Holiday Cottages in Wales

ty coch 2There are hundreds of holiday cottages in Wales. So from a marketing perspective the key is to make sure that each holiday cottage in Wales is distinct from a holiday cottage in another area. It needs to be able to offer something special or different such as a great place to visit the fabulous beaches along the Welsh coast.


BarddWalking the Coastal Path is a great way to explore the amazing scenery and walk from one holiday cottage in Wales to the next.  The scenery varies from the coast to the more rugged mountains in the north of Wales. Snowdonia attracts thousands of visitors to the National Park where hiking the highest mountain in Wales is really popular. At over 3500 feet it is not an easy walk but a serious climb and after that enjoy relaxing in a lovely holiday cottage in north Wales.

Half way up SnowdonEnjoy some fabulous restaurants or maybe learn a little of the Welsh language and hear a choir or two especially during the rugby season. Whatever the reason to visit Wales there is a  lovely holiday cottage for you.

Starting to Learn Welsh

In my case learning Welsh as an adult started a few years ago with some frantic activity.  I am sure many learners are familiar with the Post it notes on the fridge door, the lists of vocab etc

Sadly it did not stick and it seemed that all I could manage was to listen to Welsh being spoken and pick out a word now and again. Clearly that is a million miles from understanding and yet I was stuck with a stream of noise or repeating sentences or playing games with dice in class.   In reality we mix and match depending on who we are with, the situation, what we want to say and so on. We change and chop but the books give patterns which are useful but there seems to be a disconnect from that to the understanding. I am told that comes later and in my case probably decades so.

So the different patterns are complex but I have rarely thought in English – ooh that is a conditional tense and now need to try to replicate that as I try to learn to speak Welsh


How Can Adults Learn Welsh

The question of how can adults learn Welsh or indeed another other language has been asked many times.  When I see friends teaching their kids to speak Welsh and in some cases two languages, it just works. If I think about the difference between an adult learner and I definiately put myself in that group, to the child.  The problem as one lovely Welsh tutor said, is that I can already speak English and I am constantly translating and trying to remember lots of new words, new structures of sentences and even a newish alphabet.

A child seems to know no different and just laps up the words so that it has a meaning of doing something from the very start.  Comes to something when  a child in Meithrin / nursery has more advanced language skills in Welsh than I do.  If there is a way to develop that natural context then maybe it would making learning Welsh a whole lot easier.

If I had a pound for everytime someone said, you need to speak in Welsh I would be very rich.  The problem is I just can’t as I don’t have the words and saying thank you and counting  to 10 is a bit limiting.

There is a great deal of research about the value of being bi lingual and how it helps the neural processes to develop. The benefits of expanding the ability of the brain the process information cannot be underestimated.  It is suggested that we only really use a tiny percentage of the capacity of our brains. So all I need to do is to make mine work a little bit more.  If only  I was three again and as that is not going to happen I need to find another way.


Learning Welsh my story

I decided it was time to practice what I preach and learn a new skill.  I have always wanted to speak another language and dabbled over the years since school with French and German.  Living in Wales, the obvious choice to learn was Welsh.  Family and friends etc speak it and so no excuse not to learn.  I work with a Welsh speaking business

How hard can this be I wondered?  Well actually very.  I started a few years ago on a Summer School or Ysgol Haf to my Welsh speaking readers and it was  great fun. It gave me the basics but then with all sorts of other things in my life it was a bit hit and miss.  Not able to attend class everyweek made it difficult. I should have pushed it up the priority list but there was always something else.

For some reason I could not find a way to make it stick. I tried reciting like a parrot, list of words.   Memory of a goldfish so that did not work – yellow sticky notes around the house, how was that supposed to help?  Making up sentences of words I knew, well that was easy, I could say hello and thank you.  Better when I could manage coffee.  Sadly I  struggled to hold a conversation with a 3 year old.  Got excited when I could count to 10- woo hoo, not a lot of help in everyday chat.

So I bought books by the dozen, CDs, videos. I am a walking bookshop and have a groaning book shelf. Looks mighty impressive but there seemed no way of the content coming alive.  So I lost interest, gave up on the 15 minutes a day which anyone can fit in. Of course I can but Monday became Tuesday and then Friday, so start next week.  A week became a month and then three months and I was going nowhere quickly.

So this is my story and I will report progress as I have a new method which fits in with my erratic lifestyle.  I am trying a system called Say Something in Welsh. It is just audio so we will see …………….


Disabled students

Students who suffer from a physical disability receive help with the practical learning issues. To study effectively their study is affected by their home and that can be helped with some careful adaptations.

You may find this site useful as it offers a service that will show you how to adapt your home to help to minimise any barriers to your study.

Hope it helps

Yaro Starak’s How to blog-Free Report

How to create and sell info products online

Over the years my students have found my teaching really uesful. I seem to be able to make things as simple as possible. Some marketing students have increased their marks in the marketing exam by as much as 20%. I was looking for a way to offer help with marketing exam to a wider audience. I trawled the internet and found lots of poor material. Then I came across Yaro Starak and followed his approach.  The free report makes so much sense

It shows you  how to profit by creating and selling your own information product.

His report is called the Membership Site Masterplan and as you would guess, it is a step-by-step guide for launching a profitable online membership site.

You can download the report from here:

For information, more go here

Best Marketing Practice-X Factor Goes Global

The growth of X Factor as a brand has been extraordinary. It has a multi million viewer base every week. The established stars that appear every week such as Rihana and Alicia Keys see a boost in their sales within days. For the weeks leading up to the final the music charts are dominated by the X Factor acts.  It is a really good example of marketing practice

This is now becoming a global event.  Simon Cowell and Sir Philip Green of the High Street retail fame are to join forces. They will take the show to Vegas with two stage shows a week. They plan two shows each week with pay per view. For the top 12 contestants they will sing in Vegas which is a huge dream.

This is a really good example of the way in which a brand can be firstly built and then extended. In this blog there have been other posts on this topic and it is one that will be revisited again

Marketing Case Study- New Brands for Marks and Spencer

Marketing students have seen for many years that Marks and Spencer is a marketing case study that has built its’ entire business on it own brand. Marketing the brand has been taken many years of dedicated effort. It has a range of quality suppliers who manufacture all of its’ ranges. Due to the price pressures M & S hit the headlines when companies in the UK were closed in order for the products to manufactured more cheaply in a range of different countries. This affected consumer confidence and some would say, that in the early stages the quality suffered. This is an example of marketing practice and how it is constantly developing.

The next development was into convenience type stores and offering only food. Simply Food can be found in some high streets but also in railway stations and motorway service stations. Often the simpler the idea the better. This has helped to revitalise the business. It has focused on customer needs. Built specific ranges for the different target customers.

For any business to succeed it must get the marketing basic right. Simply need to decide on the customer, really get under their skin and understand those needs. So, we are driving home and want something easy from Simply Food. No effort when we get home was a master stroke and a clever brand extension. It seems that Waitrose is about to offer a similar stripped down shopping experience.

The latest development is now to offer branded products. This is a total change in brand policy and is a calculated risk. The advantage is that it will extend the M & S brand into new areas and offer customers the opportunity to buy the brands and own labels at the same time. The challenge is to ensure that these brands compliment the current range and not compete.

Marketing lessons and tutorial. Be specific about the brand position and ensure that the brand values are clear and the brand is not over extended

Marketing Case Study-Ferrari – the World’s Fastest Rollercoaster Ride

When you think of Ferrari it conjures up images of sexy red sports cars. Racing round the Italian mountains with sparkling blue sea in the background. Driven of course by the best looking guy.

The brand is loved by those who may not be able to afford the car but can buy the merchandise. Marketing students have seen the classic brand extension into clothing, sunglasses and so on. There are 28 stores around the world where the brand fan can indulge their passion. So far all pretty traditional brand extensions. Common in the automotive industry.

The latest extension of the brand is a big change. Ferrari are opening a theme park in Abu Dhabi. The roof is in the shape of a side of the Ferrari GT body.

The car maker says the theme park will host over 20 attractions, “each designed to bring to life a different part of the Ferrari story”, including the world’s fastest rollercoaster and rides for children. (Marketing Week Oct 09)

This really takes the ride of your life to a whole new level.

Lessons for marketing students are to build the brand so that it has real equity and that links to the relationship it has with the consumer. Once that is established the brand then extends into new areas. The risk is to ensure that it is not stretched too thinly or it will devalue the brand.

Marketing Case Study-Media Multitaskers

This marketing case study briefly outlines the differences in the way in which we use the media and how our daily use of technology has changed the way we live. The marketing question is how can this be translated into greater understanding of the consumer. That will in turn help us to be much more effective with the marketing tools.

We sit on the sofa with the TV on and flick across channels. We are also on the laptop surfing and chatting on line via Twitter and then the mobile rings and we text back. We might even be downloading the latest iPhone app. The development of Sky Plus lets us pause to make tea and fast forward through the adverts.

How life has changed and with it the way in which media is used and how we shop. As I write I have just txt a friend for a coffee and Facebooked another while watching the TV. All very interesting but the implications and lessons for marketing are the key here.

Evidence suggests that we are open to new ideas and to change and try new products, offers and brands. This makes us fickle and a bit of a strawberry tart. We are much more likely to use comparison websites and customer reviews. Indeed if I am booking a hotel Trip Advisor has become a favourite. Just love the comments and that puts the gloss from the hotel in a whole new light. Those hotels that get good reviews get my booking.

Lessons for marketing students
* Understand the multi tasker, look for integrated and multi media

* Focus on fabulous customer service, in reviews really good is rare and makes the review headlines

* Use the social networks, they are not just for chatter but business

* Be quick and move with the times, multi taskers are early adopters and move with the times. Don’t fall behind and wear last seasons fashion

* Communicate and build relationships