Archives for category: Happy Team

I have two children, a young boy and a younger girl. The boy has swimming lessons on a Sunday and the girl doesn’t. The older boy was teasing the younger girl that he was going swimming and she was staying at home. Nah nah nah na… you get the idea.

The younger girl was getting upset by this and in an attempt to make staying at home with her daddy a bit more exciting than it really was, I had an idea. I saw that she was holding a Hello Kitty toy and then engaged my mouth before my brain had thought through the consequences and said that we were going to ‘Hello Kitty Land’. As I talked through ‘Hello Kitty Land’, I envisaged a make believe game that I would be playing later with the small girl. However the lie just got bigger and bigger and out of control.

The young boy didn’t believe that there was a ‘Hello Kitty Land’ and to be honest I wasn’t sure either, however I thought quickly on my feet and we decided to look on the internet for our make believe ”Hello Kitty Land’. I had though I might find a picture of a shop and then convince the skeptic that ‘Hello Kitty Land’ did exist. I was surprised and secretly pleased to find that there is one as I was fully immersed in my lie and couldn’t see a way out of the situation.

We looked at all the pictures, discussed all the rides and the skeptic was convinced that his sister was going to have more fun than him at his swimming lesson. Phew! I’d made it and would have 40 minutes to come up with reasons why we didn’t go to ‘Hello Kitty Land’ while he was swimming. However I’d done such a good job of presenting ‘Hello Kitty Land’ to my two children, that when the youngest made the statement, ”We’re off to Hello Kitty Land, see you at lunch time’ , I had to reveal that we couldn’t go to ‘Hello Kitty Land’ for the main reason that it is Malaysia and we didn’t have any plane tickets etc etc. My small girls reaction was as you would expect, annoyed, angry and upset. As she is a small child, it was quickly forgotten when I promised her an ice cream.

In the grown up world, ice creams don’t always solve self-made problems and as Creative Director of Happy Creative, I had not followed one of our most important mantras which is ‘delivering on promises to our clients is an integral part of our business’.

Each time we make these commitments, we build trust. At Happy Creative we always do what we say, because our reputation is incredibly important to us. It is our responsibility to give our clients the best possible service so that they are confident in our abilities and have no reason to think otherwise. Keeping our promises has created satisfied customers, that speak highly of us, for our creative and marketing services and regard us as people who are a pleasure to do business with. Clients that speak highly of you also talk to other people and referrals from existing clients has become a cornerstone of Happy Creative’s success and growth over the years.

If you break a promise, all that hard work and energy you’ve spent keeping a good relationship can be quickly become strained. Keep or over deliver on your promise and you will have a client, colleague or friend for life. High expectations of our standards keeps the bar at a high level and creates a cycle of success. We maintain our high standards by following some simple steps.

1) Don’t over promise. 

We are always very clear in what we can deliver.

2) Thinking Time.

Before we commit to a promise, we analyse the situation, consider the possibilities and weigh up any variables.

3) Expect the unexpected.  

“NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!” and projects can sometimes throw up a situation that is so out of the blue, that it impacts on every component of the project. We allow time in a project so that these unexpected events can be faced and their impact on the project is minimised.

4) Be happy at every stage. 

At Happy Creative, we ensure that your project meets your expectations at each point of its journey, from start to completion.

Keeping a promise does ensure business success and promotes that hard to earn but quick to lose commodity of trust. By making this commitment that you can keep –or, even better, exceed –you will build a foundation for future successes and growth.

James Chantler is Creative Director at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk

The Happy team are never shy when it comes to helping people, and we always enjoy putting our unique Happy stamp on everything we do.

So when national charity the Stroke Association came calling about their ‘Step out for Stroke’ event we just couldn’t resist.

The event happening around the UK at various locations throughout May brings together Stroke survivors, families and super fundraisers together to walk a course.  The choice of distance is yours from 10 steps, a mile, 10 laps or anything in between.

But at Happy we don’t do things conventionally, so we’ll be completing the Blackpool event on Saturday 18th May 2013 via our extra special Happy Green Spacehoppers!!!

Yes, the Happy team will be bouncy our way around the 1mile course on our special Happy Spacehoppers and we would like your support.

To donate via the Happy Creative Just Giving page follow this link http://www.justgiving.com/Happy-Creative-Ltd2

To register for the event to join the fun and raise money for a superb charity –  StepOut Blackpool

Thank you!!

stepout

Ernest Hemingway once said his best work was a story he wrote in just six words: ‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn.’, this being the most famous example of breathtaking brevity coupled with brilliant imagery.

In a similar vein, our Creative Director James recently set us our weekly creative challenge.

We were each asked to compose a six-word story and he gave us precisely two minutes to do it. The heat was on!

Some of us stared blankly ahead (clearly attempting to assemble our thoughts into some kind of cohesiveness.) whilst others immediately moved their pens hurriedly across the page.

Oh no, someone had already written two…..what to do? I know, write what you know, something familiar. Think! Aha! Got it!

I had recently had an “escape of water” at home (….. in other words….a flood) so my story went something like this: “Broken toilet. Water everywhere. Crossed legs!”

I particularly liked Hakim’s humorous example: “Venison is deer, isn’t it?”

It was a really fun exercise to carry out and we look forward to being stimulated by the next creative challenge which, knowing James, will be brilliant!

Contemporary authors have been challenged similarly by the six-word story format, though there are also a series of books featuring both famous and obscure writers.

Here is a selection of some of my favourites:

See that shadow? (It’s not yours.)
Jim Crace

Humorous book: critic died laughing. Sued.
Alexander McCall Smith

Megan’s baby: John’s surname, Jim’s eyes.
Simon Armitage

In the end, everything simply began.
Ali Smith

It was a dark, stormy… aaaaargggh!
John Lanchester

Drinking alone, curtains drawn… he smiled.
“I’m a writer.” He lied easily.
His bald spot stole the show.
Iain Murdoch

I wrote it all down somewhere.

Found true love. Married someone else.

Met online; love before first sight.

According to Facebook, we broke up.

If we are to subscribe to the concept that “in advertising, it’s not so much what information your words communicate to the prospect, but what experiences they call forth from the prospect”.

What images and associations does your copy bring to life in the imagination? And how many words does it take to create these images? Can you condense your core message into a power-packed six words?

Have a go………. it’s a really interesting exercise.

Debbie Lewis is a Customer Support Executive at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk

If this question was to be asked a decade ago the answer would have been a very simple one. When your time came, everyone you knew told you that “you HAD to get a degree. It’s the only way you’d get anywhere in life.” However in a matter of years the situation has changed dramatically.
The U.K has seen a rise in students aged 18-24 who choose not to continue their education any further. This is largely due to the rise in tuition fees, which has risen from £3000 to a maximum of £9000 per year.
Unable to afford this, most students have taken the option of going straight into employment with what little qualification they have, whilst students leaving university, who cannot find jobs related to their course, have taken part-time jobs to avoid going into debt.

So is it all worth it in the end? Did the past 3-4 years at university make any difference to your future? The question that is rarely asked is whether all the education received from university makes a difference in the world of employment. Is it possible to move up in this world without a standard degree qualification? Speaking as a designer who narrowly escaped the wrath higher tuition fees I can speak from the design side of this argument. Here is what I learned from my past 4 years as a student and what pitfalls current and future students should avoid.

Personally I feel that my own university education only helped to a certain extent. Whilst throwing money at an institution is not the answer to all of life’s problems I feel as though I expected a lot more from them (especially for the amount I had to pay over 4 years) than the limited time I would get with tutors in return. A lot of my design instinct primarily came from college education and self-interest in my area of design. A good portion of my growth came outside the classroom in libraries and online tutorials due to my own curiosity. It says a lot when services you can get for free do more to further your future than the one you pay £3000 per year for. Don’t get me wrong though, I am not saying that my university didn’t teach me anything. However I feel that they have promised me more than they could deliver. Overall the experience I got from university was great. The interaction with my peers and challenge of pushing myself to greater lengths was exciting. But speaking in terms of the quality of teaching, I wasn’t entirely satisfied. Of course this could simply be the university I went to or only my course in particular. There is no way to know now whether it could have been any different had I gone elsewhere. I think the same rings true for any course outside of design where you are left to your own devices to think more independently.

There is also the unrealistic expectation that with a university qualification you will be an expert in all areas when your education is finished. However this is entirely untrue (as myself and many other design students before me have learned). There are many skills, many advices, and a lot of information that a student cannot learn about in their three/four years regarding the fast paced world of design. Things like client expectations, the quick turnaround with some projects, tight deadlines etc. The biggest shock for me was how fast paced design studios are in comparison to the lenient two/three weeks you get on a single brief.

In the design world one of the most important factors in gaining employment is experience. This brings up the age-old contradiction. How can you get any job experience if no one hires you without any? Some ways around this include freelance work, entering design awards & competitions and work placements. These are areas you can focus on where your qualification isn’t more important than your ability to speak and work as a designer. The pitfalls of looking for a design job without degree qualifications are the level of work you find. No one expects to land the role of creative director within their first year so naturally you’ll have to start at the bottom and work your way up. It will be tough at first but ultimately it will save you spending £27,000+.

The best advice I can give is to do your research. Go to the university you want to join and ask questions. Ask as many questions as you want. Find out about your surroundings, what the living standards are like, where is the nearest superstore, how long does it take to travel from A to B. Ask current students what they think about the university. Remember, they will give the most honest answer (it’s not their job to sell the course). Never stop questioning even after you have settled on a decision. Bear in mind that if the worst of the worst comes you can leave or still complete the first year. You’ll have one bad year instead of four.

Hakim Shujaee is a Designer at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk

Since the start of time the word ‘failure’ has always had a negative connotation attached to it. The very mention of it in the same sentence as your name is an excuse to feel ashamed and inadequate. The average human being is overcome with emotion as he/she makes a mental list of what went wrong in their lives and how it all led to this devastating day of doom. However it’s never wise to have a defeatist attitude over a simple thing like failure.

As a designer we have to develop thick skins as it is sometimes the case that we are deemed to have ‘failed’ with an idea.  The reality is often very different.

This is the perfect time of year to look at it as a life’s lesson in human development. Here are some of the reasons for why failure can be a good thing.

Making Mistakes.

Making mistakes is a very important process in the world of design. It allows you to take in all the data from your latest endeavour and analyse what you did wrong and how you can improve. It’s highly unlikely that someone gets something right the first time of asking. Everyone will have a different approach to dealing with their failure. Every mistake should be treated as a lesson.

Taking Risks

With accepting failure as a possibility in your life you also invite the urge to take risks. Years ago most businesses would discourage this type of mindset and as a result would settle for mediocrity. However recently with the economy suffering the only way to survive and be noticed is to take risks that would set you apart from the competition. In fact its been reported that current employers recently choose to look at both the success and failures of candidates mainly for the reason of separating the risk-takers from the regular workers. The risk-takers have a better record of being hired.

Learning Curve

With every failure you are building up a deep understanding in your field. Something that, in the following years, is known as experience. Thomas Edison failed 1000 times when inventing the lightbulb. When asked about it he remarked “I have not failed a 1000 times, I have found a 1000 ways that won’t work”.

Persevering in your field of study ensures that you have a better understanding of your subject than someone who has only studied it once. You, through experience, know what you should or shouldn’t do therefore giving you an edge against someone who doesn’t have that level of experience. Through your past failures you end up gaining a better understanding of how things function.

Innovation

There will always be a correct method or certain rules for doing things. There is always a right way and a wrong way. However to do something unprecedented certain rules need to be changed or bent accordingly.

Only by ignoring what’s already been advised several times can you really hope to create something unique.

Trying out strange new methods can take you to different paths and help initiate new ideas. After all someone, somewhere, must have broken a rule or two in order to stand out from their competitors today.

Failure should never be viewed in the negative sense. Every failure should be viewed as an opportunity to try harder next time and learn from your mistakes.

Remember, you are in the same company as many others who have failed.

1. Albert Einstein – 1921 Nobel Peace Prize in Physics

Wasn’t able to speak until he was almost 4 years old. His teachers said he’d “Never amount to anything”

2. Michael Jordan – Professional American Basketball Player

After being cut from his high school basketball team, he went home, locked himself in his room and cried.

3. Walt Disney – Co-founder of Walt Disney Productions 

Was fired from The Kansas City Star newspaper. His boss told him he ‘lacked creativity and imagination’

4. The Beatles – Winners of 7 Grammy Awards 

Rejected by Decca Recording Studios, who said ” We don’t like their sound” and “They don’t have a future in show business”

5. JK Rowling – Author of Harry Potter book series

Had her first Harry Potter book in 1995 rejected by 12 different publishers. Including Bloomsbury (who finally purchased her manuscript) who told her to “get a day job.”

Hakim Shujaee is a Designer at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk

%d bloggers like this: