd to 3rd, now that’s a question of timing and having attained the right speed. And, if moving at 3 mph means I can safely plant a tree as a way of saving the planet, then that’s win, win.

But how do we get back there to water it?

Posted by Simon Dover

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Is Dan Soutan an endangered species or simply a designer looking for a new environment ?

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Idealogy have recently adopted a small hairy creature that, as part of a fully developed conservation programme, is leaving it’s regional habitat and being moved to the more temperate southern coastal plains. His keepers hope that this change of environment and climate stability may encourage a more positive breeding culture, and, therefore further increase the chances of the survival of the genus.

The approach of this wing of the Dan Soutan Foundation goes beyond that of purely protecting Dan. Critically it also includes a recognition that the habitat for the Soutan must be unique in its richness of culture, biodiversity and crucial for local communities, who are as dependent on the habitat as Dan. In the medium to long term this will mean an increase in the number of Curry establishments in the Lymington area, easy access to a number of local, mature golf courses, the construction of a man-made range of hills and climbs to take advantage of Dan’s strange but well developed cycling skills, and his own personal queuing line in the key food, clothing and convenience shops in the region.

Conservation is more than protecting a species. It is about saving nature which includes us, 'the fifth ape'. The efforts of all of us to prevent global warming will be seen as a defining moment in history, for humanity's sake and for the health of the whole planet. Tropical forests, mountain biking, and less TV Soaps can play a significant role in guarding against this change. Idealogy will discuss more about our approach to the environment in future blog entries.

The Soutan will continue to make progress under the watchful eye of his keepers, who will continually monitor his ability to colour in with confidence, understand advanced, paper-based and digital communications concepts, integrate into his new social group and, as he develops as a senior designer, be cured of his poor dietary habits, in particular a passion for ‘Pot Noodle’. For more information about this intriguing species simply respond to the issues raised in this blog or leave a donation and speak to any one of his keepers – Paul Wright, Simon Johnson or Darryl Akerman.

Posted by Idealogy

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

“You always find out who's been swimming naked when the tide goes out.

“You always find out who's been swimming naked when the tide goes out. We found out that Wall Street has been kind of a nudist beach.” WARREN BUFFETT billionaire investor.

It doesn’t need Idealogy to highlight that the reference here is to the Banking Industry, and we have all felt the cold wind blowing over our privates – sorry, investments - as the financial markets have been exposed with little to cover their risk, their egos and their credibility.

But extend the argument into the marketing environment and the same commercial tidemarks are there for all to see. Many medium to large organisations are taking the same cyclical decisions, the typical, ‘de rigeur’ response when times are tough. Cut the marketing spend! Lets swim naked until the market turns. Then we can get back to shore to find our trunks.

But what if a diligent beach cleaner has swept up all the trunks, bikinis and other beachware? Where does that leave these inside-the-box thinking, risk averse back strokers?

Exposed in a wiser marketplace that has moved on, that’s where!

So many well-run, positive businesses are trying not to dip their toes into the fast ebbing recessionary tide. What’s the point? The indicators are so severe and at such a surreal level that what can we mere mortals hope to achieve?

So the smart thinkers are adopting a business-as-usual approach, developing plans to engage with their customers, focusing on getting new products and services to market, continuing to improve the customer experience, concentrating on client retention. Getting the job done so that when the markets do come back to life they’ll be prepared with innovative and compelling propositions to attract like-minded customers.

There is something incredibly short-termist in believing that a market waits until you are ready to sell. Well it doesn’t. It looks for the people who are in play and ready to do business. Not those who are hiding behind the sand dunes with no clothes, waiting for the beach to clear so they can get back to their cars.

Big decisions follow you around, and there is always someone out there who wants to talk – swimming trunks or not!

What are your thoughts about skinny dipping? Or, talk to Idealogy about ways to ignore the 'r' word!

Posted by Simon Dover