It’s interesting- at least once a month I’m asked about the story behind my business name, Blue51 Communications. I’m a sucker for a good brand story myself- or any story, really- hence my business tagline- tell your story.
Before we can deep dive into the why, let’s do a quick skate over the what.
Blue51 Communications is a sweet ‘lil boutique communications consultancy with one core focus- the power of story. I wholeheartedly, emphatically believe that words are at the heart of good communications. The whole crux of my business, inclusive of all of my services (communications advising, strategy and writing for business) is helping my clients communicate better with their audience. Bottom line: I help people in business say something (ie their story) and have that message heard by their intended recipient.
I’ve been working as a communications specialist and a professional writer for over 25 years now (sheesh!). In fact, my business, Blue51 Communications, started life as Holly Cardamone Communications and Freelance Writing. In this capacity, I wrote freelance pieces for magazines, journals and newspapers whilst balancing contract and project roles with large organisations, mostly government agencies. Before that, and in between launching as Blue51 Communications, I worked as communications manager and as director for a number of different organisations. I also brought a couple of cherubs into the world as well (no mean feat).
It’s those two said cherubs that largely influenced my why and my brand story.
Here’s the thing- the working mama juggle ain’t always a big bucket of champagne. Work/life balance makes an appearance on a lot of company profiles- I should know, I write them 😜- but in reality, I know that it can be an illusion. I’m not suggesting that there’s no such workplace as one that has true flexibility, I’m sure there are plenty, but I also know from my experience and that of my working mama friends, that they are a rare and much coveted breed. If my cherub is up for a student of the week award and I want to go witness that moment of seeing her eyes light up, then damn it, I’m not running that by anyone.
When I rebranded Blue51 Communications, a huge part of my why was walking the tightrope between my work and my family commitments, however, it’s not the main why, the why why, if you will.
I wasn’t particularly familiar with the world of small business (other than other freelancers such as graphic designers and web developers) until my last in-house communications role. I managed communications for a not-for-profit membership organisation, where a lot of that client base were people with small businesses. When word got out that I was leaving, a number of members contacted me for outsourced communications and writing support for their own small businesses. These were people who had seen how I had turned around that organisation’s communications and wanted to see what magic I could work on their business. I caught a glimpse of a need requiring fulfilment.
When I looked around to see what communications services were around to help people like this, I was really quite shocked to discover a big, fat gaping hole in the market. Well, honestly, it was a mix of shock and delight- I’d uncovered a fabulous opportunity for my work life. It really struck me that there was a need for no BS communications and writing services that cut to the core of what a business needs, and excluded all the crap that they didn’t (highway overpass advertising, I’m looking at you). Businesses need to tell their story in a way that connects to their audience. I love little else other than telling a story. Add growing a business with beautiful communications and I’m one happy Word Nerd.
But who to offer my skills and expertise to? The diversity of a client mix appealed to me greatly opposed to the relative static environment of in-house communications. People who were approaching me had fantastic business offerings, but lacked effective messaging to get their ideal client to take notice of them and see their value. There’s a lot of people who lack the skillset in communications to showcase their business effectively, but rather than work with just anyone, I wanted to be considerate and deliberate about who I worked with. A couple of key clients cemented this- I only wanted (and still am committed to this) to work with people who are doing good stuff out in the world in their special zone of bliss. It’s very Jerry McGuire-esque, but more than anything, I wanted to be inspired in my work life. Ooh, do I spy a who? Why yes, indeed!
Boom- my why and my who and my what clarified! Now, what to call this mofo and close off this brand story?
I wanted some distance between myself and my business (work/life balance, y’all). I bid farewell to Holly Cardamone Communications and got out a big sheet of blank paper and some coloured textas, which is where all the good stuff happens.
I was on holiday on a beautiful tropical South Pacific island, reflective and serene, when the word ‘blue’ kept rising to the forefront. Blue water, blue skies, blue cocktails. Blue is calming and ordered yet makes an indisputable impact. Think of a splash of blue against a white backdrop, or the slash of a white cloud on a blue sky. Packs a punch, yes?
Without getting too esoteric or woo-woo (soooo not me!), blue is the colour of water, the sea and the sky with all the associated symbolic references of calm, peace, stability, security and loyalty. It’s associated with depth and stability, symbolising trust, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth and integrity. Whilst in my communications I make sure cliches are avoided like the plague (get it, get it, see what I did there?), they often have a basis in an elemental truth. Blue skies are emblematic of optimism, creativity and opportunity and are full of positive meaning in almost every culture- after all, we live on the blue planet. It was decided- the word blue had to be front and centre of my refreshed business name.
As for the meaning of 51, I wish I could give you a symbolic reference to the deeper intention of numerology, but alas. They’re a pair of numbers that were the respective favourites of two Blue51 cherubs I know.
So Blue51 Communications is my business name; my tagline is ‘tell your story’. Why? Because nothing connects like a good story, and as a Word Nerd, story is at the heart of all my communications.
Tell me, does your business have a compelling brand story? If you’d like help telling yours, please contact me. It’s my second favourite thing to do.
This is a post in my Holly’s Story blog category. Each month, I share some insights, thoughts and behind the scenes shenanigans from my communications and writing for business adventures. If there’s something specific you’d like to know, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and I’ll do my best to help, or address it in an upcoming blog post or on my social media platforms.