My Speaking Journey

Claire Harper 10 August 2015

I launched IndiaCoco, the award winning Best of British childrenswear brand, from my dining room in 2012. From the beginning there has been a lot of interest in its story along with my corporate background; gained from senior roles in marketing and branding at Argos, Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Mamas & Papas.

My speaking journey initially started when I was asked to speak at a number of local business events in Yorkshire. I thought it would be a good idea to raise awareness of a start up and thought creatively about using my story, experience and brand values as a way of generating positive PR for IndiaCoco.

My story is one of resilience, passion and and very hard work. Over the past two years my speaking engagements have grown significantly and I am now delighted to be working with a world class speaking agency, Speakers Corner, enabling me to speak at many different events across the UK.

Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision and change and I always find the audience wants to know the highs and the lows. I am always very open and honest with the audience in my key speeches. If I can inspire the audience to ‘think’ or ‘do’ something differently by the end of my speech I always feel very motivated by that.

I speak from the heart and I personally thrive on change. The challenge to constantly innovate, I believe, distinguishes between a leading brand and a follower brand. I am also very passionate about the customer and I have worked for some fabulous customer-centric companies; some more so than others. We have spent a lot of time building a strong brand foundation at IndiaCoco, being very clear about our customer proposition and brand values.

I often get asked in my speeches what success looks like? I have learnt that success is about knowing your customer. Work out who your customer is and what they really want. It is a process that should be ongoing.

Starting a business is not for the fainthearted. Know from the start what you are getting into. The other challenge I have learnt is not to be afraid of failure. If you are really entrepreneurial and have the passion and self-belief to go forward, failures will only make you stronger.

IndiaCoco is now a multi-channel; award-winning retailer and we are planning to roll out the brand across the UK over the next few years.

Our customers and team will always come first and we will continue to work extremely hard to really go that extra mile. Public speaking is now playing a key role in terms of of my own personal and business strategy. Sharing trends, insights and engaging audiences with my evolving story and brand is very exciting. With today’s social media explosion we are currently more connected than ever before and it is so important to be true to yourself and to your subject. I feel very inspired to be working with Speakers Corner. I have worked with so many great clients to date and look forward to many future opportunities ahead.

Pictures from Claire Harper's website.

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