- great stuff by smart students -


Blogger's Block - Starting Up

Posted on Aug 05, 2016

So you're staring at a blank white box (similar to the one I'm looking at now) and wondering what on earth you're going to fill it with.  You may even headbutt your keyboard a few times.  ...

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Brand? Oh you mean a logo...


Posted by Ben on Jan 28, 2016


"Hi I was wondering if you do Branding? If so, how much do you charge for a logo design for my new business"

This is a classic question that we often get asked, and you'd be forgiven for asking what must be the most commonly made mistake among SME owners.

Bear this in mind folks. Although there is no commonly accepted approach to branding, it is never just a symbol that makes a brand a brand rather than just a picture. Consider how you may be able to buy a white t-shirt for £3.99 off Amazon, but yet if it had an Armani emblem on it you would expect to pay more. Why? It's the same item but with a tiny embroidered logo. It's because of the value, meaning and reflection of status the company have attached to the brand. It says as much about you as it does about the brand.

So what is a brand and how do we make one?

To coin academic definitions, a brand is a shorthand way for a company and/or its products to define themselves. As Richard Branson once said, "Brands always mean something. If you don't define what that is, your competitors will." So even by doing nothing, your brand will still communicate something.

Therefore a brand needs a managed solid identity behind it. A set of values, standards, attitudes, intended positioning in relation to competitors and persona before you can start conveying an image and building the love.

Follow this layered principle for creating a solid brand and you wont go far wrong:

  • Create your brand personality (in words, not pictures). Remember that if the personality you create is dull, then your brand will be dull!
  • Establish brand meaning throughout all your ongoing marketing and business activity
  • Elicit emotions, feelings and responses and work to create a solid understanding of the brand performance
  • Find ways to forge relationships with customers and maintain resonance

Consider the following too:

How can you easily identify your brand?

How will you differentiate from competitors

How will you symbolise your brand values, persona and give something that reflects your target market and what is important to them?

What is your brand promise?

Get branding!!!

Continue the conversation at #raptorinsights

Ref: Rossiter and Percy 1992, Chandler and Owen 2002, Fill 2009


Would you like to help businesses and develop key skills?

Posted on Jun 23, 2017

Summer is here and we are looking for new talent to join our passionate team of student consultants!

An innovative and unique service, Raptor Student Consultancy provides students opportunities to work on projects and help businesses, charities and community organisations.

Students work in teams to address a business problem or deliver a particular service for a client organisation. Whatever your career plans you can benefit from taking part. Raptor will provide you with an opportunity to:

  • Contribute to the local community and gain solid work experience
  • Tackle strategic problems by offering assistance in areas such as market researchdigitalmarketing and other business services
  •  Boost key employability skills such as team working, self-management, problem solving and communication
  • Gain an awareness of the commercial, behavioural and social contexts of professional environments
  • Earn money!

If you are a current student or a recent graduate looking to gain some experience, earn money and succeed, then this platform is for you.


To apply please register and email CV’s to raptor@northampton.ac.uk

FREE Marketing Review for the Month of July

Posted on Jun 23, 2017

We like to help you as much as possible, here at Raptor, and for the month of July, we are offering FREE insight into your business marketing needs. The Raptor Marketing Review consists of a face-to-face consultation where we take you through a specially designed questionnaire to gain a thorough understanding of your business and its marketing needs. We look at everything you are currently doing on your chosen marketing channels and review it! Following the consultation, we prepare a report covering:

  • Company goals

  • Current marketing activity overview and results

  • Target market/audience

  • Current marketing activity assessment

  • Recommended changes

  • Website

  • healthcheck

If you would like to take advantage of our free reviews GET IN TOUCH

Students use their consultancy skills to shake up a local business

Posted on Nov 07, 2016

During the last term Raptor Consultancy was involved in a number of projects, our student teams were engaged in supporting businesses throughout Northamptonshire and beyond. One of the standout innovative projects involved delivering a Democracy Audit for the first time.

What is a “democracy audit” and why should it matter?

“Well, a democracy audit is an assessment of an organisation's internal democracy, and it should matter only to people with an interest in democracy”.

So said Martin Strube, a partner at Co-operative Solutions, a Northampton based co-operative partnership.

“Co-operators, community groups, voluntary organisations, trade unions, working men's clubs, charitable trusts.  All of these should have an interest in the quality of the democracy they are experiencing and how that quality might compare to similar groups and organisations.” 

Last term this audit formed the basis of a work experience module for students at the University of Northampton.  Four business studies students were engaged in running an audit at a locally based cooperative organisation. Guided by Martin and the Raptor Student Consultancy scheme, the students observed meetings, looked through archives, interviewed members, and generated reports. 

Meeting for the first time at the Library Café, Martin and the students quickly developed a rapport.  Martin introduced the concept and explained what he was trying to achieve:

“We are trialling a tool for comparing democracies and the efficiencies of those democracies.  We're looking at ways of making the comparisons empirical/numerical as well as anecdotal.”

Over a period of several weeks, Martin and the students observed meetings, interviewed staff, and ploughed through documentation. 

Arising out of this experience, they commented:

“It was great to be a part of building this new process and implementing in a real scenario. We were able to achieve the goal of measuring democracy within a commercial co-operative setting and providing fresh insights.”

Alex Fuentes added that “Thinking deeper about business processes and speaking with people at all levels are key aspects that I will look to apply during my career.”

Thu Nguyen stated “Raptor has been great for teamwork and working with organisations to learn some professional skills.”

The host organisation commented: “The whole team were amazing and we have truly benefitted from the whole experience. The results of the audit provided us with some insightful recommendations and we feel like we’re in a much more informed position moving forward. Thank you for all the hard work.” 


To hear more about the Democracy Audit, interested parties are invited to attend a regional co-operative conference and seminar being hosted by Northampton University on November the 9th.  Contact 01604 893570 for more details.