Competition winner interview:

Cliff Bashforth

Mark Coster

Founder of Pixooma

As many of you might remember in October 2022, Pixooma ran a competition to offer one lucky business the chance to win their own magazine design. The competition closed in December and the winner was drawn at the start of this year.

Cliff Bashford from Colour me Beautiful was delighted with his competition success and since February, Cliff and I have been hard at work generating ideas and pulling together his new magazine. I caught up with him briefly last month to find out more about his experience of the process, discover the benefits/highlights and find out his thoughts about whether the magazine might become a regular feature in his ongoing marketing efforts.

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I never win anything!

Although I promoted the competition heavily online and at various networking events I attended, Cliff only heard about it through a third party. They encouraged him to enter but as Cliff openly admitted. “I never win anything”, but even he wondered what he had to lose? After all it was easy and quick to enter, there was no cost – not even a stamp – so with this in mind he decided to give it a go.

I asked him why he wanted to win a magazine design and he told me that doing a magazine had been on the company radar for a while as he wanted to do something different to communicate with his clients. The competition in effect was a timely reminder to take it off the back burner and look to progress things in a more structured and efficient way in partnership with someone who knew what they were doing.

Know your client base

Whilst the demographic of Colour Me Beautiful customers is getting younger and online communications are very much the norm, Cliff still likes the tangibility of paper. He admitted that he still likes to print things off. He thought that having something printed would complement his existing marketing and work well for the client base and might even generate some extra business.

Most of Cliff’s business is personal, some face to face, quite a bit is mail order, and customers are very loyal. Some order the same products month in and month out, particularly with regards to the cosmetics side of the business. He sees the newsletter as something that would work well in accompanying orders to existing customers, as they would help to highlight other products and service areas that the business provides.

Open to new possibilities

Although we are part-way through production and Cliff admits to dragging his heels as like many business owners he’s juggling too many things, he confirmed that progress to date has been excellent and the ideas and concepts generated have also been of the highest quality. He said the whole thing had been easy from his perspective and had made him think about things from an external perspective as it had opened his eyes to new possibilities which he hoped would increase levels of commercial success.

Cliff commented that when you run a business, you tend to be very internal facing, this is good and bad. Whilst his clients receive regular communications from the company, including when they buy something, he saw the potential for the magazine to become a regular thing, possibly twice a year. This he agreed would fit in with the changing seasons and they could have different messaging related to what is happening in fashion, so customers know what works for their style for their body shape and for their colouring too.

What next?

As Pixooma be launching another magazine competition later this year, I asked Cliff what his advice would be, and it was simple. “You’ve got nothing to lose, so just enter it and who knows, you could be a winner and get the benefit of professional design help including wonderful ideas that you would never have come up with on your own.”

Watch this space, and like Cliff you could be a winner.

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