Today more than ever, getting your own marketing message heard above the general clamour is challenging. Customers may choose to use your product or service if they’ve heard of it, but they certainly won’t if they haven’t.   But getting heard is actually only a first step: the retention of your message by your […]

  The focus in marketing is often on promoting strengths, but as much attention should be paid to what would otherwise be perceived as negatives. Among their ‘22 Immutable Laws of Marketing’, revered marketeers Al Ries and Jack Trout included ‘The Law of Candor’. This highlighted that when brand messages start by admitting a problem, […]

Have you noticed how brand identities are much more fluid than they used to be? While logos and straplines have always evolved, changes used to be measured over decades – a change in font here, a subtle reshaping of the logo there. In a mature marketplace, in which branding has now played out for decades, […]

Ask a stupid question…

What's holding you back?

Some years ago, my dad asked a prosperous friend of his what he thought was the secret of his success. After a short pause, he responded ‘Well, I suppose I’m not afraid to ask stupid questions’. It was a simple statement from a blunt Yorkshireman but a pretty potent formula. In reality, very few questions really […]

Showbiz in the business world: the next big trend

The role of ringmasters and broadcasters

  In our work with multiple B2B clients, we get to observe trends across many areas of the business world. Both in the in-depth pieces that we undertake for clients, and in our own area of marketing, we get to see subtle changes in the way that business and work take place. It’s a definite […]

2021 round-up

Another exceptional year, in so many ways

It’s been another extraordinary year, even if it’s becoming pretty hackneyed to say so. Extraordinary challenges for British businesses (we won’t bother listing them). But extraordinary resilience in overcoming them. 2021 has been an exceptionally busy year for Zing. We’ve delivered more brand sessions, created more authoritative content, supported more webinars and acquired more new […]

The more you give away, the stronger your brand becomes

Knowledge sharing is brand messaging

In primary school days, way back in the ‘80s, we used to sing a school assembly song by folk artist Malvina Reynolds: ‘Love is something if you give it away, give it away, give it away. Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more!’   It came to mind when […]

The unseen influencer

Your messaging needs to target them

I wear trainers to the office these days. I frequently stand at my desk, and I like to go for a walk at midday. Trainers make sense. Having a dose of British tradition in my outlook to workwear, my last pair of trainers were plain black. Nothing eye-catching, you know. Recently, they started showing signs […]

The deception of identical USPs

What does the U really stand for? Seriously?

Since it was coined in the 1940s, the term ‘USP’ has been in regular use in marketing circles throughout the world. Some people think of the P standing for ‘proposition’, and others say it stands for ‘point’, but everyone agrees that the U stands for ‘unique’ and the S stands for ‘selling’. But in practice, […]

The universal language of our day

Communication at its simplest and best

Various things are referred to as universal languages. Kindness. Love. Music. Food. Art. Even Maths! What is a universal language? Setting aside conventional languages, it’s any method of communication that transcends boundaries – typically the boundaries of race. And there is one ‘language’ that is now in universal use and overcomes all boundaries. Race, age, […]

“What I miss most is eavesdropping”

Replacing the powerful benefits of office overhearing

Many years ago, on my daily train commute, I ended up sitting opposite a man who was obviously a seasoned traveller. It was clear he needed to travel by train, because his drinking habits would have made driving unsafe! Can in hand and with more by his side, he held forth at length, telling me […]

The future of face-to-face contact

The powerful potential to refine our modus operandi

We’re all developing a new way of working. As we emerge from COVID lockdown, it’s essential. And establishing the future of ‘F2F’ is at the heart of most people’s plans. We all hope that we’ll soon be able to return to human interaction as we knew it before. But the world will be more infection-conscious, […]

“I’m no thought leader, so I’ll stay quiet”

The importance of thought sharing

We promote thought leadership. We help our clients to practise it. But many feel that they’re not thought leaders and have no exceptional expertise. What then?  Of course, most organisations that have specialist knowledge don’t really realise how much they have to share. It’s our job to coax out the expertise that actually exists. But […]

The message that students need most

In a crisis, communication is essential even when lots is unknown

The Coronavirus pandemic has left lots of people lonely in isolation, vulnerable in their circumstances and uncertain about the future. But there’s one group that don’t get mentioned much: students due to start further education. They need a message of hope and reassurance. This year’s intake of students starting college or university have the most […]

The brand race out of lockdown has begun!

May the best brands win - those that adapt and communicate

One of the various laws that marketing gurus Al Ries and Jack Trout espoused was the Law of Leadership. It’s better to be first than it is to be better, they say. Some of these time-honoured marketing principles have to be moderated in today’s mad marketing world. But we think there’s something to be said […]

Every crisis becomes a parent of brainchilds

It’s the one good thing that can be said for them

No-one wishes for a crisis. Certainly not one as far-reaching as COVID-19. But there is a silver lining. Disasters give birth to brainwaves.  In every crisis. there are those that assess the situation, recognise the change that it causes, and identify the needs that arise from it. And then they innovate to produce solutions to […]

We’re not pedantic but we care about clarity

Taking the confusion out of commas

Perhaps we should say that we don’t think we’re pedantic. Perhaps we are. We care deeply about clarity because it’s clear communication that builds brands and boosts sales. And in written communication, the comma is the clarity kingpin. That humble little punctuation tadpole can make all the difference between a sentence that has to be […]

Does Trump really write his own tweets?

"We're going to build a brand wall and we'll make it hooge!"

Ever since Trump used the previously unheard-of word ‘Covfefe’ in one of his many tweets, I have wondered whether it’s really him punching the keys. It’s something I’ve thought about anyway. Does the most influential man in the world really have time to sit stabbing out 140-character musings, frustrations and ambitions? But you have to […]

The death trap of great innovations

How to escape the poison of ambiguity

The great cartoon above by Tom Fishburne is the inspiration for this post. His cartoons are proof of what we always say – a powerful message can often be communicated best via a visual, providing there’s clarity about what the message is. The cartoon speaks for itself. We all recognise that death trap. But it […]

This post explores the relationship between brand strategy and brand message. Many would say that message is simply the expression of strategy. And in one sense they’d be right. But we view brand message as more than that. We see it as the litmus paper of brand strategy. Here’s why… Brand strategy – love it […]

Thought leadership on a budget

How to develop a practical plan

Why thought leadership? There’s a lot of talk about thought leadership these days. Most companies or brands aspire to be a recognised and respected entity in the marketplace, especially in the B2B sector. So, what is meant by thought leadership, and why is it such a desirable status? The formal definition of thought leadership would […]

Why postal marketing is on the up

An understandable revolution

There was a point in history where we all thought that postal marketing would meet the same fate as chequebooks. With websites, emails and social media rapidly replacing brochures, letters and flyers, physically posting things to customers and prospects felt old fashioned and stuffy. But something is happening in the world of marketing. Disruptive brands […]

White papers – what’s the point?

Do they really contribute to sales?

It’s a question we get asked every so often by our clients; “Does anyone actually read white papers? And is there any point us creating content like this?”   In a mega busy world, it’s a question worth asking. And one that deserves answering with evidence, not just opinion.   What you thought you knew […]

Putting content to good use

Maximising the impact of all content

In simple language, content marketing is the creation and distribution of authoritative and informative content, relevant to our target market. Its purpose is to position our brand or company as a credible and trustworthy provider, and consequently, attract or convert sales leads. But it’s easy to get as far as the creation stage, and then […]

Making strange

The fine line between plain and plain strange

This morning, as I was doing some research for an article, an advert popped up and caught my eye. The short ad simply read: ‘BP: With us, it’s not business as usual.’ It’s a deceptively clever line, for reasons more complex than can be appreciated at first glance. To fully unpack the intelligence behind the […]

National Writing Day

Everyone has a story to tell

26th of June is National Writing Day! As a team of passionate writers and communicators, we’re delighted to discover a day dedicated to our craft. We’re going to find out more about it to participate further next year. We thought that the excellent tagline – everyone has a story to tell – was worth focusing on. […]

Effective calls to action

What makes an effective call to action?

When buyers and sellers are face to face, calls to action – CTAs – are part of the sales patter. The showman’s initial “Roll up, roll up!” is a CTA that’s designed to attract new customers. Once an irresistible story has been told about whatever is on offer, they then close with another CTA to […]

Content marketing

Today’s key to building a brand

You can get a good idea of when an idea really catches on from when it starts to sprout associations. Herr Benz patented his ‘Motorwagen’ in 1886: the RAC was founded in 1897 and the AA in 1905. Cars were obviously here to stay!   On the same basis, it’s revealing that the Content Marketing […]

Hey, you can’t say that!

Blazing the path to common sense grammar

Copywriters are expected to ensure that their copy is grammatically correct, and fair enough too. That’s what they’re paid to do – produce well-written copy. But surely the key thing is to ensure that the meaning of what’s written is clear, and preferably memorable too? Language evolves and grammatical structures change, so the notion of […]

Why should writers think images?

Knowing when an image says more than words

The reason for writing is to communicate. Whatever the nature of the writing – whether in a novel, a newspaper, a notebook, or anything else (preferably beginning with ‘n’ for this alliterative list) – the purpose is to communicate an idea, a request or a proposal. Even when recording something for our own benefit, we […]

Boy jobs and girl jobs

Consistency earns authenticity and respect

When Theresa May and her husband, Philip, joined the BBC’s One Show, many were sceptical of the attempt to give an inside view of the PM and her husband. The opposition branded it as superficial spin, in so many words, while a public, weary with political performances to win their vote, responded in a variety […]

Every word counts

How much hype can a missing word cause?

If you ever needed confirmation that every word counts, the recent controversy surrounding Cadbury and the National Trust’s ‘not-Easter Egg Hunt’ has surely brought it home. For several years, the National Trust has promoted egg hunts to draw in families over the Easter holidays. Cadbury has sponsored the events and supplied the chocolate eggs for […]

Hilarious translation gaffes

The importance of marketing copy editing

Globalisation, whether you are for it or against it, has led to huge growth in international trade. Goods of all sorts cross borders in vast quantities and over vast distances. The movements back and forth are so complex it can be difficult to determine where a product even originates. Is a car assembled in Britain […]

How to reduce your ActiveCollab notifications

Helping to unclutter your inbox

We love ActiveCollab – it’s a powerful platform that makes communication easy. But we also understand that the email notifications can get a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re getting lots of notifications that are really addressed to your  colleagues, not you, about a project that you’re not closely involved in. Here’s a simple solution to […]

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