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February 20, 2015 / cbkingston

How to talk to customers when everyone is lying to you

The fabulous Rob Fitzpatrck @robfitz video:

To help your teams make progress, decide on where you want to be in a month’s time. Make it measurable (such as a number). Write it down and commit to it. Then, work out smaller steps for how you can achieve that larger goal. Quick, tight deadlines are your friend as it focuses you. If it’s too overwhelming, then break it down into a smaller goal.

Just a month left of your social Masters experience, so let it be intense and enjoy the intensity of it! It’s an experience you won’t get again so gain the most you can from it, by putting in a strong effort.

February 20, 2015 / cbkingston

Top Bloggers of 2014-2015

Congrats to our two top bloggers:




Out of 24 people voting, you both took nearly half of the votes. Congratulations!

Joanna and Jason, you were also popular, well done.


Nominated blog posts were:

So favourite blog posts were:

February 17, 2015 / cbkingston

Finding Collaborators, Competitors and Potential Customers

In the UK there are a few websites you can use to find contact names for businesses. These are companies who have been registered officially with the government through Companies House. Information such as their worth, directors and other details can help you get an understanding of who else is working in your area or might be interested in what you have to offer. Here are some websites that help you in your search:
(requires free registration but excellent data and presentation of data)
(no registration required and good details)
(must pay for details beyond director list and date of incorporation)

January 9, 2015 / cbkingston

The Plan

Welcome back from the Christmas break everyone. Okay now down to business…literally. The plan of attack for semester 2 is going to be more independent than semester 1 as far as classes go. Think of semester 1 as your “design thinking” training and semester 2 as your time to leave the nest. Here is the schedule of things to come, so plan accordingly as I’m considering this notice your only notice I need to give you responsible people:


15 January TRADE FAIR Business School Ground Floor 1-4pm. £10 stand fee per team. You set up a trade stand worthy of enticing customers to buy your products you will have there to sell them. (Hint: you will have product on the table, ready to sell!) A table or two will be provided. Note: two trade fairs will be arranged for you by me, but you should look for other opportunities/places to sell your goods.

22 January (Thursday 6pm, room 27 KBS) FINANCE (Accounting) AND BRANDING A member from each team needs to attend the finance session, ideally your Finance Director. Concurrently running is a session on display design and branding. This is joint with the undergraduate Young Enterprise teams.

4 February BRIGHT IDEAS COMPETITION FINAL You’ll be getting official invitations for those of you that entered the competition. Note: Decide now if you win how you want to spend the money as a team.

6 February CLASS Blogging party. A highlight of the best blog posts this year (so read blogs in advance and have your favourites selected in advance), and nominations for Blogger of the Year.

11 February Trade Fair (optional) Spitalfields Market, 10:30 – 3:30 (arranged by Young Enterprise, 5 spaces available, first come-first served, contact to reserve your space)

20 February NETWORKING PEER REVIEW and ADVERT FILM FESTIVAL You will have submitted your Networking report before class begins. Then three of your peers are going to rate your networking activity over the last seven months. The cumulative mark will be your score, which is 10% of your grade. So plan out what free conferences you are going to attend, people you dream of meeting, and who you’d like to ask to be your personal/business team mentor. We will also have our own “film festival” where you will show your 60 second adverts for your product. Have a look at adverts from past teams here.

March KINGSTON TOWN TRADE FAIR (DATE tbc) Trade Fair to be held in a high traffic area of the Kingston shopping district. It will be outdoors. Details of this location to be revealed as the town council is approving our application for space.

13 March 20 March PREP DRAGON’S DEN Today you’ll have in-class support for your finances and get feedback on your report. (Hint: you should finish your report as much as possible before this date to get the most from this feedback). If you want feedback on your presentations, schedule a session with me.

26 March (Thursday night) FINAL DRAGON’S DEN AND YOUNG ENTERPRISE COMPETITION To be held in the evening in the Business School, you’ll be competing against the other 9 undergraduate business teams. Top 2 teams get to go to the National final (typically the first part of May, date TBD). Winner of the National competition gets a free trip to the European competition. Note: you need to submit your report on Studyspace two days before the final presentation.

27 April: Blog Posts and Reflective Essay due

December 11, 2014 / cbkingston

Display Design

Display Design Ideas

Example one: Words

Use signs that explain the benefits of your product as a way to entice customers to join the others that have already benefited from your product by adding an endorsement or two.


Signs that clearly show pricing help people to understand it’s something they can BUY.


Example two: Create a setting

Instead of just a table with product on it, illustrate the product in its native environment which helps them picture where it can be used.
This display shows that “these boots are great for outdoors”, by bringing pieces of the outdoors into the display.


Or if the environment is difficult to transport, why not illustrate the environment using 2-D effects?


Or show a photo or advertisement next to the product (advert on ipad shown here):



Or just simply add some decor and accessories, like with these flowers:


Example three: Try me

By showing the product next to the packaging and offering a sample or a way to test the product, it helps people interact which can lead to buying.

This student team offered a drawing contest for people who would try out their chalkboards:

KU postgraduate team, 42

Or offer free samples:


Example four: Ditch the table, take a stand

By drawing all of the focus to one item, it catches people off guard and makes them want to stop to look.
Other “stands” could be a coat rack, a pole, a tree, a chair, bookcase, ladder, etc. think outside the box but make sure people realize it’s more than just a work of art but something they are meant to BUY.

Here a stand (mannequin) is used to hold the product (scarf). Flowers and grass were added to show the message of “Spring is here”:




(Note on colour: in this all-white display it is really striking. Think how much the cake would stand out if it was the only object of colour!)

Example five: Use a Backdrop

Try displaying things on a wall as a way to hang things at eye level, rather than make people look down.
You might not want a full wall behind you, but there are lots of things you can do with a board/old drawer/photo frame, etc. even on a table.

Also notice how clear the name of their product/shop/stand is!


Example six: Big, Medium, Small

A good design rule of thumb is to use a balance of objects at different sizes, or levels. This helps the eye look around a space more easily.

Here “big, medium, small” is used by putting things at different heights (tall, medium, short) as well as objects of different sizes:


Example seven: This is me!

Think of the most important aspect of your business and make sure it’s clear what you are offering them to buy.

This student team made the name of their company clear, but how do you know they are selling keychains? 


This company clearly says their name AND what they do:


But sometimes it’s a matter of packaging to explain who you are and what’s under the wrapper, like these Theo chocolates do:


See LOADS more packaging examples here.

Example eight: Get a great deal here!

BOGOF? 3 for 2? Buy today and save 20%? How will you promote a good deal?

What examples of good display design can you see in this student display?