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“Outside The Box” Branding Is Necessary In The Modern Landscape

It’s 2018, and consumers have seen it all. If you’re a new business on the market and you’re offering the same old nonsense in a brand new package then the market isn’t going to bite. Technically, every business is just selling an identical or near-identical product to other businesses in its industry. However, there’s always a hook that separates one successful company from the next. Apple sells technology with pretty operating systems, and Microsoft sells technology with professional operating systems. Uber and Lyft are two taxi-based apps that offer the exact same service (let’s be honest), but their pricing schemes can cause customers to side with one service over the other. In many cases, competing brands only differ from one another in minor ways. Nonetheless, these minor differences are often the deciding factor for consumers when it comes to the product or the service that they want to buy. And that’s the important thing to remember when you’re trying to compete with the big businesses in your industry – you just need to find your gap in the market. If you can deliver a better solution to your target audience then they’ll choose you over rival companies.

The point is that consumers are interested in the brand behind the product. They’re not fooled by catchy slogans and big promises. People are smart. You’re a consumer, after all. You know how the business world works. You know that you’re seeing the same goods and services repackaged in different ways. However, those subtle differences still influence your decision when it comes to making a purchase. Sometimes, you’ll choose the cheaper product when you’re looking at two competing items of equal quality. Other times, you’ll choose a slightly more expensive brand if their product is of a higher quality. There are many factors at play when it comes to a consumer’s decision-making process. That’s why it’s such a competitive landscape. And in the current business world, fierce competition calls for even fiercer marketing tactics. An “outside the box” brand is necessary in the modern landscape. Let’s discuss the ways in which you could work on your business’ image.

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Some traditional methods of marketing still work.

Whilst people may use the internet to do all their shopping these days, that doesn’t mean physical marketing is completely useless. Life isn’t completely digital yet – we do still exist in the real world. And your business needs to utilise all potential opportunities to spread its brand in the real world. There are many ways in which traditional methods of marketing can improve your company’s brand. In fact, so many companies are shying away from “old advertising” that your business might actually stand out by marketing itself in old-fashioned ways.

For example, you could use brand merch to advertise your company. People always like marketing when it comes in the form of a practical item. You should try something a little different from the standard branded biro and give out business card sweatshirts as a quirky way of spreading brand awareness. Of course, you can go further than this to make an impact on potential or existing clients. You could even send handwritten letters to long-term customers as a way of thanking them for their loyalty. That kind of “outside the box” thinking will make your brand stand out in their minds for a long time. People get printed letters and adverts through the post all the time. They’re nothing more than mass emails in physical form. But a handwritten letter takes time and effort. Your customers will know that a real human being has written that letter. This will humanize your brand.

Your workforce needs to live up to expectations.

As discussed throughout this article, your brand can only be successful if the consumer market accepts it. And that’s impossible if you don’t deliver on your promises. In other words, if you promise to deliver high-quality products and friendly customer service but your employees don’t live up to those expectations then your customers aren’t going to trust your brand. That’s why your workforce needs to live up to expectations. A pretty brand image means nothing if your employees can’t deliver. You should aim to increase productivity by helping your team out. You could check out this IT advice on choosing software to take care of certain services in your company. If you automate certain administrative tasks then your employees will have more time to focus on the important parts of their work. You’ll make their lives easier, and they’ll treat customers better. It’s a win-win situation.

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Your message needs to mean something.

It’s crucial that your brand stands for something important. You need to think outside the box when it comes to intriguing the target audience. The best way to do this is to create an identifiable brand. We’ve talked about finding a gap in the market; maybe this is the way in which you could find that gap. Perhaps you don’t need to offer a revolutionary new product or service. Sometimes, having a powerful brand message is enough to turn heads. You could donate some of your profits to the community, for example. You could even “go green” to save the planet (and your finances). Showing that your business cares about people could really win over some new customers. People like brands that care.

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Reward your customers, and they will reward you.

Yet again, customers are the ones who will bring success to your brand. You need to impress them if you want to build a reputation and beat the competition in your industry. That’s why it’s so important to build long-term relationships with your clients. We’ve talked about achieving this by utilising creative marketing techniques and a powerful brand message, but you need to think about the way in which you directly communicate with your customers. That’s what really counts. If you open up a dialogue on social media platforms such as Twitter then your customers will really feel as if their thoughts are being heard by you. Again, this makes your brand feel human. And the better your reputation, the more likely you are to reel in new clients. That’s how your customers will reward you if you reward them.

Five Fashion Gifts Your Fashion-conscious Man Will Be Happy with for Life

When it comes to men’s birthdays, many of us get stuck with ideas. You might be thinking about the obvious choice of drinks or car accessories, but if your other half or friend is self-conscious and pays attention to their appearance, you could visit your online or Downtown designer store and get them something truly unique and memorable. Below you will find a few ideas to get you started.

  1. Custom Man-Bag

One of the hardest decision for men is to invest in a leather man-bag that will help them stay organized and stylish at the same time. They might think that a man with a bag is simply not the done thing. If you want to help them, you can find a masculine leather bag that will hold all their paperwork when they go to work or turn up at meetings, without having to worry about their overall style.

  1. Watch

Some men simply can’t have enough watches. If you would like to surprise them, you could look through their collection and find out what their favorite make is. From stylish to street-style, you can choose based on their personality. If you get this gift right, you have just given them an accessory for a lifetime, and helped them express themselves.

  1. Cufflinks


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For the man in the suit, you might be looking for some valuable and sophisticated cufflinks. You can check out the examples of handmade gold cufflinks online and choose the pair that matches their smart style. Consider their age, their overall complexion, and the tailored suits they usually wear for special occasions and meetings.

  1. Wallet

You can never go wrong with a stylish leather wallet or a card holder. While phone cases are also a great idea, they are likely to become useless once your man-friend changes their phone. Think about their lifestyle. If they are all over the world collecting business cards, and are famous for their American Express collection, a card holder will be a perfect gift. If, however, they like matching all their accessories with their dress style, you can get them a wallet.

  1. Professional Travel Grooming Kit

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Men who are always on the go, and live a busy lifestyle will appreciate your thought when you buy them a travel grooming kit. Some of the top models include a shaver, a trimmer, hair removal tools, and other accessories in just a small bag. They can take this item with them anywhere, and stay stylish and well-groomed, even if they are busy with meetings in another city.

Men who enjoy looking good will appreciate thoughtful fashionable gifts for every occasion. Snoop around their wardrobe and find out what their favorite brands are. Look out for personalized gifts and ones that will serve your man for a long time, instead of being drunk in one sitting. Instead of the usual presents, go further this year, and show them that you appreciate their effort to look good in every situation. The above gifts will help you impress even the most fashion-conscious men.


6 Ideas For Personalised Clothing Gifts

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Clothing can be a difficult gift to buy for people. However, by personalising it you can make it more meaningful and novel. Here are just six ways to personalise clothing as a gift.

Create your own t-shirt graphics

One way of personalising clothing could be to design your own shirt. There are several companies that allow you to personalise graphic T shirts. You could create a personalised message – this could be something sentimental or it could be a private joke. Such clothing is often inexpensive compared to other tailored pieces. You may even be able to create your own t-shirt by trying techniques such as tie-dying and embroidering.

Buy a tailored suit/dress

For a more luxury gift, you could order a suit or dress that’s fitted exactly to someone’s measurements. Unless you already know a person’s measurements, this isn’t generally a gift that you can give as a surprise. If there aren’t any tailors in your neighbourhood, you may be able to find a company online that offers this bespoke service. Other items of clothing that can be tailored to someone’s measurements include shoes, hats and underwear.

Get an item monogrammed

Monogramming involves displaying someone’s initial on a piece of clothing. This is most popular with baby gifts such as blankets and sleepsuits, but it’s also possible to get many other items of clothing monogrammed. For example, you could get a baseball cap with an initial printed on it, or you could order a suit with an initial embroidered onto the breast pocket.

Get jewellery engraved with a personal message

It’s also possible to have jewellery engraved with a personal message. This works well with bracelets and lockets that can make great romantic gifts for a partner or loving gifts for a family member. There are many companies online that offer personalised engraving services on jewellery.

Match clothing to someone’s interests

Another way to personalise clothing is to consider someone’s interests. This could involve clothing centred around someone’s favourite band or sports team. You can also find more subtle ways of relating to someone’s hobbies and interests. For example, you can buy cufflinks themed around just about anything that could allow someone to personalise their workwear.   

Handcraft your own clothing

If you know a craft, you may be able to design and create your own clothing. Not only could this allow you to design clothing suited to someone’s personality, the fact that it’s handmade will show that you’ve put time and effort into the gift making it all the more impactful. Knitting and crocheting is a popular craft that could allow you to create a personalised scarf or a blanket for a newborn. You could also get involved in jewellery making and create a personalised necklace or earrings for someone. Other clothing crafts include dressmaking, shoemaking and printing.

Easy Style Guide for Men On the Go

If you travel a lot for business by car or plane, you might find it hard to keep on top of your wardrobe and make sure you are dressed according to every occasion. If you spend a lot of time in hotel rooms, and are often unaware of the style of the meeting venue, you might have to invest in a few accessories that will make it easier for you to dress to impress. Find out a few tips below.

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One Tailored Suit Plenty of Accessories

To look your best all the time, you might want to invest in custom suits in case you get invited to an executive dinner. The good news is that you can get a 3-piece suit that can be worn in different ways. If you are attending a formal meeting, you will have to wear the vest and a bow tie, but if you have a meeting in the afternoon, you can get away with the jacket and the pants without a tie. The key is combining the accessories according to the occasion.  

Ironing On the Go

To keep your clothes in a good shape while traveling for business, you might want to pack a small portable iron. If you are lucky enough to stay at a hotel, you can take advantage of the laundry service and get your suit and shirts refreshed every day. If you drive to your meeting, take a hanger and a clothes bag to keep your business attire crease-free.

Travel Trimming Kits

Just like having a tailored suit, looking well-groomed is essential for business success. You might want to take your trimming kit with you on your travel, so you can make sure there isn’t a hair out of place, and your beard is looking as good as it possibly can. From shavers to professional trimmers and hair gel, there are several things you need to pack to look fresh on the meeting the next day.

Pick One Color Scheme

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To avoid packing too many things, you might want to pick one color scheme and stick with it. Gray is the universally accepted choice; it can be combined with vivid colors if you are visiting a modern company, or a more conservative color tie and shoe. Black can make you look slim, but you can appear too plain and boring. A turquoise or teal suit with black tie can be worn in all seasons.

The Universal Camel Coat

No businessman can get away with not learning how to wear a camel coat. The color is perfect in the winter and the spring alike, and it can make you look modern and urban while giving out a professional air. A camel coat is perfect for traveling, and even if you wear it without buttoning it up, you can look elegant and professional.

If you find yourself on the road more than once a month, you will need to invest in your wardrobe to get some easy-to-care-for and universal items that can transform you from a tired traveler into a professional executive.


Rolling Up To An Event In Style

A lot of the leaders tell us that how you look is how you’re defined by the outside world. No matter what you do in your life, perceptions from our first time meeting someone stick with us for years. And if you’re not going to be seeing them again afterwards, you’re going to want to leave them with a fun and fresh picture in their mind. So whether you’re going out on a date and you want to feel and look good, or you’re attending a business convention or conference, there’s a lot of good ways to make sure you’re doing it in style. Check out some of our favorite tips below.


Dressing Well

Depending on where you’re going, you’re going to want to choose between smart casual and formal. These dress codes can work in a multitude of events, so if you don’t know what to wear, aim for this section of your wardrobe. Try to be comfortable in whatever you put on; don’t let yourself seem over or underdressed in the way you carry yourself. Try practicing at home.

You’re not always going to have to wear a tuxedo, and sometimes black tie is a little too fancy for the occasion. However, having a good three piece suit to hand will save your bacon at more than one event where you don’t know the dress code, and it will always make you seem professional. Let’s say you’re at an event to promote your company: at the end of the day, making the impression that you know what you’re doing, even in something a little more casual, will mean the world to any investors or customers you want for a business.

Making an Entrance

When it comes to making an entrance, you want people to know you’ve arrived, but at the same time still have that humble subtlety to you. An easy way to do this is to know you’ve dressed well, and then to walk in with confidence and a smile, and try to mingle with the people closest to you to introduce yourself to the atmosphere. If you’re on a date, make sure you make a good impression by waiting for the other person to arrive, and then walking them into wherever you’re going.

There’s even a good way to arrive to the event and simply parking! Not a lot of us earn enough in our lifetimes to afford a Ferrari, but you can turn to leasing out a car; you can read more here if this seems like the option for you. If you think your own vehicle isn’t quite up to scratch in the looks department. It doesn’t even have to be the look of the car that gets you down, sometimes the mileage isn’t suited to a conference that’s a few cities away either.

Rolling up to an event in style doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, and it doesn’t have to end in embarrassment if you’re not committing to the same behavior as everyone else.

Is Your Lifestyle Holding Your Fitness Efforts Back?

We all have certain habits and routines, and these are the things that from the core of our lifestyles. If you’re looking to improve your fitness and get in all-round better shape, you definitely need to start thinking about how your existing lifestyle might be holding you back and getting you to where you want to be. Read on to find out about just some of the things that are worth considering if you really want to succeed.

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Shortcuts and Convenience

The modern world offers us so many ways in which to take shortcuts or the easy route. This can mean that we get through he working day without doing much in terms of activity. And we can live our lives with complete ease, but that’s certainly not what’s good for you, so you need to break your addiction to convenience.

Do You Truly Pay Attention to What Goes Into Your Body?

It’s so easy to eat foods without even reading the packet. Part of it is down to laziness, but it’s also because we don’t know what those ingredients and additives actually do to our bodies. Being more informed and learning about these matters will help you get healthier. Things like vitamins and even taking muscle supplements can help you in various ways if you’re looking to get fit. So think about all the ways in which what you put into your body impacts your health.

Peer Pressure Problems

Some people find it very hard to control what they eat, drink and do when they’re with their friends. This is classic peer pressure and the desire not to be different to everyone else. This is something that you need to confront and deal with if you want to find success with your fitness plans. Just because your friends aren’t trying to get in better shape, that doesn’t mean you can’t.

Do Late Working Hours Cause You to Lean on Fast Food?

When people work late and get home late, they often don’t have the time nor the inclination to cook your food from scratch. However, choosing fast food is only going to damage your health going forward so don’t fall into that old trap. Find ways to cook meals in advance or on the go when you have little time.

Office Working

Office working is linked to sedentary lifestyles and that’s now becoming a major problem all over the world. If you do work at a desk in an office all day, you should find ways to get up out of your chair and walk around a little. You should also try to do things like taking the stairs rather than riding up to your office in a lift. It’s the little things like this that make a difference.

As you can see, there are many lifestyle issues that have the potential to hold your fitness goals back if you’re not careful about this matter. It’s worth giving some thought to the issues raised here so you can start to adopt a more healthy and positive lifestyle that will never hold you back.

Having More Confidence in Your Personal Style

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Have you ever noticed what happens when a friend suddenly ups their game in terms of how they are dressed?  It can completely change the way you and other people perceive them – which, in turn, has a knock on effect in terms of the way they see themselves too.

It’s just like when someone loses weight or starts building muscle… they become more confident… and this confidence is then reinforced as they get more positive attention and feedback, which creates even more confidence, and the person ends up in an upward spiral of building confidence.

Whilst confidence is something internal dressing well and having good fashion is like packaging up a gift.  

The most important thing is the gift that’s inside, not how it’s packaged, but does the packaging affect the way you view the gift that’s inside?  You bet.  We can’t help but judge things, and particularly people, on their outward appearance.  Think of mens prescription glasses for a moment; they can be super trendy frames that position you as an intelligent and stylish person or quite the opposite.

In a society where appearance holds a lot of weight, it is important how we present ourselves to others – and this isn’t about people being judgemental; it’s a part of human’s prehistoric brain.  There’s something called your reticular activating system which is ultimately responsible for your survival.  

Think back to caveman days, where this part of your brain would always be on the lookout for danger, subconsciously scanning your surroundings, to determine whether there were any subtle clues to alert the rest of your brain to the risk of danger.  

Today, we don’t have much need to use this part of our brain for working out whether we are about to be eaten up by a dinosaur; but the reticular activating system is still a very active and fundamental part of our brain that looks for subtle clues when dealing with people as to who that person is.  

This part of the brain is often looking for incongruencies as to what the person is saying and what their body or appearance infers on a subconscious level.  The point is, we all judge and we are all judged on our external appearance, and a large part of that is based on the clothes we choose to wear and the style we portray.  

That said, style is so subjective and at its core it’s all about being comfortable with the way you present yourself to the world, so that you feel at ease within yourself.

There are two core principles in terms of having more confidence in your style; the first it to pick clothes that express your personality in the sense that they are focused on your own unique tastes… and secondly, ensure you are dressed in a way that allows you to relax and feel comfortable within yourself.

SIn summary, there are the two fundamental principles to having more confidence with your style – dress in a way that expresses who you are according to your tastes (rather than following the fashion lemmings) and make sure what you’re wearing is comfortable enough to allow you to relax in the situation you are in.

Brands Don’t Build Themselves, They Need Real Investment

If you’ve been thinking about how to build your business’s brand, you may be aware of the notion that the best way to establish it is to do good work and the brand represent itself. While it’s true that a brand needs to be backed up by hard evidence, i.e. happy customers or clients, you shouldn’t leave it up to chance. You need to truly invest in the brand, and this doesn’t just mean monetarily. Here’s what you need to put in it.

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Put some thought behind it

First of all, you want to make sure that your brand communicates what you want it to. This means that you need to work out its message. The best way to figure out that message is to ask a few questions of yourself. Who is your audience? What is your biggest selling proposition to them? What do you offer that your competitors do not? These can help you narrow down the focus of your company to a specific message to a specific audience.

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Design is necessary

The message is the “thought” of the business, but design is how you carry it out. A fantastic brand proposition, message, and company mission can be ruined by terrible website design or a visual style that doesn’t communicate that message well. Ensure you’re investing in professional visual and web design. If you’re not a professional in either of those fields, then you’re going to need to fork out for someone who is.

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The marketing push

There are a lot of different methods of getting that message and the brand out there. Social media networking, search engine optimization, popup ads, billboards, direct mail, and much more. You need to figure out where your audience is most likely to come in contact with the brand and focus on the marketing push there. Even if you’re running a home business, raising cash through things like quick loans is essential to be able to invest in that initial marketing push. After the launch, you can focus more on inbound, organic marketing techniques such as content marketing, but when the business first launches, you need to make sure you get the name out there to build some awareness.

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Don’t go it alone

You shouldn’t be the only one building some awareness, either. Influencer marketing is a great way to tap into people, blogs, and other organizations that already have some reach and an audience of their own. Finding the right influencers to work with can help you build the beginnings of a reputation. Once you’re in business, however, do what you can to foster word of mouth. Ask for testimonials and reviews. Work on building a social media community. You can even create a loyalty system that incentivizes sharing links or building referrals.

When you’re starting a small business, even if it’s just you alone, then a brand can help give you a much more professional image with a broader reach. Make sure you keep control of it by investing in it yourself. Then you can back it up with good work and happy customers.


Ed Steals Taylor’s Spotlight: Here’s How He Stole The Music Industry


The Daily Mail isn’t on the Unknown Male’s recommended reading list, but it does have a few gems now and then. This video is trending around the world right now as Taylor Swift tells Mr Sheeran he is showing off by ‘peacocking.’ Ed is seen as a humble man, so the allegations are pretty serious, especially to his devoted fans. But, as the friendship between the two megastars is deep, they may be in a forgiving mood.

The bigger issue here is not how Ed stole her limelight, but how he did the same to the music industry. At one point, Sheeran had nine of the top ten songs on the charts, an unprecedented move. So, how has his rise to fame been sheer?

Of Humble Stock

Unlike the Fifth Harmony’s and Post Malone’s of the world, Sheeran didn’t begin life on a manufactured TV show. Although the Simon Cowell route was gaining traction at the time, Ed built up a fan base the old-fashioned way. That included playing tiny gigs in small cities such as Leeds and even busking on the street as a younger man. Sheeran is also synonymous with the Grime scene if you couldn’t tell from his Seek Attire classics. People such as Wiley and Dizzee Rascal detail seeing him and watching him ‘come up’ on the scene back in the early 200s. His past means that both the pop culture squad and the hardcore grime heads have got respect for the Ginga Ninja’s choons. As any marketing exec would agree, it’s all about brand diversity.

Just One Catch

That being that all of his songs have a hook which is impossible to forget. Whether pop music is your thing, it’s impossible to deny his talent for writing. ‘Shape of you’, a love tale regaling mutual attraction, spent the most weeks in Billboard’s ‘Hot 100s Top Ten.’ That is just one stat among many which list it as one of the catchiest tunes of all time. And, the fact that he enrolled Stormzy to spit a few bars only made it a bigger banger. Take away ‘Shape of you’ and you can talk about ‘Galway Girl’, ‘Castle on the Hill’, and ‘Perfect’, the latter being mixed with Beyonce. Love him or hate him, you can’t help but sing along.


Live Performances

In this day and age, catchy tunes and a reputable upbringing mean nothing. ‘True’ musicians rock the stage at the biggest festivals in the world, from Coachella to Glastonbury. If you can’t perform live, you don’t belong in the pantheon of greats alongside the Beatles, David Bowie and Michael Jackson. In June 2017, Sheeran showed he has the talent to perform on stage as well as in a studio booth. His performance on the Pyramid Stage was full of creativity, confidence and cracking songs. Even the likes of Noel Gallagher had to admit that Ed has the lot. Expect to see him performing live to adoring fans for years to come.

So, he has talent, a stellar background and the ability to create an atmosphere. But, what do you think makes Ed Sheeran special?

So Why Isn’t Your Car Driving Itself Yet?

Everyone has read about the move Google and many other companies are making towards self-driving cars. We’ve seen the news reports showing their prototypes, and we’ve heard a lot about the testing phase. However, autonomous self-driving cars are still not available on the open market, and this article will take a look at some of the reasons for that. While there are many stumbling blocks to overcome, it’s pretty likely that innovators will solve these problems at some point. Still, many experts now claim the public release date for self-driving vehicles is much further away than the car manufacturers would have you believe.  


Self-driving cars might have to play God

The first problem that car manufacturers struggle to overcome relates to developing software that will essentially play God on the roads. Let’s run through a situation, and then discuss some of the issues it presents. Presume the self-driving car has two options. It could continue on the same course and crash into an oncoming vehicle, or it could swerve and hit a pedestrian causing less damage. Is it morally right to let a computer system decide who ends up in the hospital that day? Welcome to one of the most significant challenges self-driving car designers are working through at the moment.


Self-driving cars present many insurance issues

It’s still unclear how self-driving cars will affect insurance policies when accidents occur. For instance, if you had a smash in the new Subaru Forester or a similar model, it’s easy to determine and allocate blame. However, if the same thing happened when you are sat in a self-driving car, are you responsible? Most people would argue not, but therein lies the problem. If insurance companies can’t allocate blame, they will have to take the vehicle’s software programmers to court. That opens up a new can of worms that could prove exceptionally costly.


Self-driving cars pose security risks

We live in the digital age, and Google’s self-driving car concepts would not exist were it not for computers. However, there are thousands of cybercriminals out there who can hack into almost anything. It doesn’t take any stretch of the imagination to work out how much trouble those hackers could cause on the highway if they gained control over most of the cars. Making a self-driving car unhackable seems the only solution, but that’s almost impossible, and so the manufacturers are currently spending millions of dollars attempting to develop a resolution to that threat.

Now you know about some of the leading problems and risks associated with the current self-driving car prototypes; you should have a better understanding of why you’re not travelling to work while eating breakfast and drinking coffee at the same time yet. Still, as with anything in the technology world, the situation will improve, and innovators will reach suitable comprises at some point in the future. Just don’t expect to purchase your self-driving car in the next few months as that isn’t going to happen. It’s going to take a few years to iron out all the kinks.