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Help need very cheap (or free) with Marketing/branding/advertising advise

(36 Posts)
KatieMaChristmas Fri 17-Dec-04 11:36:54

Hi guys I'm a childminder and I'm expanding

I have three main areas of business

Childminding under 5's
Before & After School & School Hols for 5-14's
Occasional minding (short term/emergency/going to a wedding/one off minding) 0-14

I currently use Childminding @ Walnut Corner for the first & second and I'm thinking about using Katie Pop-ins for the third, but I have been advised that I need to 'brand' or identify each with the others.

Childminding @ Walnut Corner
Squirrels @ Walnut Corner
Katie Pop-ins @ Walnut Corner

Can anyone offer any helpful suggestions or comments .....
Someone thought squirrels could be too young sounding for the age range....

Help Please

Walnut Corner is the name of our house btw

alilujahcatsg Fri 17-Dec-04 11:41:11

What are you using the brand names for? for fliers/posters or web?

Might Walnut Corner not be easier (and sound more established?) and then the various groups sub-branded? Also I think if you're going down the Katie Pop-ins/squirrels route you should think of similar for childminding service.

Good luck!

Petesmum Fri 17-Dec-04 12:08:03

I'd go for "childminding @ walnut corner" because it explains exactly what you do. And shows that all three service areas are integrated into a single business - using different names might be confusing & imply that there's no commonality between them (not true as you run all three areas) Once parents are on the website they can look at what services you offer.

I would also ensure that all official mail has the business name included: either the website address or walnut corner. This makes your business look more official, professional, avoid confusion & give continuity to parents. Whatever name you decide to go with, it's important to stick to it & be consistent with it.

BTW - I'm an ex marketing manager with Boots incase you're wondering!

cranberryjampot Fri 17-Dec-04 12:16:53

I like Katie Pop-ins as it is your name and also connects with childcare (Poppins) and makes it sound friendly approachable and above all Clever!!!!

KatieMaChristmas Fri 17-Dec-04 13:16:11

Katie Pop-ins was a mumsnet idea - so I can't take credit....I don't have a website yet - maybe one day

was going to use the different names to target different markets ie at school one name, at local businesses another, and for SAHM's the Katie Pop-ins

I'm still undecided

KatieMaChristmas Fri 17-Dec-04 21:40:52

Can anyone else give me any help/ideas??

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Fri 17-Dec-04 21:51:20

Off the top of my very rusty brain

I think you need to think about your target markets very carefully cos you could risk 'over-professionalising' it

Basically people choose between types of childcare due to perceived benefits: from nanny to nursery to childminding environment

I think most people would expect the childminding environment to be less businessy, more approachable and personal ..

I like Katie Pop-ins .. it still has a personal touch and really think you don't need to brand up each side of your business .. you just need to make sure the relevant message is stronger in the relevant markets (if differentiating)

Although I would also think that there isn't the clear delineation between each market and there will be a lot of cross-over

or make sure all 3 areas of your business are simply communicated on your posters / information

KatieMaChristmas Sat 18-Dec-04 15:45:11

In other words I'm trying too hard.....yes I agree 'cos I'm desparate

How about

Walnut Corner - for all your childcare needs, including childminding, 'wrap-arround' care and occasional minding.

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Sat 18-Dec-04 15:52:24

Much better IMHO

how about

Walnut Corner
A home from home for your children
- Full-time and Part-time Childminding
- Before & After School Care
- Daytime Occasional Babysitting

off the top of my head .. will think it through later

KatieMaChristmas Sat 18-Dec-04 15:56:08

Can't use "school" 'cos the govenors rejected me - so it's important that it's unconnected with the school

But apart from that yours is loads better than mine

"Walnut Corner
A home from home for your children
- Full-time and Part-time Childminding
- Wrap-around Care
- Daytime Occasional Babysitting"

Still needs thought - but lots better than where we started.......thanks

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Sat 18-Dec-04 15:57:22

Just cos governers rejected you it doesn't mean you cannot use the word school .. as long as you aren't specific about which school

school is a generic term .. it doesn't belong to anyone .. there is no reason you shouldn't use it on your marketing literature Katie

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Sat 18-Dec-04 15:58:16

I don't think many people would understand what 'wrap-around care meant TBH

KatieMaChristmas Sat 18-Dec-04 16:00:34

You are probably right - I'll have a think....and wrap some presents (not mine you understand - the extra ones my DD has decided SHE should buy for everyone -with my money)


TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Sat 18-Dec-04 16:02:33

I am definitely right about the term 'school' (used to be a Marketing Director for my sins and we did some school's stuff)

KatieMaChristmas Sat 18-Dec-04 16:28:53

Walnut Corner
A home from home for your children
- Full-time and Part-time Childminding
- Before & After School Care
- Daytime Occasional Babysitting

So there we go...
Now where do I go from here...

Seems like I have my work cut out for me

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Sat 18-Dec-04 16:33:42

Do you have a digital camera?

What I would do is ask the parents of the children you care for whether they'd mind you taking photos of the kids whilst in your care and using them in leaflets and ads .. get them to say its OK in writing (you can draft a little note for them to sign and date)

Take some photos .. get lots of smiling happy kids doing lots of different things: eating, creative, playing .. you know the type

then do a leaflet on your computer .. put in pictures so people can see what you're talking about

put your phone number on big and bold (not address) and your first name

print it out in colour then take it into

all local shops where parents might go / see them
local library
places that run toddler / children sessions
local leisure centres

print some up bigger .. maybe put your telephone number in tear off strips at the bottom and stick them to a few trees (if relevant)

will keep thinking

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Sat 18-Dec-04 16:35:08

I actually think the 'home-made' look would stand in you better stead than something that looks professional

(find out where ante and post-natal clubs are held)

ask your current parents if they know anyone who might be looking for occasional babysitting etc

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Sat 18-Dec-04 16:35:29

am brian-dumping .. hope you don't mind

KatieMaChristmas Sat 18-Dec-04 16:38:49

No - keep dumping.....the more the merrier (iyswim)

The more you do the less I have to think

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Sat 18-Dec-04 17:55:44

Thinking about it again

maybe it should be

Katie Mac at Walnut Corner

so it is 'you' who is the brand, the Walnut Corner is the location

that works better with the personal experience of childminding IMHO .. and actually sounds a little like Pooh at Pooh corner

Peckarollover Sat 18-Dec-04 17:57:29

I love Katie Poppins - think that is a brilliant name

How about

Katie Poppins @ Walnut Corner

IwigitcouldbeXmaseveryday Sat 18-Dec-04 18:02:39

Message deleted

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Sat 18-Dec-04 18:07:13

I do love Katie Pop-Ins .. but I really think it should be YOUR NAME @ Walnut Corner rather than a business name which to me smacks a little of nursery / professionalism

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Sat 18-Dec-04 18:08:45

not saying you're not a professional .. I am sure you are

KatieMaChristmas Sat 18-Dec-04 19:55:31

Currently using "Childminding @ Walnut Corner"

Just when I think I have an answer - I get more to think about.....

Why is life SO complicated

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