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‘The Waitrose Way’ has always been at the heart of the brand’s philosophy. And we’ve been helping the brand communicate what it’s all about – developing the commitments, copy, and look-and-feel of this national campaign.

From farming to food donation and waste to wellbeing, Waitrose is involved in a huge variety of sustainable initiatives. So many, in fact, that there was a risk customers could miss-out on the simple things that underpin everything the company does: the ingredients that really make them ‘green’.

Working together with brand and design agency Mytton Williams, we set about distilling ‘The Waitrose Way’ messages and stories down to 12 firm commitments, each demonstrating what Waitrose is doing now – and what it promises to do in the future. Accompanied by bold illustration, the campaign is launching now across Waitrose publications and in-store.

Quentin Clark, Head of Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing, said: "I just love what Ink Copywriters and Mytton Williams have created. Witty and memorable images, combined with strong messaging, really give this standout and a lot of flexibility to use through our many different communication channels."

Throughout May, Waitrose will roll out the launch and each week it will focus on one of the commitments, drawing on real life stories and activities to inform and engage their customers.

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You only have to look at the big corporates to know that all sorts of brand names make an impact, make money and stand the test of time. But where do these names begin? And what do they have in common?

Here at Ink, we’re often asked to develop names for brands, from new hotel groups to the latest life-changing gadget. We have our own tried and tested formula, but we also draw inspiration from some of the companies out there. Here's what we can learn from some of our favourites:

Be first

Virgin

In Branson’s early days, he embraced the fact his team were ‘virgins’ in business – but not afraid of doing things differently. The rest, as they say, is history.

Make up something original

Häagen-Dazs

After deciding a foreign sounding name would work best, its co-founders played around with the alphabet to create a new word that was 100% unique.

Run with a goddess

Nike

Its iconic ‘swoosh’ symbolises victory – so when it came to a new name, the brand turned to Greek mythology for inspiration: Nike, the Winged Goddess of Victory.

Mean something

Google

Go deep into the dictionary’s 228,132* words to find the one that’s right. Then give it a twist. Google chose ‘googol’ – a huge number (specifically 10 to the power of 100) to indicate the sheer scale of data on the internet.

* Very, very approximately!

Think fresh

Apple

In the 1970s, Steve Jobs wanted a friendly name to attract ordinary people to a new personal computer. His stay at an Oregon commune, surrounded by apple trees, planted the seed for what is now the leader in consumer technology.

Get connected

Facebook

The idea for Facebook came from the title of a directory that helped Harvard University freshmen students get to know each other better. It was conceived in 2003 by Mark Zuckerberg during his sophomore year – first as ‘Facemash’, then ‘The Face Book’. In 2005, the ‘the’ was dropped and this social networking website became the global giant we know today.

So what do great brand names like these have in common? Originality. Conviction. Confidence. Catchy – the four overriding attributes. But whatever their origins, from mythical symbols and straightforward associations to semantic twists on dictionary definitions, the most successful names tend to become inextricably linked to the original vision, values and purpose of the brand’s founder.

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These days, we’re all writers, whether tweeting, texting, blogging or updating a website’s content management system. But just because you have the platform, doesn’t mean you’ll always give a spellbinding performance.

Here are five simple ways to give your words more wow factor, get your message across, and – ultimately – increase business. 

1) Keep it short and simple

As the classic Mark Twain quote goes, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” These days, concision is even more important. Get straight to the point. Keep your paragraphs short. And make your sentences punchy.

2) Let your hair down

While text speak (‘LOL’) may be a step too far for most businesses, social media is one area where people expect a more natural, down to earth tone of voice.

As a first step, make sure you write in the first person ‘I’ or first person plural ‘we’ and keep your language relaxed, but always on brand. If it’s appropriate to your communication, a light touch and a little humour can go a long way.

3) Use joined-up writing

Just like a call-to-action at the end of a mailer, make sure you include links to your website, Facebook and Twitter feed. Over time, this will help you build a band of followers, increase visits to your site and improve your search engine rankings.

And, on that subject, make sure you include relevant search terms in your copy. You could write books on this dark art (and many people have), but the basic principles remain simple: consider what terms people will use to find your site, then include them in your content, your page titles, sub-headlines, links and labels. 

4) Create once, publish everywhere (COPE)

Known in digital circles as COPE, this methodology enables you to get maximum value from everything you write. Essentially it means that you write the content once and then it can be adapted automatically for different devices.

There are many technical companies who will build a bespoke ‘open source’ CMS system for you. But there are also free ways to draw together the strands of your social media activity – for example, HootSuite, TweetDeck and Seesmic.

5) Check before you click

Whoever’s generating your social media content, make sure you have a robust editorial process in place – including a member of your legal or compliance team, if necessary. Check everything twice before you click the ‘share’ button.

In recent years we’ve seen many high-profile blunders and ill-conceived campaigns and, in the social media world, news travels incredibly fast. So make sure your messages are typo-free, thought-through and not going to cause offence.

Of course, not every business has the time or capabilities to produce polished, eye-catching copy across multiple channels. If you find yourself staring at the blank page, or fretting over a witty tweet, it might be time to call in the experts.