Real Business Christmas Countdown: The Best of 2014: 21 December

From Tesco’s sudden interest in trademarking to some of the most brilliant ambush marketing campaigns, it’s easy to see that businesses are healthy, perhaps a little bit sneaky, yet clever, and looking to KO the competition.

News: Tesco fails to trademark blue dashes

Tesco has been spread thickly across the media these past months for a wide range of ‘financial errors’. But perhaps not so well known is the fact that 2014 has seen Tesco try to make at least two trademark attempts and fail on both counts.

Indeed, Tesco tried to trademark the blue dashes in its logo without much success. And, based on the judge’s verdict, serves to demonstrate that association with a brand may not be enough to gain a trade mark.

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Interviews: How this century-old family business has succeeded through reinvention

In the early 20th century Harry Williams, aged 11, kicked off his family’s entrepreneurial journey with a venture renting out blue goats to vicars. Today, still being passed down through the family, the business takes the form of an international trade automobile business.

Amazingly, Real Business talked to the Williams family, who, for four generations, have successfully reinvented their business to adapt to changing times.

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Catch up with previous Christmas Countdown pieces:

Surreal Business: 8 great ambush marketing campaigns

Although ambush marketing comes in many forms, the goal is to ultimately draw attention away from one brand using creative means. With a lead or official brand usually being the target, ambushers have become ever more imaginative in their approach to marketing.

With an emphasis on marketing in 2014, Real Business went out to find eight excellent examples.

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Opinion: What Sir Ian Cheshire learned from growing B&Q abroad

It’s easy to see why all roads lead to China. Everyone thinks: ‘If I sell one paintbrush/handbag/teapot to each person, I can retire.’ But while brands can build a substantial business in China, it’s a much tougher market than people assume.

Group chief executive Sir Ian Cheshire explains how success abroad is often a matter of timing.

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