In the Chinese Zodiac, 2013 is the year of the black water Snake and started on February 4th and the Chinese New Year is on February 10th.
What is in store for the year of the snake?
- steady progress and attention to detail
- the snake is enigmatic, intuitive, introspective, refined and collected – so focus and discipline will be necessary for you to achieve your goals
- Water snakes like to socialize and meet new people, are proud of their achievements, and thoughtful and considerate of others – so get out there and network in person and also via social media
- the black snake will bring unexpected change, instability, and changeability – so it is important to plan everything and evaluate before taking action
- Ancient Chinese wisdom says a snake in the house is a good omen because it means that your family will not starve!
So WHY am I writing about the year of the black water snake and what on earth triggered me to do so?
Well, when Robin (my business partner) skyped me and said “did you know 2013 is the year of the snake” (and we are Mamba Media – named after a snake), I thought great! I can go and find a nice funny picture of a snake and post it up on Facebook and say how this is going to be the year for Mamba Media!
But then I got reading more about the year of the snake and started to look at how we could relate this to our business. It not only inspired me to draw analogies with our own business identity and branding but to also show you how important branding is what you need to be thinking about for your business in the year ahead.
So I have focused on:
#1. Choosing a company name (snake)
#2. Choosing your company colours (black)
#3. Get your business flowing (water)
#4. What does the “year of the black water snake” mean for your business
I will use our company as an example… not because I want to promote what we do, but to help portray what I am talking about and to get you thinking about your name, branding and identity.
#1. Choosing a company name (SNAKE)
The name Mamba (pronounced mumba) comes from a snake. Both Robin and I, the co-founders of Mamba Media, originate from Africa and therefore the name came from two of the snakes that are quite well know out there, the Black Mamba and the Green Mamba.
Why did we choose mamba over other names?
- the name related to our heritage so gave us an identity
- it was the most voted by everyone we knew as it rolled off the tongue easily and was easy to remember! (I know not a great branding strategy!)
- media relates to communication and portrays the services we offer from web to digital media
- the name is short and not as common as other names for what we do and was therefore easy for us to secure the name across most of the internet domains and social networks
What about the negative connotations of snakes?
- well there are positives and negatives in everything
- good does not exist without bad
- people succeed after having failed
- a negative can always be turned into a positive
How does the name and reference to a snake relate to what we do?
- mambas are known for their speed and agility (the black mamba is the fastest in the world) Even Kobe Bryant assigned himself the nickname of “Black Mamba”, citing a desire for his basketball skills to mimic the snake of that name’s ability to “strike with 99% accuracy at maximum speed, in rapid succession”
- the black mamba is longest venomous snake in Africa – so not only are we here for the long term, but we also want to establish long-term relationships with those we work with and for their business to succeed long into the future
- the black mamba has a reputation for being aggressive while the green mamba is very shy and generally not aggressive – so two sides of a coin, we aggressively make sure your business will succeed and stand out, but at the same time we are human and customer-service orientated so will ensure you get the best possible service
- although mambas are highly venomous, they tend to avoid confrontation and the biggest danger is when someone attempts to kill them because they will defend themselves to the maximum – so we don’t want to be put in a corner or put you in a corner and be stifled in creativity, we want you to stand out and be the best you can be
- snakes are often held in fear, respect and awe – yes we all want to be held in respect and awe for what we do for others but in fear? I have not quite figured out how to turn that into a positive 🙂
#2. Choosing your company colours (BLACK)
- the colours related to the black mamba and green mamba
- black is also the colour of power, elegance, modernity and luxury; it is classy and dramatic and has an edginess to it
- green is the colour of growth, freshness, eco and harmony; it represents stability… but inspires possibility!
All of which relate to our company ethos.
There are obviously negative connotations for these colours as well such as black being evil and secretive and green being the colour of envy or inexperience. But what is important is to align the colours with your brand and what you believe in and ensure the colours represent who and what you are.
There is also a whole psychology behind colour and how people perceive colour. They have the ability to affect our moods, buying habits and more. Take a look at our selection of infographics on branding and colour.
#3. Get your business flowing (WATER)
We work a lot with Lynne from Big Idea , who is an expert on colour and branding and she has certainly opened my eyes to how extremely important branding is: to have an identity, the right colours, brand personality and positioning and a brand strategy – as without this: who are you? what do you stand for? why should people buy from you? what makes you different? Without an identity how can you find your voice and therefore work out what to say?
Once you have your name and your branding in place then everything starts to flow, like water. You obviously still have other business considerations like website, marketing materials and you also need to put a marketing plan together, but it is going to be a lot easier if you have established your branding and identity and colours.
#4. What does the “year of the black water snake” mean for YOUR BUSINESS?
Those born in the year of the snake
- appreciate beauty, are stylish and have great taste!
- are adventurers and risk-takers
- are intelligent and full of creative ideas
- turn a complicated situation around
- have an ambition for greatness that inspires you to be all you can be, and provide you with the follow through to actually achieve your goals
- water symbolises transformation, purification, reflection, renewal, motion and life
I am looking at this not just from the perspective of people who are born in the year of the snake, but also businesses who start up in 2013 “the year of the snake” AND even taking it one step further by relating it to current businesses who can re-invent themselves and take a fresh look at the way they are doing business in 2013.
If you are just starting up a business or are looking to give your business a bit of a shake up, then this may be the year for you!