Thursday, 27 September 2007

Hotel Chocolat US Launch!

It is official – Hotel Chocolat is now open for business in the US of A!

Hotel Chocolat US website

Our US delivered gifts website launched this morning

Hotel Chocolat US website

I’d like to reach of a few special thanks to those who contributed to us reaching this historic Hotel Chocolat milestone!

Naturally all the team at Hotel Chocolat… Paul, Fredrik, Richard, Matt et al…
Dev and the team at Paraspar (The website developers!)
Ambergreen – Our search marketing agency and general statto’s!
Immediate Future – Our online socialites
Simon at TreeFrog Copywriting – Thanks for accepting those post-stick note briefings!

And finally…

Sugar-free RedBull (Couldn’t have done it without you baby!)

Here’s to the success of Hotel Chocolat Inc.

Hip hip horaaaay!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

When is Google indexing your site?

What if you could tell Google to show you how many new pages it has found in the past 7 days? Or, 8 days? Or 9?

Well now you can do all these things by adding a parameter to the end of the URL of the search results page.

Let's look at the example that Matt provided, a query that shows how many new pages were added to the Google index for in the past 7 days:

The key is the "&as_qdr=d7" at the end of this URL. It tells Google to limit the search to the last 7 days.

Here is a summary of the various parameters you can set, straight from Matt's post:

d[number] - past number of days (e.g.: d10)
w[number] - past number of weeks
y[number] - past number of years

You can get the results over the past 2 weeks, for example, as follows: "

Fantastic! - Now you can spend every spare moment checking to see whats been indexed and whats not.



Monday, 17 September 2007

New Hotel Chocolat website

Prepare to be ravished… Hotel Chocolat's brand new website is now open for viewing! And it’s not just the enticing, new images that will seduce you – we’ve listened carefully to customer comments, so it’s easier to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Hotel Chocolat

Buy Chocolate - Luxury Chocolate Gifts from Hotel Chocolat UK

As well as being easier to explore the website, you’ll also find lots of new features like dietary information, improved maps for finding our stores, slick new baskets and a Chocolat Glossary amongst many others. And you’ll still be able to do all of your favourite things – like having your own personal address book and those indispensable occasion reminders.

NB. All existing affiliate links will work correctly on the new platform - no need to change any links!



Friday, 14 September 2007

Hotel Chocolat officially announced a CoolBrand

Cool, some people have it and some people… well they just don’t. And last night’s CoolBrand launch night confirmed something that I think we have all suspected for a while. Hotel Chocolat have been named as one of the Top CoolBrands of 2007.

Aston Martin - CoolBrands 2007

It was a fantastic event and special thanks to the Asahi and Cobra promo girls for the fantastic range of complimentary beer. I am sure some embarrassing photos will be published early next week of myself and colleagues that attended so I’ll aim to add these to the blog post (as long as they are cool, naturally)

CoolBrands is the brainchild of the international organisation SuperBrands. Launched in 1995, they publish an annual list of the coolest 500 brands as determined by the CoolBrand Council and a poll of over 2,000 members of the public. They look at brands and ask themselves six key questions:

• Are they stylish?
• Are they innovative?
• Are they original?
• Are they authentic?
• Are they desirable?
• Are they unique?

That we’re now swimming with names like Aston Martin, Bang & Olufsen, Apple, Agent Provocateur and Ferrari is not just down to the quality of our products and marketing, but how we all portray the company. And for that we should all take credit (in a nonchalantly cool way).

NB. A certain Hotel Chocolat employee suffered more than others this morning and was caught out twice actually asleep at his desk... if you ask nicely I'm sure I'll reveal who.....



Monday, 10 September 2007

top 5 TV introductions

Claire Watson’s post on Daddy Cool randomly game me to idea to think about the top 5 TV introductions…

Now there are plenty to choose from… The Simpsons, Family Guy, Scooby Doo, Neighbours, Bananaman, Home & Away, The Jetsons, Bodger and Badger, …

But here below are my favourite 5 TV intros and cheeky YouTube clips. Pass on the link, post on your blog and let me know your top 5

5. The A-team

4. Captian Bucky O’Hare

3. Knight Rider

2. Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles

1. Thundercats

Do you agree? What are you favourites?

Over to you to discuss....

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Luciano Pavarotti RIP

Pavarotti RIP

The famous Tenor, Luciano Pavarotti has passed away at the age of 71 today in his home in Modena, Italy. Pavarotti, one of the most legendary opera singers of our time had been battling pancreatic cancer for quite some time and lost his battle this morning

The greatest ever football tune from Italia '90 - Nessun Dorma

Official Logo

Gary Lineker scores for England in their World Cup semi-final match against West Germany.

Italia 90


Sweet Chariot!

Where were you at around 11.30am on 22nd November 2003? I for one will never forget. That was the day the nation watched breathlessly as Jonny Wilkinson dropkicked us to Rugby World Cup glory. And now, 4 years on, it’s about to begin all over again.

This time, however, the England rugby team have a secret weapon – Hotel Chocolat chocolate!

Recently, we’ve been in touch with the wife of the England coach, Helen Ashton, as well as the team nutritionist, Matt Lovell. It turns out they had been looking for the best chocolate around and had found it in our Kensington store. Eating chocolate the night before a match gives the players much needed energy.

Naturally, we invited Helen back to Kensington last Saturday accompanied by the players’ wives and girlfriends who are affectionately known as ‘Scrummies’. To our delight several star players also came along, including the iconic Jonny (picture below with Richard Kent - Marketing Director & his son).

Richard Kent, Thomas Kent & Jonny

The team are now safely ensconced in France and, armed with Hotel Chocolat giant slabs, are ready to begin the defence of their title. And when they get back, hopefully not too soon, we’ll be working on making chocolate especially for the team.

PS. Rumours that Jonny's ankle injury was caused by a mini slab are completely untrue!