Innovation and enterprise blog

The British Library Business & IP Centre can help you start, run and grow your business


This blog is written by members of the Business & IP Centre team and some of our expert partners and discusses business, innovation and enterprise. Read more

28 July 2014

Review - Luxury Briefing - the quarterly bulletin for the luxury industry

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Luxury briefingLuxury Briefing is a quarterly bulletin for the luxury industry. It includes articles on trends in the industry, news of new luxury products and services, interviews and company profiles and the ‘TAG Luxury Stock Index’.

Although the Business & IP Centre has some market research from eg Verdict, on luxury goods, this makes an excellent edition in background reading for anyone researching this industry.

"Luxury Briefing is always a pleasure to read. It is well edited and filled only with interesting and relevant information and comment. Whilst primarily aimed at the luxury market, it is also relevant to the wider world outside." Sir Terence Conran

The website includes a sample issue and a complete index.


25 July 2014

Book review - The Name of The Beast by Neil Taylor

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Name of the beastNaming your business, brand, product, company etc should be an easy and simple process but getting it right seldom is.

Neil Taylor was a senior naming consultant at global brand consultancy Interbrand - the company behind such household names as Prozac, Expedia, Hobnobs and Viagra - and states that the name is the one part of the brand that you hope will never change as it is the primary means of identification for a brand.

Brands change logos, straplines, headquarters, people – some of them even dramatically change what they do (Nokia started off making forestry products and rubber boots). But often the name is the one common thread that runs throughout the entire history of a company or product. So getting the name right is imperative and most hope never to change the name.

That means that when brands do change name, it’s a big and often costly deal. Remember when Opal Fruits became Starburst? When Marathon became Snickers? Oil of Ulay became Olay? Jif became Cif? All names that are still around today.

But what about Consignia – the new name that The Post Office-Royal Mail opted for? There was such a public fuss about the name – “Doesn’t sound like the national institution that Royal Mail does”, “Sounds like a brand of anti-perspirant (Insignia)”, “Consignia means (appropriately) lost luggage in Spanish”, “Unfortunately they forgot that a more common use of “consign” is to consign to the rubbish bin” - that the name Consignia has now been consigned to history as a massive failure.

The Name of the Beast (The perilous process of naming products, companies and brands) looks at the practical aspects of naming. How do you come up with names in the first place – what sort of name should you go for, what makes a good name etc? How do you make sure it doesn’t mean something awful in another language? How do you make sure that you don’t steal someone else’s name by accident (and then get taken to court)? How do you convince cynical colleagues, customers and journalists that your name isn’t worthy of the usual frenzy of devilish derision?

Within this humorous and easily readable book are tales of big brands, naming disasters, a smattering of insider knowledge and how 21st century super-brands like Google and Starbucks have built their empires on names with strong stories behind them.

Ziaad Khan on behalf of Business & IP Centre

Enterprise Enfield: An Enterprising Libraries case study

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When DVD Publishers, Clearvision went into liquidation at the height of the recession, Financial Controller, Tony Cohen made the exciting (and difficult) decision to set-up his own business. With sixteen years’ experience as Clearvision’s Financial Controller and having worked previously as an accountant in various companies and practices, the time had come for him to set-up his own accountancy practice.

Tony discovered Enterprise Enfield at a job fair at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London. After attending a Barclays Get Ready Business Seminar and a New Biz Workshop, Tony decided to enrol on the Enterprising Libraries New Biz Programme where he received the information, advice and guidance he needed to prepare his business plan.

As part of the programme, Tony received a comprehensive Planning and Starting Your Business Workbook– an easy to use, step-by-step guide to preparing a viable business plan – which he used to work through the various elements such as how to conduct market research into a business idea, how to develop a marketing plan, creating a vision and managing accounts. At the same time, he sought advice, and guidance from Programme Director, Kevan Dunne on business planning. 

Once his business plan was finalised, Tony was able to successfully approach his bank, for start-up funding to use as working capital, Tony says:

The free support I received through Enterprising Libraries New Biz Programme was instrumental in helping me prepare an effective business plan and raise £10,000 to kickstart start my business. Along with the workbook and advice, I also found the library online resources and ALISON courses very useful. Without this help I wouldn’t have known where to start – it has been a vital resource." 

Tony C Accounting Services is now up and running, Tony has received his Institute of Chartered Accountants Practising Certificate and has also launched his website. He aims to concentrate on offering a range of accountancy services to start- ups and established, small and medium-sized businesses – including community businesses and social enterprises.   His services include: bookkeeping, Tax and VAT advice, accounts, consultancy, systems development and a virtual Financial Director, a paperless service where everything is stored in the Cloud. 

“My advice for anyone thinking of starting a business is to go to Enterprise Enfield to make sure you get off to the right start.  As an accountant, I am obviously good at the financial side of things, but in starting my own business I needed to understand how to produce a business plan and market and promote my services.  I have learnt so much through the scheme and understand the importance of networking, knowing your market, doing market research and adding value to your services”

You can find more information about Enterprise Enfield on their website.