Four things to do before attending a trade fair

Four things to do before attending a trade fair

MIDEM 2010 campaign image
MIDEM 2010 campaign image

I’m currently busy preparing for a trade fair, Midem in January. So like everyone else, I spend a lot of time mining the event database looking for potential partners. I’ve done this from different sides of the table for 15 years now (both copywriting and sales), and I still see the same mistakes coming back time and again.

What do you do when looking for potential partners?

Aston Martin: the coolest brand in Britain 2010

What makes a brand “cool”?

Aston Martin: the coolest brand in Britain 2010Britain’s Observer magazine had an interesting supplement this weekend: a list of Britain’s coolest brands. The research body Superbrands commissions an independent survey of experts and consumers to produce a yearly barometer of the coolest brands, people and places in the UK. You’ll find out more about it on their website.

Car manufacturer Aston Martin (photo) came out tops. But I’d like to fast-forward to a thought that struck me.

Qrystal brand name

Lessons from product naming

Qrystal brand nameWhen will we run out of names? Although I originally got involved in product naming as an add-on feature to the business of copywriting, it really does call on very particular skills. It’s often thought of as the ultimate in creative writing, as so much is condensed into just one word. There have also been a tidal wave of nonsensical trendy names that sound creative over the past few years. They only add to the perception of it being some sort of dark art (although I think they probably have more to do with the difficulty of getting one-word domain names).

Gerry Murray website


I’ve been working on a few projects recently that can best be described as “personal branding”, coaches or consultants that decide to build their business under their own name. But “personal branding” has a very selfish ring to it. At its worst, it’s an exercise in ego-stroking. But as the “brands” in question were perfectly aware, there’s more to personal branding than “me-me-me”.



Names are probably one of the most difficult things to get right. Over the years, I have been able to come up with a fair number of product or company names. But there is no single way to get this right.

Amongst the recent successful ones is the MIPIM Horizons trade fair, which will run next December in Cannes. In this case, MIPIM asked the Consorcom agency to help them with the name as they wanted to create a new event to accompany the hugely successful MIPIM property market trade fair. As MIPIM Horizons will focus on emerging markets, we naturally focused on that aspect. We kept the mother brand name and developed a range of names evoking discovery, novelty and the like. The Horizons is quite a “natural” choice, as it is easily understandable and evokes a lot of things that are interesting to property developers.