THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Innovation and enterprise blog

3 posts from April 2017

10 April 2017

Thinking little to achieve big

British Library Business & IP Centre ambassador, Paul Lindley, founder of Ella’s Kitchen, explains what motivated him to write his new book ‘Little Wins’ and why entrepreneurs should continue to channel their ‘inner child’.  Come and hear him at tonight’s event where he demonstrates how employing a toddler mindset helped him to set up and run a global business.  He will be joined by entrepreneurial playmates, Rob Wilson, Toast Ale and Jimmy Cregan, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee.

 
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What inspired you to write Little Wins?

The idea for Little Wins has evolved over the last twenty years of my working life. Prior to launching Ella’s Kitchen, I worked at children’s TV network Nickelodeon, where I was constantly amazed by the remarkable brainpower of young children. The personal experience of raising my two children, Ella and Paddy, furthered these insights, and through Ella’s Kitchen, I am lucky enough to still have a constant stream of inspiring little ones in my life.  

Toddlers are the world’s most creative, free-thinking and self-confident individuals. When learning to walk and talk, toddlers persist gamely and fearlessly, trying and failing hundreds of times until they get it right, without ever losing the inquisitiveness and optimism that made them start trying in the first place.

However, as we grow up social insecurities take hold, and many of us lose touch with these precious skills – especially nowadays, when complex political climates, environmental issues and further social stresses mean life is more pressurised than ever before.

Yet this needn’t be the case! We can all find the key to stepping back and unlocking our personal potential, not by learning new skills, but by rediscovering old ones – the mindset we all once had as toddlers.

 

What is Little Wins about?

Little Wins is about discovering how to recapture a new and less cluttered perspective on life by embracing a toddler mindset and rediscovering some of the good habits you used to have in your early years.

For example, in his popular TED talk ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity?’, educationalist Sir Ken Robinson quotes the fact that 98 percent of three- to five-year-olds tested for their creativity showed the ability to ‘think in divergent ways’. By the age of twenty-five, this figure drops to just 2 percent. We can all learn to grow down and unlock these skills.

‘Growing down’ involves casting off some of the self-imposed restrictions that govern our everyday lives, and reawakening our most creative, ambitious and determined selves. This is what I’ve done with Ella’s Kitchen, and it really has been the key to our success, enabling us to develop from an idea at my kitchen table to the UK’s best-selling baby-food brand.

With my new book Little Wins: The Huge Power of Thinking Like a Toddler, I’ve tried to create a kind of personal development guide from what I’ve learnt throughout my career and personal life – together with research from a range of psychologists, researchers and business leaders – to help others embark on this same journey.

What is the top takeaway from the book?

Perhaps the most important lesson in Little Wins – and one that encapsulates my other eight steps to growing down – is the need to embrace the power of play.

Toddlers explore the world through imagination and play – quite literally everything has the potential to be an adventure. As we grow up, play stops being a priority. However, psychologist Stuart Brown, founder of the California-based National Institute for Play, has conducted research which has revealed that adults are just as susceptible to play deprivation as children – leaving them ‘rigid, humourless, inflexible and closed to trying out new options’.

Even in a business context, play is crucial. Embracing the power of play can help us to think outside the box, adapt to changing situations, and innovate new solutions to problems. At Ella’s Kitchen, we have always adopted a playful, childlike approach in everything we do – from our product creation, through to our marketing strategy and our employee welfare schemes – and it has been central to our success.

Who do you think captures the toddler mindset?

 Many quintessential toddler qualities – single-minded confidence, boundless creativity, unwavering determination – are those that define the most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs. I’ve been lucky enough to come across many talented, inspiring individuals who embody this mindset, but one that has always stood out for me is Sir Richard Branson.

 

Virgin are a perfect example of toddler thinking in a corporate world; and Richard Branson has even written the foreword to Little Wins, to explain how his adoption of a toddler mindset has been the key to his success. He is a great example of relentless, optimistic, determination to push the boundaries, and a refusal to be constrained by the norms of growing up – in his own words, ‘growing up can be a trap, but it doesn’t have to be!’

 

04 April 2017

How do you choose the right domain extension for your business?

Choosing the right domain name for your new business is a challenge in itself: in addition to your brand identity, you also need to take into account SEO considerations, which is essential if you want to be found online. Then, once you’ve chosen the name, which extension should you go for? This is a separate deliberation as domain extensions will affect the performance of your website in the long run. So how do you choose what’s right for you?

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Here are some top tips from our partner UK2 about domain extensions and how to choose one for your business:

1 The .com: an all-time favourite

PROS: Nearly 50% of all websites end in .com - it is the most trusted top-level domain, or TLD, on the market, and new internet users will gravitate towards typing that extension before even considering having a second look at the website’s name they are trying to access. What is also worth considering is your geographic audience. If you have or are planning to have many international visitors, they will also feel at ease with the .com extension, viewing it as a professional and trusted business address.

CONS: Due to the extensive popularity of the .com extension, the chances are that the domain name you want to register is already taken. In order to buy a .com domain name, you will have to become creative. A unique and quirky brand name is far more likely to be available for registration in comparison to descriptive website domain names. For example, the brand name “Phuture.com” is more likely to be available than “futureinvestments.com”.

2 .co.uk vs .uk

PROS: The .co.uk and the newer .uk domain extensions are part of the geographic identity group, such as .fr for France, .de for Germany, etc. This gives your website an edge when it comes to Google searches. Google claim they prioritise location domain extensions for a given country’s searches. For example, a website ending in .com will appear less often in Google UK than the equivalent ending in .co.uk or .uk. To promote the .uk era, UK2 is offering all .uk domain names for £1 for the first year, starting from April 1st, 2017. Don’t miss out!

CONS: We have all become used to seeing .co.uk and identify it as this country’s area code. The introduction of .uk was aimed at providing a shorter and neater version, comparable to the other country suffixes such as .com. With time, however, a neat .uk domain name will be just as desirable as the .com, don’t you think?

  1. Are you a .london-er?

PROS: Being synonymous with our great capital London is without a doubt a marketing tool not to be dismissed. But at the same time, registering a .london domain name will not magically send your website to the top Google search results. A .london suffix is effectively a branding tool; it will create a very strong identity for your business.

CONS: It is worth keeping in mind that your business plans might end up growing beyond Greater London. If you do venture further, perhaps even internationally, then having a .london domain extension could be limiting and misleading. This again depends on your branding strategy.

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  1. New GTLDs to consider: for example, .earth, .online, .pet

PROS: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, is releasing more and more new TLDs to meet the world’s demand of going online. Domain suffixes such as .online clearly state that such a website does business purely online. It can also help differentiate between physical businesses and virtual ones, as some users actively seek out the latter. The .earth domain suffix is great for anything and everything environmental and holistic, which makes quite an impact. And who wouldn’t love a .pet? Vets, animal trainers and behaviourists, and all things pet-related would be clearly identifiable. As there are quite a few TLDs to choose from, chances are that the already taken .com version is still available on your domain suffix of choice.

CONS: The main downside to being adventurous is that new domain extensions haven’t yet earned their trust amongst internet surfers. Many of us are still a bit wary of online dangers and if something doesn’t look familiar then we tend to steer clear of it. But as with all things new, it just takes one person to take the risk and start the flow, and suddenly the popularity and trust will develop.

So what is the conclusion of all of the considerations above?

  • If you can, you should always register more than one extension for your chosen domain. In an ideal world, get the .com and .co.uk (or .uk), and a TLD that is relevant to your area of business, such as .pet. Registering more than one option will give you flexibility for the future.
  • If your business model is clearly defined within a given boundary, such as a local London club, you could either go for the .london or .club extension, depending on which part of the branding you wish to emphasise. Sometimes it pays off to be bold and daring.
  • Costs - when creating your business plan make sure to retain some budget for domain name registrations. Some exotic TLDs are more expensive than others and initially, you might want to register a few, which requires a decent budget. You will have to consider the risk of not registering a domain name and then later having to buy it off someone else, which will be more expensive. Just keep it in mind.
  • Even if the .com is still topping the TLD chart, with so many new websites going live every day, there will eventually be a tipping point. And when that moment comes, the popularity of new TLDs will skyrocket - so strike while the iron’s hot; it’s always better to register one domain extra than one too few.

Are you ready to register your domain name with UK2 today? Click here for our special .uk offer in partnership with the Business & IP Centre.

03 April 2017

How to research digital trends with eMarketer

Emarketer-logoWe often get enquiries in the Business & IP Centre about how to research digital trends. Such as mobile phone usage and social media growth.

Fortunately, we have access to eMarketer research, which is the first place to look for research about marketing in the digital world. eMarketer PRO is relied on by thousands of companies and business professionals worldwide to understand marketing trends, consumer behaviour. And to get hold of essential data on the fast-changing digital economy. 

eMarketer is unusual for a market research publisher in how much information they give away for through their free newsletters.

But the only way to get hold of their full content is to come into the Business & IP Centre in London and access eMarketer PRO.

Here you will find:

  • Over 200 new reports each year with data, interviews with subject matter experts, and original analysis to provide insights, understanding and context on the most important topics in digital.
  • Aggregated data from over 3,000 sources of research in the data library.
  • Over 7,500 proprietary metrics about the digital marketplace, including media trends, consumer behaviour and device usage.
  • The ability to create customised charts and tables to help tell compelling stories with data.
  • Coverage across 100 countries, including proprietary metrics for 40 core countries.

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eMarketer PRO will help to:

Answer specific questions and access data about digital related topics. Such as how much time do millennials spend with online video? How many smartphone users are there in the UK? What are the key UK digital trends for 2017?

Get deeper insight on digital topics. Such as what is programmatic advertising? What are the pros and cons of developing mobile apps vs mobile websites?

Research topics related to Advertising & Marketing, B2B, Demographics, Email, Industries, Measurement, Mobile, Retail & Ecommerce, Search, Social Media, Video

Benefit from eMarketer Forecasts using eMarketer Estimates up to 2020 for hundreds of Metrics. 

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To give you an idea of what you would find, here are some extracts from a typical eMarketer report.

UK Digital Video and TV 2017:
Who’s Watching, How They’re Watching and What It Means for Marketers.

 

Nearly two-thirds of the UK population will watch digital video content in 2017

One

 

There will be more digital video viewers than smartphone users in 2017

  Two

 

Short-form content isn’t necessarily the preserve of the young; older groups are viewing increasing amounts

Three

 

In terms of platforms, YouTube dominates the short-form space and has massive overall reach

Four

 

For long-form VOD, the BBC’s iPlayer service dominates, but Netflix is gaining ground

  Five

 

So what does this mean for Marketers?

Pre-roll ads don’t work and are mostly disliked on digital channels

Six

 

However, pre-roll is still where most of the money is going: 59% of digital video ad spending in H1 2016 went to pre- and post-roll inventory

Seven

 

Social is one area that seems like a good environment for video ads

Eight

 

Engagement with a video ad on social media often leads to a purchase

  Nine