Sister Snog loves

Sister Snog loves : Christmas past. Christmas present.

Yule be amazed
Today the festive season is far more of a public affair thanks to social media. A treasure chest of inspiration to create the perfect day, wrapped in a big berry-red-&-holly-green bow. A time when Pinterest – the pin-up girl of social media comes into her own. Anyone-&-everyone can become a jackdaw, feed their inner collector and pin away. No need to face the hoards of shoppers to find the perfect pressie. Look online. Or make your own.

A picture of Christmas
Christmas has always been a time for giving. Now it’s very much a time for sharing. Pics of parties. Snow scenes & Santa hats. Beautifully wrapped gifts. Wonderfully decorated trees. Wreaths, winter cocktails & frosted fancies. All captured and uploaded onto Instagram throughout #advent in the countdown to 25th December.

Festive feasts
The festive season has become a foodie’s paradise with a cornucopia of culinary cheer over in video land. Find the perfect way to carve a turkey or go glam and have your turkey cooked in Champagne! From bakes to cakes, friends-over to left-overs there’s a top-tip or step-by-step guide on how to be the host with the most or perfect domestic goddess.

What memories do you have of Christmas past? And what will you be doing make your Christmas extra sparkley-&-magical year? At #snogtowers we’re dreaming of a purple Christmas. If you’re an #instagram fan pop over and say hello. Festive wishes.

This post is dedicated to Annie Armitage who has made a super successful business from capturing magic moments of people’s lives. Annie is one of the top family & teen photographers in the UK. This video will take you with her on a shoot. She is also an amazing event [...]

Sister Snog loves : Collywobbles, caterpillars & cocoons

Guts & gigabytes
A recent report commissioned by the big boys at  PwC  has found that business leaders take major business decisions based less on fact and more on feeling. They believe gut instinct and experience (41%), as well as the experience of others (31%), is of more importance than data-&-analytics (which got the bronze medal with 23%). Intuition involves an emotional, largely unconscious approach to decision making and problem solving. Often seen as a female trait associated with ‘soft power’.

Business & the goddess of love
It seems feminine values are on the ascent and increasingly being seen as the key to a brighter future. The Athena Doctine, a New York Times best seller, shows femininity is the operating system of 21st century prosperity. Author John Gerzema surveyed 64,000 people. Drawing from interviews at innovative organisations, in eighteen nations and at Fortune 500 boardrooms, he revealed these are seen as the main traits of a red-hot future. Vulnerability is now a strength. Collaboration builds power houses. And nurturing creates a success culture.

Madame Butterfly
Looks like the caterpillar is about to turn into a butterfly. One of the most beautiful things Mother Nature has ever created. Multi-faceted & magical, butterflies conjure up images of sunshine and meadows. Summer gardens teaming with life. Flowers that are propellors with wings. Colourful. Elegant-&-varied. All the things a stand-out business should be. Time to break out of the cocoon and shed the wrinkly skin. Goodbye men from Mars. Hello women from Venus.

A little flutter makes a big difference
Did you know tiny actions of a butterfly fluttering its wings can actually tip a balance on planet. The flapping of a butterfly’s wings – creating tiny changes in the atmosphere – can have a mammoth [...]

Sister Snog loves : Creating #brandsparkle for women

The way women think-&-behave is impacting business, causing a marketing shift away from a hierarchical model toward a relational one. My uber-truth is that women don’t buy brands, they join them – stated Faith Popcorn when she was interviewed by MarketingSherpa.
Brands women love
Many moons ago Sister Snog dipped into a book called EVEolution. In it, Faith Popcorn shared her view of ‘the eight truths’ behind creating a brand that appeals to women. That was way back in 2002 – yet these truths have remained at the forefront of the Sister Snog brand as it’s gone from infancy through to adolescence:

1.  Connecting your female consumers to each other connects them to your brand
2.  If you’re marketing to one of her lives, you’re missing all the others
3.  If she has to ask – it’s too late
4.  Market to her peripheral vision & she will see you in a whole new light
5.  Walk, run, go to her to secure her loyalty forever
6.  This generation of women consumers will lead you to the next
7.  Co-parenting is the best way to raise a brand
8.  Everything matters – you can’t hide behind a logo

A brand with heart-&-soul
Faith Popcorn’s book provided a brand blueprint that helped establish what Sister Snog wanted members to say about the brand when it wasn’t in the room. Another book – Lovemarks – captured the essence of the brand. Together these two inspirational reads formed the foundations of a strategy for establishing a set of values that lay at the head, heart & guts of the brand. But emotional connection & engagement sits at the core. A living currency according to Carole Bozkurt from The Blueprint Practice:

Sister Snog loves : The magic of numbers (Part I)

What number’s your brand?
There’s a whole host of brands directly linked to numerology. One’s loved by chocoholics. Who can resist an After Eight! And do you remember Bar 6? Crispy chocolate wrapped in purple foil. Felt like buried treasure. Some numbers are linked to luxury-&-glamour. In 1952, Marilyn Monroe was asked by Life magazine : ‘What do you wear in bed? Pyjamas?” Her response “Chanel No. 5”. An association budgets just couldn’t buy. Numbers and brands seem to go hand-in-hand in so many sectors – from drink through to food and fashion – 5 Alive, Heinz 57, 4711 Cologne, Miss Sixty and, on that hotter-than-hot summer’s day in the park, a 99. With two of the crumbliest Flake-iest-Flakes if you’re feeling a bit Miss Piggy.

Sister Snog loves the number seven
Then there’s the number seven. A recent poll by Alex Bellos, a British writer, broadcaster and mathematician, declared seven the world’s favourite number. It’s the magic number worn by Ms Lady Luck. It’s both sinful-&-virtuous, wonderful-&-magnificent and even a little heavenly. There are seven planets of the Solar System. Seven days of the week (or eight if you’re a Beatles’ fan). Ever stopped to think why JK Rowling decided to bring Harry and Tom Riddle to blows in the Deathly Hallows and made Voldemort create seven horcruxes rather than six or eight. There’s magic in the number seven. Not to mention Fido-Dido’s fave tipple of lemon-&-lime fizz. There are two ‘Seven Sisters’, the Elms in North London and the cliffs in East Sussex. Seven houses at #snogtowers, #sevensomethings on the #snogblog. A monthly event where seven Sisters get to step into the spotlight, pitch with passion and tell the story of their business at the #7minuteshowcase. [...]

Sister Snog loves : High-heelers-&-stocking-start-ups

The Gabor Sisters
OK – so she may have been labelled as a gold-digger by the people she left behind but she’s not the only woman who set out to snare a millionaire. Zsa Zsa, Magda & Eva Gabor were Hungarian beauties – who all married men of means. More than once. In the film – How to Marry a Millionaire, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable & Lauren Bacall set out to find eligible millionaires to marry. They found true love instead. Kim found her Mr Rich-As-Croesus right on the dating site (Her £600 investment in elocution lessons certainly paid off.)

The right match
Finding a millionaire husband is big business. Voted as “Best of the Web” by Forbes has well over 2 million active singles on it. Allegedly it’s one of the most legitimate dating sites for sugar daddies and sugar babies. So there’s a plan. If that’s your goal. And there’s even a 24 step guide if you want to follow in Kim’s footsteps. On the other hand you might like to consider becoming the mistress of your own destiny and find a different kind of financial freedom that’s fueled by a different kind of passion. A passion for personal success. For some that’s climbing the corporate ladder into the boardroom.

Boardroom Blitz
However new research reveals something to the contrary. It seems the female entrepreneurial spirit is a far stronger force than the yellow brick road to the boardroom. A recent survey by Aspire of 1,200 female executives-&-managers found that far from being fired-up company advocates, who spend their days gazing longingly at the boardroom door, the majority of women surveyed were ready to quit their job & leave the corporate world [...]

Sister Snog loves : Planet Pantone

A designer’s perspective
I love Pantone. Makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop. All those delicious colours to choose from. But most importantly as a designer  I love the fact that when I specify a Pantone colour I can guarantee the colour will be perfect every time.
Lisa Webb
Pink Frog Ltd
An agency’s perspective
Pantone is getting lost in hours of fun, choosing the perfect colour for the perfect project. Bliss!
Nicola Fisher
The Creative Haus Ltd
A print expert’s perspective
When I think panto, I think colour. Vibrancy. Flair. Characters. When I think Pantone, I think colour. Image. Design. Brand. Both captivate & create something that’s full of colour.
Vicki Baumann
Sales Director
Alphaset Ltd
Will you be getting wild with Pantone’s Colour of  The Year? 

Sister Snog loves : The belle of the ball

A beautiful anthem 
The lyrics of Beautiful focus on three things. The real meaning of beauty. Self-esteem or the lack of it. Insecurity issues that are a direct result of not fitting (for whatever reasons) the acceptable conventions of beauty. The song has been widely embraced as an anthem by the LGBT community for its message of self-empowerment & inner beauty. In 2011, UK LGBT rights organisation Stonewall named ‘Beautiful’ the most empowering song of the previous decade for gay, lesbian & bisexual people. In 2012 it was the song that set the stage & captured the essence of The Soulful Concert. Sung from the heart by Sisters of Soul. A moment captured forever by the team at Now | House in a beautiful video.

Harmony in St. Bride’s
The Soulful Concert was a beautiful event. An evening of harmony, beauty and song. Organised by Sister Snog – starring the voices of many to raise funds for many more. It was an evening of collaboration united by music-&-song. The London Gay Men’s Chorus, All The Kings Men, Eden Voices & The Ukulele Lady joined Sisters of Soul to entertain an audience and support two charities.

The scars of disfigurement
Around the world, the lives of thousands are affected by skin disfiguring illnesses and damage as a result of burns, acid attacks, wounds, limb amputations and cancer. The two beneficiaries of the concert were two charities who deal with the effects of skin disfigurement. Both have two pioneering women at the helm. Both were gracious VIPs at the concert.

Skin disfigurement affects lives. And livelihoods. The pioneering research by the formidable team of scientists, surgeons and staff at RAFT has led to breakthrough treatments that save lives, restore lives and improve the quality of life for those [...]

Sister Snog loves : Stop if you see a purple cow

The key to Success City
There are many people-&-pundits who say they hold the key to success. They probably all do. In one way or another. Particularly if they’ve made their mark on the business landscape and hang out in the hall of fame-&-fortune. Success means different things to different people – so there can’t just be one key that fits all the doors to Success City. According to Seth Godin:
The key to success is to find a way to stand out – to be the purple cow in a field of monochrome Holsteins.
In short. Be remarkable.

What are you doing to be a Purple Cow? We’d love to hear.

Sister Snog loves : One lump or two?

A delicious double act
As with all myths-&-legends, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich didn’t actually invent the sandwich as such. The Arabians had been stuffing meat inside pitta bread for centuries before the Earl came up with his delicious snack. But he’s the chap who made it popular. And the famed-fave lunchtime staple was christened with his name. Anna Maria Russell, The Duchess of Bedford, was a life long friend-&-confidante of Queen Victoria. Apparently she was prone to hunger pangs around 3pm-ish and as dinner could be served as late as 9pm she would order a feast of tea, bread-&-butter and cakes to be served in her room. As she clearly wasn’t the only one in polite society to feel a little peckish mid-afternoon, the habit caught on and became, as Henry James observed in Portrait of a Lady, a perfectly pleasurable way to pass the time:
There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
The business of Afternoon Tea
During the Victorian era afternoon tea assumed many guises-&-disguises. From informal feminine gatherings to elaborate ornate events attended by hundreds. The custom of afternoon tea played a unique role in British life and was enjoyed throughout the Empire. However, two World Wars and tea rationing resulted in afternoon tea taking a back seat to become little more than a morsel of faded British tradition to dangle before tourists during the latter half of the 20th-century. Fast forward to today and it’s become a movement in its own right. And even has a whole week in August dedicated to celebrating a great British Tradition.

Are you an afternoon tea afficionado?  If you’ve found [...]

Sister Snog loves : Every woman’s a woman of wonder

Today’s wonder women
Forbes magazine has released the results of its annual survey of the 100 most powerful women on the planet who’ve made their mark on the landscape in one way or another. It ranks women according to influence, wealth and media presence. All these women, in their own various ways, have committed to change – be it political, economic, social or technological – and often in the face of adversity.

Who’s who in the hall of fame?
The top spot, for the second year running, goes to German chancellor Angela Merkel. Well she’s got a pretty big challenge as she continues to battle the Eurozone crisis – which in turn, threatens to overspill to global market economies (don’t envy her – do you?). New entries on the list include Jennifer Lopez and philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs. Queen Elizabeth II comes in 26th place as the oldest entry, aged 87. Still a way to go before she gets to send herself a telegram. Or to be as old as Misao Okawa, who was born on 5th March 1898 in the land of the rising sun & cherry blossom. She celebrated her 116th birthday on 5th March, making her the oldest person in the world. Wonder if she managed to blow out all her candles?

The biggest celebration on the planet
Thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements on or around IWD. These range from hard-core political rallies, business conferences, government activities through to craft markets, theatrical performances & fabulous fashion shows. Some are international, national or virtual (like the Google Doodle) or potentially viral (like the hundreds of compelling video [...]