A brand by any other name is still a brand?

What’s in a brand? How do you define your visual identity?

Do you still remember a bad first impression? A bad first impression is hard to shake, especially when you’re competing with so many other individuals (or companies).

Studies have showed that within the first 5 seconds people form judgements about likeability, competence, attractiveness, to even trustworthiness. The question to ask when taking this into consideration is:

“What judgement will people form about your brand within the first 5 seconds of exposure?”

With a reaction time like that, you need a clean, sharp and crisp representation of your brand. Anything else would allow people to associate your brand with the complete opposite. It’s clear that a strong visual identity is important, but what exactly is a visual identity? And how do you go about creating one?

Your visual identity comprises of your logo, typography, images, creative design and even the colours used. We can all list these out and on paper, sure, it will make you stand out; but how do you get to the heart of how these elements to communicate to your customers who you are, what you stand for, and why they should be loyal to you?

Knowing your audience is important.

Decide how you want to resonate with them and continually tie that back to your core values. The key is to start from what you know, what you are good at and strongly believe in and let your brand evolve.

Always ask yourself: How is my brand going to be powerful and effective but still simple? When you’re developing your visual identity, always drive what you’re doing back to your mission to keep your brand on track.

If you think about brands to date which have kept to their core values and resonate with their target audience, you would be able to list them off seamlessly.

Your visual identity is just part of building your brand, you must learn how to convey the values and personality of your business. Value to you may be different to someone else, it comes in many forms from customer service, how you engage your target audience or the product you deliver.

Not sure about your brand strategy? The CMe Media team have a wealth of knowledge and expertise who can help save your time, so you don’t waste yours to find the right target audience for you and help you build your brand awareness.

Sophie’s Post

Hi, I’m Sophie and for the last year I have been working at CMe Media as part of my Business Administration Apprenticeship. I just thought I would share my thoughts and impressions of my first year working in media sales.


The first thing I’d have to say is it’s been an eye-opener! It has totally flipped my perspective on all things advertising that can influence your day by day life and the different ways you can reach audiences with messages.


Before I joined the team I already had a good understanding of digital advertising and how that works. However, I was soon being introduced to so many marketing methods. It’s been really interesting to learn the effectiveness of different platforms and discovering the best ways to utilise them.


I particularly enjoyed working with OOH, which is outdoor advertising like billboards and digital screens. Looking at good locations, and the reasons why one board will reach a better audience than another one. Since I’ve been talking to the various billboard suppliers I find myself pointing out billboards to friends saying, “that one is owned by JC Decaux” but of course other Outdoor suppliers are available!


As CMe Media are one of the biggest buyers of radio I have been lucky to get a real insight into this medium. It’s been fascinating to analyse all the different radio stations, which best suit our clients and why? Plus, every quarter we have to review who is up and who is down when RAJAR comes out.  As I’m working alongside Jon the Creative Director, I also get to see how radio adverts take shape right from the first idea to hearing the finished product being broadcasted on the radio.


Another surprise for me was how many newspapers we buy space in, you would be amazed how many different titles there are bringing news to people up and down the country. Part of my job is to stay across these papers researching their circulation and readership and ensuring we are getting the best value for money in the space we buy. In a time where we are all looking for the newest and unique ways to advertise it is refreshing to know that good old newspapers still have a huge part to play and deliver real results.


So, if I had to sum up my first year it’s been a steep learning curve but having a good team around me and the wonderful suppliers I work with have really helped me. Each day brings a new challenge and a new platform to understand and utilise. Whether it be SMS marketing, targeted advertising through apps or even TV it makes me excited to not only share these opportunities with our clients but grow my own personal skills base and confidence.


So, if you wanted to know more about these opportunities or just to see what the team at CMe Media could do for your business, why don’t you give us a quick ring on 02380 170 955 and we would be happy to help


Don’t Be A Data Hater

Don’t be a data hater…It’s time to move on

I don’t know what GDPR stands for.

I don’t know how much data you lost.

But I do know you didn’t lose anything that matters.

I heard a new word today…A gimcrack. Something that is faulty or shoddy but looks deceptively attractive. I hate to be the one to say it, but your data was a gimcrack.

Hold on, don’t start getting all bent out of shape, look at it this way; GDPR gave you a chance to find out if all those emails and printed postcards were worth the time and effort. If you lost a huge chunk of your data I would suggest not. It seems your big numbers were just meat in the room. Maybe at one point they were interested in what you had to say but nothing last forever and no matter how much you wooed them the second they could drop you they left your suitcase on the lawn and blocked your number.

But don’t despair the right people are still out there. The ones who like you for who you are. You’ve just got to find them.
It would be easy to turn to the internet and don’t get me wrong many people find each other online. But…All that time spent with your data has left you lazy and out of shape, too comfortable firing off an email or two every quarter. It’s time to get up smarten up and start going to the places potential new customers are showing them how good you look. They’re listening to the radio and watching TV, they’re reading newspapers and magazines, they’re driving past billboards and shopping near digital screens, they’re streaming music and going to events. These are the places where you will find love again. A real love based on give and take and not a one-sided affair of unrequited mailers.
Once you get into all these places and introduce yourself to so many new people you’ll forget those ungrateful unsubscribers you wasted so much time on and you’ll have a lovely big list of admirers who actually want to hear from you.

CMe Media specialise in traditional advertising avenues like Outdoor, Broadcast and Print and we can help you navigate the different opportunities and our buying service is at no cost to you, simply put “we don’t charge for our time, but we save yours”
Talk to the team at CMe Media today on 02380 170 955 and replace that post GDPR data with something better.

IMPACTS, ROI = Typical Advertising Agency Team Meeting Topics

I thrive on a good catch-up session with the team and talking about the latest news in the media world. During our discussion on the list of late space offers with our out-of-home suppliers for June, our agenda took a different turn and as a team we ended up discussing the impact and power of out-of-home advertising.

As a mum who has children and someone who understands the issues about healthy eating and raising our children in a healthy world, I still struggle to understand why it’s the same price or cheaper to buy a large sharing bag of fizzy sweets or caramel layered chocolate pieces, rather than a single small 30g bar of chocolate. Handing a huge bag to a child and expecting them to stop after just a few is very difficult.
I recently heard a very impactful radio campaign which was for Cancer Research, I believe. It had a question, ‘What is the second biggest cause of Cancer in the UK’? Cigarettes is the UK’s number one biggest killer, closely followed by obesity.  I was surprised by this, especially since the number of large sweet bags increases and the range of fast food drive thru’s are also growing.
It’s no surprise that the UK’s obesity levels have tripled over the last 30 years in the UK, with the level of advertising placements that entice us in with their delicious and tasty looking images on so many billboards, bus stops and train stations at all times of the day. You are guaranteed at some stage when you feel hungry to be lured into a swayed decision.
As an advertising agency mapping hundreds of billboards and out-of-home options for clients on a weekly basis, we understand the power and cost effectiveness of some of out-of-home locations.
It seems the Mayor of London is with us on this with his proposal last week. If you missed it, Sadiq Khan the London City Mayor is targeting goods high in salt, fat and sugar to address the ‘timebomb’ of child obesity. If the proposal is approved, fast food adverts are to be banned from London’s tube and bus network to control a prevalent of childhood obesity.
Sadiq Khan clearly understands the power of out-of-home advertising! The food giants have invested in London alone in 2016/17 £20million in advertising and the TFL network accounts for £13million of this spend.
Whilst there could be a nice bit of availability in the City when and if this comes into play, it will demonstrate the power of this media vehicle to other brands, products and businesses.
Personally, I agree with his decision, especially after hearing his strong statement claiming, ‘obesity is a ticking timebomb’.
Success and post campaign analysis are so important to a client and any advertising agency. Hearing the success of sales of these fatty, high sugar, salty foods and then hearing that the country is getting fatter, obese and unhealthier begs the question. Would these campaigns be deemed successful?
Our conclusion as a team, is that salads will take over the TFL network and we’ll need to grow more lettuces then we’ve ever needed before in this country! But, that won’t be a bad thing hey? Of course, if superfoods are more your thing the why not head over to Grape Tree where their range of superfoods that will really get your body kick started!

Make the most of Space


So, unless you live on the moon, you would have seen the story of billionaire Elon Musk launching a rocket into space. Actually, being on the moon isn’t really an excuse in this scenario.


I have no idea how much this endeavour cost him, I’m sure it’s on the Google somewhere, but I imagine it was a sh*t ton (I’m not an accountant). What struck me was as Mr Musk was spending a fortune getting into space he made sure he gave equal, if not priority of thought to what he was going to put in space when he got there. The result was perfect; an astronaut driving a Tesla (Elon Musk’s company) while David Bowie Space Oddity plays through the speakers on repeat and the message ‘Don’t Panic’ stamped on the dashboard. It all completes the operation beautifully.


When we buy advertising space for our clients, the team at CMe Media always stress the importance of what you fill that space with. We often see businesses investing large amounts to buy prominent space and the artwork, audio or any kind of production is left to the last minute and something/anything gets sent over. We encourage proper planning and preparation (yes, I was a military child) to make sure everything is working in unison to make the absolute most of the opportunity you’ve purchased.


This isn’t a pitch to spend more on your creative, it’s more a pitch that you shouldn’t scrimp on your creative and you certainly shouldn’t consider it the last little job in your space odyssey to be tied up quickly with not much thought. The space you purchase has one mission, be in the place the people you want to talk to are, but those people won’t appreciate that. What they appreciate is what they see or hear.


Like an astronaut cruising through space in a beautiful red roadster blasting out David Bowie.

Adverts stepping up

I decided to switch off a bit over the Christmas and New Year break. I ate sausage rolls, played with my kids’ toy’s, had a few drinks and watched a lot of TV; including 3 films about a Panda who masters Kung Fu!

The by-product of all this TV watching is TV adverts, and one TV advert in particular caught my eye. No, it wasn’t the ‘monster under the bed’ or the man who would rather pay through the nose for carrots from McDonalds. It was Rightmove’s new commercial called ‘Life’s Steps’. You may have seen it, it’s the one with the elderly gentleman called Graham being called upstairs by his wife. For those of a puerile persuasion get your heads out the gutter for a moment and accept she is calling him upstairs to assist with something entirely innocent.

In all seriousness, what we are treated to is a beautiful and poignant montage of the various journeys he has made up those stairs and for what reasons. We see him carrying a tool kit, breakfast in bed for his wife, carrying the hoover, a bedtime cup of tea in his dressing gown and, in a nod to the time of year, a box of Christmas decorations, all beautifully observed and relatable. While this is going on we see the seasons changing outside the window as we move through his life.

So far so good and I’m bracing myself for more information on how I can purchase a stair lift, then boom! My heart is ripped out of my chest. As Graham makes his way back down the stairs he fades away. The pictures on the wall and furniture disappear. The music stops and we are left with an empty shell of a house. Oh my god…Graham has died. That lovely old man has died.

The door opens and a toddler enters the house heading straight for the stairs; the music kicks up again and Rightmove reveal themselves with the slogan ‘When life moves, make your rightmove’. I’m thinking to myself this is all very nice and I’m happy the young family are beginning their life in this house, but why-oh-why did it have to be over the corpse of Graham? The lovely old man who takes his wife breakfast in bed.

Before I can compose my voice to tell my wife I must have something in my eye, Graham is back! Now living in a bungalow! His wife is still constantly calling him from other rooms but hey, he is alive.


I love how this ad toys with our emotions and makes us invest in the personalities and emotions that actually make a home and uses recognisable signifiers we all relate to. It takes you down a path that leaves you wanting more, unable to walk away from what you are seeing and then holds you until the last possible second before releasing you with a wonderful pay off. A charming and beautiful commercial expertly executed.

It’s Christmaaaaaass!

Christmas for most begins when the Coca-Cola adverts reaches the TV’s of millions of people across the UK. The Jingle of the bells, the red cheery Santa, the big branded Coca-Cola lorry passing through cities and towns, this is advertising at its best. As we all know, Santa hasn’t always been red, traditionally he was green, but Coca-Cola changed that all with the power of branding.

Following the success of the Coca-Cola advert, many retailers started getting clever with the way they portray their products at Christmas. Now, every year we eagerly wait for the Christmas adverts to appear to see which one’s pull on our heart strings and which ones don’t quite make the cut. It’s fierce competition and all big retailers must be ready to spend, spend, spend if they want to stay high above the rest.

6) Introducing the 2017 Christmas advert from John Lewis. With months of preparation and a campaign budget reaching around £7million, it’s no wonder John Lewis get it right every time. Their ideas are unique and incredibly heart-warming, not to mention clever. Making a product the star of the show is a fantastic way to drive people in stores and online. The star projector lamp is already sold out on their website and I expect stock is sparse instore as well. Well played John Lewis.


4) Aldi is back with the infamous Kevin the carrot who saves a love interest, Katie the carrot of course, from a rogue pea. We know that Kevin and Katie are carrots, but who doesn’t enjoy a good love story.


3) Lidl’s adverts in General always hit the nail on the head in comedy value and their Christmas ad is no exception. The advert shows a man with a mince pie always in hand acting out every day domestic chores, I think we can all relate to this. Nothing like a mince pie to get you into the festive spirit.


2) This one I found surprisingly endearing and I think may be my favourite Christmas advert so far. McDonalds have produced a sweet story about a young girl who wants to save her last carrot for the reindeer, but when they arrive home the older brother reminds them that there is more than one reindeer, so dad must go back to McDonalds to get more carrots. For most parents, convincing their child to believe in Santa is extremely trying, many go to great lengths to keep the magic alive for as long as possible. I’m sure there are many parents sat at home watching this advert, nodding their head in agreement.


1)Paddington Bear, do I need to say anymore than that? This year M&S have outdone themselves with the beloved Paddington, innocently helping “Santa” deliver presents to houses around the neighbourhood, he doesn’t seem to understand that this Santa is a burglar, who by the end has a change of heart when Paddington shows him kindness, reinforcing the message that kindness goes a long way especially at Christmas time. Try not to cry, as this advert will definitely pull on the heart strings.


The level of competition is certainly very high this year, but who’s advert will come out on top. Only time and sales will tell.

Merry Christmas!



No Radio experience? No problem.

During our day at CMe Media, we always have the radio on and tuned to local stations so we can monitor our client’s advertising.

A by-product of this is we get to hear and know all the local Radio Presenters, many of which will be unheard of outside of their TSA.

I’m sure a lot of them will be happy serving their local area, but there must be a percentage who have hopes and ambitions of getting noticed and making the move up to the big leagues. After all, the likes of Scott Mills and Chris Moyles cut their teeth at local stations before becoming household names with Radio One.

However, the route to the upper echelons of Commercial Radio may not be as clear as with their BBC counterparts.

It was announced this week that, Stoke City striker, Peter Crouch will be hosting his own show on, none other than, Radio X. This news must have local Presenters up and down the country scratching their heads and questioning the career path they have chosen.

Okay, so Peter Crouch is only covering a 2-week slot and I have nothing against him personally, but still; to use a football parlance, “what is happening to the Academy talent?”

Is local level talent being overlooked for ‘personalities’ with a proven audience rather than a solid background in radio broadcast?

Peter Crouch has over 280,000 followers on Social Media. Ronan Keating, who was announced as the new breakfast host on Magic, has over 20 million record sales as a solo artist and millions more with Boyzone. The average mid-morning local radio host can’t hope to compete with that Social following or cultural recognition. So, no matter how good a presenter they are, how well they engage with their audience or how many years they spent working up from Hospital Radio, they won’t get the shot.

Unfortunately, in this world of prolonging fame for as long as possible, Commercial Radio has become an accepted avenue to keep one’s profile relevant, when their actual career choice has finished with them. I guess there are only so many reality TV shows they can appear in.

Common sense would suggest as large broadcast brands continue to uniform commercial radio across the country, they would be dipping into their own pools and nurturing talent from within, but sadly this isn’t the case.

I suppose it leaves me pondering two things…Do Radio Presenters get into the industry today with ambition or an acceptance of the local level glass ceiling?

And secondly, are the skills gained by working your way up from the bottom worth anything when it appears Radio Presenting can be easily handled by a retired pop star and a center forward who’s good in the air…Good on the air…Actually, there might be something in that.

You need a plan

In business today people always talk about a plan.

“You’ve got to have a plan”

As a business owner myself, it made me think, “am I doing this right?” In fact, have I ever been doing it right?

I started CMe Media 3 years ago today with no plan of how I was going to make any money. I had no idea what was going to happen I just knew I wanted to do this. I was throwing myself into an unknown world, and I’ll be honest, I was pretty petrified.

I was a divorced, single mum, my own mother had just survived a breast cancer diagnosis and my father had been made redundant – you honestly couldn’t write this, my life put the writers at Eastenders to shame. None of these things were expected but they brought a focus to my life. I needed to be closer to my family so, I left my demanding job in radio sales and realigned my priorities.

I took stock of my skills and strengths and registered myself as self-employed, so unplanned was this move I had no answer when HMRC asked what my business would be called?

With no desire to spend another 40 minutes on the phone I acted on my feet. My name begins with ‘C’ and it’s just ‘me’ buying media, so; ”CMe Media” I blurted to the underwhelmed gentleman on the other end of the phone.

With a small amount of money, my beautiful Nan had left me, I was up and running. While the ‘up’ was reasonably straight forward I certainly hadn’t planned on how demanding the ‘running’ was going to be.

I didn’t sleep, my life was far from glamorous, I lived on coffee and biscuits, the kids entertained themselves and took my laptop with me everywhere, yes I mean everywhere. Eventually, my mum came on board to help with the accounts. It was only meant to be a “couple of hours a week” but before long, she was joining me at the kitchen table, often working alongside me into the early hours. She hadn’t planned on joining the business, but like all mums, she would do anything to see her child succeed

I didn’t take a wage for six months and constantly asked myself why I was doing it and, as I didn’t have a plan, I wondered whether I ever would earn a penny. Scared to make any commitment I drove a rental car, rented a small house and avoided any type of expense. I won’t lie, I was jealous and wanted a touch of glamour and indulgence in my life, this was a far cry from my radio sales 9 -6 with a good guaranteed income.

Seven months in and with Christmas just around the corner I was wondering how I was going to meet the obligations to pay my suppliers two months in advance. This was the lowest point…When I shut my laptop down and considered never turning it on again and just running away from it all…

But I did turn it back on, and I continued to work hard. It didn’t get any easier and people close to me made allowances for my distracted nature and my mobile phone constantly ringing.

Two years later and I am now proud to be the owner of the respected Advertising and Media Agency CMe Media. I have a strong and committed team around me now, who share my passion for hard-work. It’s their respect for our business that means I can now sleep at night.

I guess what I’m trying to say is maybe you do need a plan. Maybe my journey might have been less hazardous had I plotted my path with careful forethought. But you should never underestimate yourself. Believe in what you do. Know that if you are honest, genuine, hardworking and always treat people with respect, then you can achieve your dreams.

As I said, today CMe Media celebrates its 3rd birthday and as I raise a glass to toast this milestone, I’ll share a moment of satisfaction with myself as I reflect on how I got here.

And now one plan I will be making, is how we celebrate in style. I know for sure it won’t involve ready meals, coffee and biscuits. It will be replaced for an abundance of bubbles… Cheers to us!

Why marketing is just like getting on a bike…

So, in support of Bike Week 2017 (10th – 18th June), and because quite frankly I am a crazy bike lover, I thought I would put myself forward to write our next company blog!

You are probably wondering where the connection is between marketing and cycling? It is not a tenuous link, I promise…

In the words of Albert Einstein, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”. This means repetition and motion is key, whether you’re marketing your business or riding your bike, you must keep pedaling, otherwise, you will stop. Simple.



It starts with planning. When I am getting ready for my next bike ride I check a few things, for example, the weather forecast to ensure I have the right clothing, I check my tyres are inflated, that I have lights if it turns dark, fuel if it’s a long journey and my helmet for protection.

In marketing, planning comes first. You need to know who your audience is, the message you want to tell, the best marketing channels to reach them and how you will exploit these channels and measure your impact. It is a pre-planned journey. That’s not to say you won’t be hit by obstacles on the way, things like weather change, pot-holes and the annoying punctures that can stop you momentarily (oh and in my experience skip lorries – they can cause a detour to the hospital!). The key is momentarily, there are usually several routes that can lead you to your destination, just keep trying until your reach your goal.


Feel the wind in your hair

You’re prepared and know your journey ahead, it’s time to get those wheels into motion and get out there. Bikes are designed to be used, not stored away for months on end, and marketing is the same, you need to be active and keep that motion going. Even when you are pedaling into a strong wind and feel like you are going backwards, or up a hill where you can’t see the top, you need to keep going.


Remember to look back on your journey…

You’ve finally made your destination. Your journey may have changed from your initial plans, but you got there. The key now is to reflect on that journey. After a ride, I always analyse my stats to understand my performance, like speed, distance and altitude climbed. I track every ride, so I can analyse my overall performance for the year, and set new goals for the following. I also review my bike and kit, is everything still in good condition for the next ride? Did it make for a comfortable journey or could improvements be made? i.e. new tyres to reduce punctures, warmer clothing for colder months.

Marketing is exactly the same. Measurement and analysis is essential. Your message is now in the market, and so what? What is the outcome? You need to know the effectiveness of your marketing effort, to know if the journey is worth repeating or if it needs tweaks. It may be that you need new systems to help with the execution of your campaign, or a process to collect metrics for analysis, or review your audience and their needs.

Marketing, and learning to ride a bike are both experimental. You can only succeed by staying with it and remaining flexible to different routes and ways. Whether you want to become a strong cyclist, or a solid marketer, you will need dedication, passion and energy to keep those wheels rolling.

If you need help with any of the stages listed above, please contact us. We can help businesses get their marketing programs moving in the right direction.


Claire Wolstencroft,

Senior Account Manager at CMe Media