Venturing into the Dragoness’ Den

Director of Rockallwight PR, Claire Cunningham tells her success story:

Claire Cunningham

Claire Cunningham

How I threw my hat in the ring and ended up winning.

Brand new start-up

In April 2018 my new public relations start-up was only a month old. I had left a 20-year career working as a communications professional, in corporate environments on big teams,  to try my hand at being an entrepreneur. My company Rockallwight PR, turns innovative small and medium sized company’s approaches to communications around. The idea is to help businesses communicate more effectively and position themselves and their product, in order to maximise their chances of success.

Working as the founder of the business and the only member of staff, was not daunting for me because I have quite and independent spirit but I decided to join the Women’s Business Club.  I was sure it would provide me with an alternative to the professional and social support network that I was so used to having in my corporate roles, and I was right.

The call to adventure

As Maximise appeared on the horizon and Angela and her team worked hard on promotion,  I saw a few prompts to apply for the Dragoness’ Den competition. I knew that my fellow club member Lynda Taverner had won in 2017 and I had been impressed by her confidence and drive when I joined the club.

Initially, I wasn’t sure that the competition was right for me but the idea of entering kept popping back into my head until I thought, “ Actually what have I got to lose? I can throw my hat in the ring and the experience will be valuable in itself, even if I don’t win!”  And that is what I did, only to end up winning on December 5th at Maximise.

Practice, practice, practice.

In late November,  I spent time preparing my pitch, practicing my presentations and wondering whether I had a chance of winning. The tantalising possibility that I could win kept me focused. I also sought support from Lynda who coached me through the pitching process and was really instrumental in helping me to achieve success.

During the first stage of the pitching process, one of the judges, pointed out that while my business proposition was very credible, my logo didn’t align with my business mission or overall brand character. This was really useful feedback and I immediately set to work to address the issue. In my final pitch in Cheltenham, I presented a range of new logo concepts for Rockallwight PR to the judges and the Maximise conference audience. Luckily, my foray into the Dragoness’ Den was successful and I won.

Aligning your brand

Making sure your visual brand identity aligns with your mission, values and purpose as a business is important. A brand is not fixed and is always evolving and I have been on a journey developing the brand for Rockallwight PR.

The first logo was created online, on a minimal budget but when I went about creating the new one, I invested in a good designer ( still reasonably priced) to ensure success. Before I briefed the designer, I did some ground work. Making sure that I was really clear on Rockallwight PR ’s ‘ Brand Personality’.

Emotions

I decided that the positive emotions linked with the brand are around giving customers confidence and peace of mind and that the business has a clarity of purpose and intent. When it came to negative emotions it was clear that Rockallwight PR is all about helping clients avoid anxiety about the profile of their business and their brand.

Colours/ sounds/ texture

I decided that the brand colours should stay the same as they were and be sharp candy colours/ mint green, using lots of white space alongside distinguished greys. The sounds associated with the brand are a steady pulse and then a crescendo when targets are met. The brand’s textures are smooth, slick and sleek.

Brand personality

After thinking all of this through it emerged that the brand personality could be described as smart, energised, alert, professional, confident and positive.  If the brand were an individual they would be a relaxed, energised and approachable business professional who is curious and interested in others.

I also worked on our vision, values purpose and objectives to ensure that I could align this to the visual brand identity. This ground work, formed a basis for a conversation with the designer. He was able to take this and interpret it to create a logo that really reflected the brand character and Rockallwight PR ‘s purpose.

It’s great to be celebrating the New Year with a new logo and I hope that you like it. You can find out more about us here.

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