Calling all employers of working parents . . .

Many of your employees are parents. Imagine them arriving at work free from family stress,
knowing their children are happy and settled, and feeling ready and motivated for a productive
day at work?!

The chances are that for many, this is a rare occurrence. Next Generation Coaching has written
a programme which is designed to help parents achieve just that. Coaching Skills for
Parents™
is a unique, innovative and research based programme which combines coaching,
positive psychology, neuroscience and child development. The benefits to your company
or organisation could be . . .

  • Employees who are more motivated, focused and productive.
  • Reduced stress related illness and absenteeism.
  • A workforce that actively applies tried and tested coaching techniques with colleagues and clients alike bringing about improved relationships.

Your organisation would also be supporting many social policies – including the Government’s
Family Agenda, Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Engagement policies.

Coaching Skills for Parents™ has already been run in the NHS, catering giant Aramark and
Citi Group and many smaller private companies, as well as in schools in London and the North
West.

“My personal situation as a parent naturally effects my day to day ability –
if I am more in control at home, I will have more energy for work”
– Aramark employee

Your trainer . . .

Pam Drysdale, MBACP, is a licensed trainer, counsellor and clinical hypnotherapist and has over
15 years experience of working with individuals, couples and groups. She combines her
private practice with delivering Coaching Skills for Parents to companies, organisations and
schools throughout the UK. Pam has two grown up daughters so has experienced both the
delights – and the challenges of parenthood!

Pam would be very happy to answer any questions you may have, or if you would like her to
visit your organisation, please don’t hesitate to contact her at pam@camerontraining.co.uk

Don’t sell yourself short

In a fast moving competitive world potential clients can take less than 30 seconds to subliminally reject a product or service. The key elements in success or failure are, Great Design, Excellent Photography and well crafted Words. Getting on the first page of a web search for a business is essential. Without the aid of these key services any marketing strategy is placed at a disadvantage.

In the case of photography the significant features of success are planning, lighting and viewpoint. This needs to be supported by good technical and creative control.

In the following case history a major chain manufacturer took their own picture and get a well worded article published in the engineering trade press. After a universal rejection of their press release the PR Agent recommended that supporting photography from Ikon Photography may achieve a better result. After the shoot the article was resubmitted and not only published but one of the images was used on the front cover of a lead publication. The power of an image is in its ability to engage the attention of several thousand potential end users of the product, through targeted publication.
01.IMG_1482small02.007209J-024 copy smallFE-NOV07-COVER.qxd

john@ikon-partnership.co.uk
www.ikon-partnership.co.uk

Trade Marks

Like other aspects of Intellectual Property, such as technical inventions, industrial designs and copyright, trade marks can be a valuable business asset and investing in their proper protection and clearance for use ought to be an important consideration for any business.

What is a Trade Mark and why are they important?

Any business that sells products or services has a name, maybe also a logo or other artwork defining its “brand”, and perhaps even one or more specific product names unique to the business. All of these elements may constitute Trade Marks – they distinguish your products or services from your competitors’ and, very importantly, enable your present and future customers to identify your products or services as having a particular source, characteristics and quality.

Protecting your exclusivity to a Trade Mark, ie. ensuring you alone have the rights to its use, so you can prevent others from “stealing” or misusing it or creating something close to or confusable with it, should therefore be an important consideration for any developing business, just as much as any other legal investment. Furthermore, establishing at an early stage that you are actually legally free to adopt a particular name or logo as a Trade Mark is a wise “insurance”, especially if you consider the potential cost of being on the wrong end of a legal action for infringement of someone else’s Trade Mark or being forced to re-brand yourself, your products or services.

Also remember that just because you may be having original design work done for you by Fox Graphics, this does not mean you will automatically have freedom to use and protect for yourself any Trade Mark embodied in the work. Indeed, Fox Graphics gives no warrant, nor takes any responsibility for ensuring, that any Trade Mark element of design work they produce is legally free for trade mark use or open to registration for yourself, regardless of whether such a Trade Mark is provided by you or created by Fox Graphics.

Furthermore, simply having a limited company name registered as such at Companies House does not give you any automatic right to use an element of that name as a Trade Mark, which is governed wholly by Trade Mark Law.

How can I establish whether I am free to use my Trade Mark(s)?

Before you adopt a new Trade Mark, it is advisable to have a formal search done to check that it (or something close to it) is not already owned by someone else. If it is, then legally you may not be free to use your Trade Mark in your particular business. Such a search typically costs in the range of £150-900 (not including VAT, UK only and per Mark searched), depending on the level of searching required and volume of results produced, and typically takes 1½ to 3 weeks.

It is unwise simply to rely on the fact that you may believe you know your market and your competitors and have not seen your proposed Trade Mark out there up to now, since you cannot expect to know about all relevant registered Trade Mark rights that may exist but which perhaps may not be in use or, being used in your precise commercial field.#

Of course, however, it may be that your attitude to risk leads you to conclude that such a search is not worth the cost, but this should always be balanced against a view as to the potential risk and cost to your business of having to defend a legal action for infringement and/or having to undergo a rebranding exercise.

A Trade Mark search cannot completely remove all risks associated with adopting a new Trade Mark, but often it is worth factoring in the cost of consolidating the legal Trade Mark position along with the often more significant cost of an overall design/branding exercise, of which a Trade Mark is just a part.

How do I protect my exclusivity to my Trade Mark(s)?

The simplest, quickest and cheapest way is to register it. A Trade Mark registration gives you exclusive and wide-reaching legal rights to stop unauthorised or misleading use by others of your Trade Mark or something similar to it. The protection, as is also the deterrent effect of a registration, is also immediate. The process of registering a Trade Mark typically takes 3 to 5 months, with a typical total cost in the range of £400-700 (not including VAT, and assuming there is no opposition to it being registered). A formal Trade Mark search as above will normally also establish if there are any obstacles to your being able to register the Trade Mark for yourself.

If you opt not to register your Trade Mark, you may still get some degree of protection for it by simply using it in the course of your business. However, since in this case any protection comes from the reputation you build up in the Mark, it can often take at least a few years to establish any such “common law” rights. Stopping an infringer on this basis is therefore usually much more difficult, time-consuming and expensive, so relying on an unregistered Trade Mark for protection is often a false economy. In these circumstances, the use of the “TM” symbol adjacent the Trade Mark is a wise precaution, as it also is when you have an application to register your Mark and it’s still pending. Only once a Mark is actually registered can you (and you should) use instead the “®“ symbol with it.

How can Fox Graphics help in all of this?

We can put you in touch with a qualified Trade Mark Agent/Attorney who can:

  • advise on the selection of new Trade Marks;
  • conduct any searching that may be necessary to determine the availability and freedom for use of a new Trade Mark;
  • act on your behalf in applying for and obtaining a Registration of your Trade Mark(s);
  • advise you on protection for your Trade Mark(s) abroad, if this is relevant to your business, and organise corresponding registration(s) of your Trade Mark(s) in other countries;
  • advise and act on your behalf on infringement issues, eg. where enforcement of your Trade Mark rights is needed or if you are accused of infringing the rights of others;
  • advise on trade mark transfers and licensing issues

Please contact Fox Graphics if you would like help with any of the above, so we can put you in touch with the appropriate legal professional.

The Ethics of Design

In an increasingly principle-focused market where the demand for ethical processes is intensifying, it is becoming ever-more important for businesses to not only deliver the best possible service, but to also be seen to deliver it in the most environmentally-friendly and ecological way.

Kate Fox, Founder and Director of Fox Graphics, explains how this growing requirement is translating into the world of design and print, and highlights what businesses can do to ensure they meet the increasing demands of clients for ‘green’ products…

“The claim by the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) that a business cannot be responsible without being ethical is one that appears to be rapidly growing in esteem and one which is resonating throughout the business and consumer world.

“In increasingly aggressive markets, companies need to establish a unique selling point that separates them from the competition in the minds of consumers. Being seen as ethical can go a long way in helping businesses build and maintain customer loyalty and help them benefit from a reputation for integrity and best practice.

“When it comes to a company’s image, it is certainly possible to achieve a fantastic brand while also ensuring compliance with ethical policies. For example, we employ the services of printers which are certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), and which therefore enables our clients to include the FSC logo on its products and literature, highlighting their commitment to ethical practices.

“We also ensure that all our inks used in printing are vegetable based. Because they are non-toxic, these have a significant positive effect on the environment compared with traditional petroleum inks, and also have the added benefit of producing brighter, more vibrant colours.

“In addition, all the aluminium plates, chemicals and plastic elements we use are collected and reprocessed, our paper and cardboard collected monthly, and our deliveries arranged so as to have the minimum impact on our carbon footprint.

“Customers are increasingly choosing services on the basis that they are ‘green’ and offering such a service is an absolute win-win situation for businesses. Not only are they able to create a great market image, but they are able to do their own bit for the environment and shout about it to their customers.

“As green issues continue to have a significant impact on the way businesses run, Fox Graphics can offer solutions for every business need. For examples and ideas on how your business can benefit from going green, visit www.foxgraphicsdesign.co.uk or call the team on 01260 252264.”

The Power of the Image

In this current market where competition between businesses is greater than ever and where the battle for survival is an increasingly tough one, the way a business presents itself is vital. Kate Fox, Founder and Director of Fox Graphics, explains why a firm’s image is key to its success…

“The claim by David Kester, Chief Executive of the Design Council, that businesses need to ‘use design or risk failure’ is certainly a strong one, but one that no business can afford to ignore. A business’s visual identity, incorporating everything from its overall brand to its advertising campaigns, is what sets it apart.

“The image is the persona of a business, and having the right one helps a business deliver its messages and values clearly, connect with potential and existing customers, create and strengthen loyalty, and subsequently generate more profit. It is therefore crucial that a business invests time in researching, defining and building its brand before anything else.

“An image really can say a thousand words and image is what ultimately wins the hearts and minds of the public – a fundamental reason why design needs to be integrated into the entire business strategy and continuously reinforced at every opportunity.

“As design continues to have a significant impact on the role of future economies, Fox Graphics can offer creative solutions for every business need. For examples and ideas on how your business can benefit from the power of image visit www.foxgraphicsdesign.co.uk or call the team on 01260 252264.”

RIP to traditional print?

With the development of technology and the increasing popularity of ‘e-magazines’ and ‘e-reads’, many people believe that traditional forms of print are destined for decline. However, the case is not as clear cut as some might think and established forms of media still have their place in modern society.

Kate Fox, Founder and Director of Fox Graphics, gives her opinion on the ever-evolving e-debate…

“New technologies, time-precious lives and the increasing awareness of sustainability have led to a significant increase in the popularity of electronic media. With a click of a button, people can now have a newspaper, magazine or glossy brochure delivered to their inbox in seconds.

“Not only convenient and cost-effective, it also allows people to do their bit for the environment, leading many to strive for a ‘paper-free’ society. However, is this beneficial or indeed viable? There is still a fervent argument for the printed page, with a majority still preferring to read from a hard copy publication.

“With groundbreaking technological innovations on the horizon, traditional forms of print may actually be given the boost to grow rather than diminish. Xerox scientists, for example, have invented a pioneering way to develop prints with temporary images, so that paper can be used again and again. This unique idea seems to offer the best of both worlds, not only retaining the printed page, but reducing the amount of environmental waste.

“Also providing flexibility and versatility is the fact that design for printed publications is now converted into PDF for the internet as a matter of course, meaning clients can benefit from both mediums often for the same price.

“It appears that the fall of traditional print has been greatly exaggerated and it still very much has its place in society; it just might have to adapt to keep up…”

Why Quality Print Needn’t Cost The Earth

“Companies have been increasingly looking for ways to cut their environmental footprint, and yet until recently green design options were often lower quality and significantly more expensive. Kate Fox, Founder and Director of Fox Graphics, explains why quality printing no longer needs to cost the earth.” “Most of us like the idea of using sustainable methods within our business. We’ve all at some time used recycled paper and possibly even investigated other bio-products, but it’s always been a decision which needs careful weighing up – on the one hand the benefits of being seen to be green and on the other the need for the end product to be great quality, durable and cost effective.” “Recent developments in the environmentally-sensitive product sector have made that choice easier than ever though and I’ve been impressed with not only the quality of the recycled papers available for commercial printing, but also the reduction in cost – it’s now often only negligibly more expensive to choose the green option which can only be a good thing.” “In addition, the FSC can track paper right from source and let you know exactly where the trees that were used for your corporate brochure have come from. It’s tough for printers to secure FSC status, but we’re delighted to confirm that one of our preferred suppliers is in the final stages of certification so we’ll soon be able to offer this service.” “Inks are now often vegetable based and the chemicals used in the print process are also changing so as a sector we’re becoming much greener. Of course there’s always room for improvement but I for one am now convinced that quality printing can be any colour you choose – even green!”