Blog : Business

DIGITAL TRENDS FOR 2018

DIGITAL TRENDS FOR 2018

2017 was certainly a year of development in the digital sphere in terms of hardware and software. As a marketer, it is vital to be aware of new technological innovations and how new tools will impact the relationships between a brand and the consumer.

2018 will mark a more pronounced shift in the world of digital marketing and with more advancements brings more pressure for companies to adapt to this ever-evolving landscape or risk being left at the bottom of the theoretical ‘digital dump’. The public are now seeking more integrated experiences and this year, emerging technologies opens new doors for brands whilst also presenting renewed challenges.

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TAKING KERR OF BUSINESS

TAKING KERR OF BUSINESS

One of Northern Ireland’s leading providers of tyres and automotive services has affirmed its commitment to invest up to £2million in the business, creating at least 15 new jobs and a new training facility upskilling the next generation of fitters.

Kerr’s Tyres & Auto, a family-run business first established in 2002, has announced plans to invest in its current premises throughout the province with plans to open a further two additional centres over the next two years.

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SPOON STREET SERVES UP A THIRD STORE

SPOON STREET SERVES UP A THIRD STORE

(L-R) Harry Wang and Katie Waddell celebrating their third Spoon Street store on Lisburn Road Pic 1
Harry Wang and Katie Waddell celebrating their third Spoon Street store on Lisburn Road

Spoon Street, the brand largely credited for introducing the recent frozen yogurt craze to Northern Ireland, opened the doors to its third store on the Lisburn Road in South Belfast. The opening of this new Lisburn Road self-serve ‘froyo’ branch, which is creating 13 local jobs, marks yet another milestone in the brand’s short history here – three thriving stores in just over two years.

First experiencing self-serve frozen yogurt while working in New Jersey, entrepreneurial couple Katie Waddell (24) and fiancé Harry Wang (31) soon adopted the US-inspired concept and began the process of transporting it to Northern Ireland in 2014.

A relatively new phenomenon to Northern Irish taste buds, ‘froyo’ – a popular acronym used to describe the treat – is a frozen dessert most commonly made from yogurt and is a popular treat of choice among young consumers.

Growth in the frozen yogurt market has been significant in the UK. Frozen yogurt is a healthier alternative to ice cream by as many as two in five ice cream and frozen yogurt users* which highlights the potential for the segment to grow further.

Spoon Street has garnered endless awards and built up a strong, loyal customer base in a relatively short period. Speaking on the opening of the Lisburn Road store, co-owner of Spoon Street, Katie Waddell, said:

“This new store marks our commitment to expanding our business offering in Northern Ireland and is reflective of our success. This is our biggest opening to date and we have introduced new state-of-the-art technology to elevate our service delivery and ensure our customer experience is first-class. We are trying to create a multi-media experience and customers can now expect to find tablet flavour screens, iPad POS systems with customer display units, feature lighting and an area dedicated to screening family-friendly films.

“It was only last month that we celebrated the two-year anniversary since the opening of our Ballyhackamore store in East Belfast. We had always set out to create a chain, one that embraced creativity in a fun setting and the Lisburn Road was the next logical step in that process, bringing the Spoon Street brand to an entire new audience.”

Talking on the job creation, Katie adds:
“As we continue to expand the Spoon Street brand, we are also continuing to grow the Spoon Street family. We’re delighted that the anticipation and expected customer-base around opening of our newest store has allowed us to create an additional 13 jobs.”

Built upon a motto of cool creativity, Spoon Street affords consumers complete freedom in creating their preferred frozen yogurt treat; from self-serving the yogurt itself, to the broad choice of toppings which include, but are not limited to, mixed fruit, berries and nuts, as well as more indulgent options such as jellies, biscuits and all manner of chocolatey treats.

Spoon Street prides itself on the ability to source weird and wonderful toppings from around the world, such as Japanese Mochi, Taiwanese juice balls and coconut jelly. It also offers a wide range of dietary requirements including dairy free options, gluten free options, lactose free options, sugar free options and vegan friendly options.

For more information, visit www.spoonstreet.com or connect via Facebook and Twitter.

ENDS

MAC BELFAST AND PHOENIX NATURAL GAS LAUNCH NEW ARTS AND BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP

MAC BELFAST AND PHOENIX NATURAL GAS LAUNCH NEW ARTS AND BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP

The MAC, Belfast’s award-winning arts venue, and Phoenix Natural Gas, are delighted to announce the details of the MAC’s s comprehensive Christmas programme; the first events programme to be supported by the new title sponsor. The programme this year proves to be even more popular than ever and has already got off to a flying start with a number of dates for the MAC’s family show, Pinocchio, already sold out.

Each year the MAC presents a host of family events for the festive season, that has been one of the key drivers in its increased visitor figures which rose to an impressive 311,000 last year alone, more than 60% of what was forecast for the venue*.

Likewise, Phoenix is marking a milestone year as the company celebrates its 20th anniversary, so the partnership between two of Northern Ireland’s leading brands seemed fitting.

Visitors to the MAC travel from across Northern Ireland and beyond, either as part of the MAC’s learning and outreach programme or as independent gallery visitors and theatre goers.

It seems mad to think about Christmas in June but that’s exactly what the MAC and Phoenix are planning towards.  Now celebrating its fifth Christmas, the MAC has become a place where new family traditions are created.  Many visitors have and will come to see the light switch-on, the unveiling of the magical Phoenix Natural Gas Christmas window and to watch the MAC’s anchor show, Pinocchio co-produced with award-winning theatre company Cahoots NI.

This year is anticipated to be the venue’s biggest year to date regards visitor numbers with the MAC set to welcome over 3,500 school children through its doors and over 10,000 families. Having already achieved 30% of its Christmas ticket sales in May, including seven sell-out school performances, the MAC has developed exceedingly strong relationships with local schools – some of whom are returning for their fifth Christmas visit in the MAC’s short, yet thriving, history.

Anne McReynolds, Chief Executive at the MAC, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to be working with our partners, Phoenix Natural Gas, who are supporting our Christmas programme. A MAC Christmas is something very special and has quickly become a firm tradition for many schools and families across Northern Ireland. 

Just like Phoenix, we share a commitment to providing exceptional service to our customers from Northern Ireland and we look forward to announcing some very exciting plans together very soon.”

 

Michael McKinstry, Chief Executive for Phoenix Natural Gas, said:

“We are very excited about this partnership with the MAC, and as we approach our 20th anniversary this Christmas it gives us a real opportunity to celebrate our commitment to the community that we serve.

“We are very proud of our strong corporate social responsibility programme and we believe that the MAC’s additional programmes of support for communities and schools during the festive period are reflective of our vision and ideals. We look forward to a strong and creative partnership together.”

As part of that partnership, thanks to support from Phoenix, visitors to the MAC can expect to find the enchanting ‘Wishing Wood’ where families will be encouraged to make a wish. Just in time for Christmas, Phoenix Natural Gas will help to make one extra-special wish come true for at least one lucky family.  More details coming soon.

For more information on the MAC or to enquire about the Christmas programme, including the upcoming production of Pinocchio, please visit themaclive.com.

 

*From targets set in the Benefits Realisation Plan in 2011.