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Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Wish me luck


While I wait to find someone who will sell me a Wii fit board I'm going to check out how well the Wii hooks up to the BBC iPlayer.

However the very first thing I am going to do is actually check out the speed of my broadband service - if it really is running at 8Mb you can call me Susan.

Virtual silence


Wow - the silence is deafening.

It's been at least four weeks now since I read anything about Second Life. Has the world come to its senses?

Nope - its now just focusing on Twitter, a form of micro blogging, using the 160 characters allowed within an SMS message to update your friends on 'What are you doing'.

It's been in the press and even on Radio 4 as Gordon Brown is now 'twittering' - which means one of his juniors is doing it.

It's hard to see the business model behind Twitter and unless they have discovered a way to run a business without a revenue stream I can't see how they survive beyond their first round of funding.

It's quirky, its new(ish), its oh so web 2.0 but is it a business?

Monday, 28 April 2008

When choice is no choice at all

Jo Parker

OK time to talk about something else other than the credit crunch.

Something that is a constant theme for our sector and that is the wrestle the industry has between offering simple products on one hand vs products that offer wide choice and flexibility.

The basic rule seems to be that the wealthier the audience you are targeting, and especially if you are distributing products via IFAs, the more choice and flexibility you should offer, so a you can tailor a solution to the consumer’s needs.

It makes a lot of sense on the face of it.

But given that there are more funds in the UK than quoted companies and a recent product spec I read had a mind boggling 23 choices/options, I wonder if this is just a bit lazy? That companies are trying to be all things to all people?

Put yourself in the shoes of the adviser or end client and this amount of choice can be very off-putting.

Reading Goldstein, Martin and Galdini’s book ‘Yes!’ they make this point well, citing the example of Procter & Gamble who offer a huge range of products. When P&G reduced the number of versions of Head and Shoulders from 26 to ‘only’ 15 they saw a 10% increase in sales.

So (and back of course) to the current market context, when we all want to be very clear about what we are purchasing and how our money is invested, reducing choices and simplifying products and ranges (as some asset managers are already doing this week), maybe a very wise course of action.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Ad overload


And congratulations go to IFAonline who manage to cram 13 banner ads into a single page.

Nice work guys - who needs content after all?

Income multiplier only 4.5x


The Yorkshire Building Society has cut its income multiplier from 5x to 4.5x as a reaction to the current credit crisis.

So that would take someone on £50k from being able to borrow £250k to £225k - is that really that significant a drop?

Monday, 21 April 2008

Happy birthday to us


Last week Teamspirit became a teenager and celebrated its 13th birthday aboard a boat on the Thames (all with a pirate theme).

If you've never tried one of the boat trips up and down the Thames then do - it's a great way to see London from a different angle.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

It's a thought


Interesting post on thisislondon following the story that arrangement fee's have doubled over the last year:

'What if everybody simultaneously agreed not to make any more mortgage payments? Can we end this system once and for all?'

- Neil, London, UK

Monday, 14 April 2008

HSBC mortgage offer


I though I would go and try out the new remortgage calculator HSBC have on their homepage given their offer to match the fixed rates of customers whose mortgages were coming out of a fixed term.

It's a nice simple calculator but a few things do pop up:

1. The highest rate they will match is 5.83% (yet there is no mention of a higher level cap in the terms)
2. Max loan is £250,000
3. Max 80% LTV

So playing around I have been trying to secure the biggest arrangement fee possible and the 'worst' combination is 4.45% and loan of £250k which gets you an arrangement fee of £4099.


Thursday, 10 April 2008

New media jobs await...


As we are winning more and more digital business (hooray) we are expanding our team and I thought I'd advertise the roles here on our blog. So feel free to get in touch if either of the following roles appeals:

Senior flash programmer - 3-5 years with actionscript. Very involved role from working with creative team on initial ideas to producing rich media advertising, flash presentations, flash micro sites and getting involved in developments for mobile, social network widgets etc

Digital Project Director - 3 years+ ideally within a digital agency or client side, experience of most aspects of digital marketing from email to banners to web sites to mobile. Working across a range of clients you'll need to balance digital skills with client skills.

You can email us via the contact page on our web site

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Unbias media


Today's poll on is 'Are Mortgage lenders fleecing clients?'

Erm thats not a leading question is it?

Too good to be true?


HSBC has made a major move in the mortgage market by offering to match the fixed rates for homeowners who's deals are coming to an end.

Sketchy details on the 'conditions' but bold nonetheless.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Open for business


As the Co-Op Bank withdraws its best two year fixed rate mortgages from the market today it seems that the best marketing message you can have at the moment is just being open for business.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

$26bn in two years


So UBS have now written off $26bn since 2007 following their latest annoucement.

Losing millions doesn't seem as bad anymore does it?