A Travel Tuck-in Twist for Kids

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It’s never easy traveling with kids and as more people are living mobile lives, traveling with kids for business or for pleasure is becoming more common. Soothing a travel-weary child in a strange environment at the end of a busy day can be a real challenge. Hotels offer specialized turndown services for adults – why not do the same for children?  Many hotels now are.

What if you took a hotel and TWISTED it with a soothing brand like Mother Goose? You’d have a smiling, sleepy child – and content parents.

Hilton Waikoloa Village is TWISTING bedtime with local culture by offering flashcards with stories of Pele, the goddess of volcanoes and creator of the Hawaiian Islands. Others provide in-person experiences like RiverPlace‘s special delivery from the “Bedtime Butler” who shows up with hot chocolate and stuffed animals. Still others go way out like Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida where actors complete with a real macaw, cookies and milk, and a pretend treasure chest visit the room to tell stories of the island’s buccaneer history.

Hotels are catering to the whole family, providing special amenities to make children’s stay more enjoyable and parent’s time stress-free.

Innovative touch points can have a lasting impact and make a difference in your customer’s experience of your business. What are your brand’s opportunities to surprise and delight?

Brand School’s Faculty give you the tools you need to effectively reach your customer and create strong connections. See more of what Brand School can do for your business HERE.

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“I learned an immense amount from Brand School. It was wonderful to receive lessons from an experienced teacher that directly applied to my business.” - Liz Osting, Founder Herculiz Design

A Twist That Keeps Up With Kids

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Kids grow and they out grow their shoes. Efforts to keep children equipped with proper-fitting shoes is especially challenging in impoverished nations where hundreds of millions of children go shoeless and even more wear shoes that don’t fit.  Without shoes, they may suffer injuries and contract infections and parasites. This new TWIST is a new solution to an old, but potentially life and death problem.

Kids outgrowing their products and clothes is not a new thing.  Other categories have met this challenge with cribs that transform into toddler and then big kid beds, baby strollers that re-configure to fit toddlers, and even pants that have a few sizes built in with cuffs that roll down. How then to make a shoe that lasts and grows with a child?

The Shoe That Lasts does just that. It literally grows as a child grows and lasts up to five years. It was created by International Founder and Executive Director Kenton Lee when he was living in Nairobi. He spotted a little girl wearing shoes that were way to small for her feet. As he began to wonder why, he arrived at this question,  “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a shoe that could adjust and expand – so that kids always had a pair of shoes that fit?”

And so, The Shoe That Grows project began. This is the first project of Because International, a 501©3 organization committed to practical compassion to help those living in extreme poverty.

Kenton Lee saw a gap and filled a need. There’s always room to grow. Don’t be afraid to ask “What if?”

At Brand School we help give you the tools you need to ask the right questions and innovate solutions to grow your business.  See if Brand School could help grow your business with a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session.

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“BrandTwist was instrumental in our rebranding strategy! Couldn’t be happier with her fresh ideas!” – Linda Rey, Rey Insurance

 

Draw Your Target In To Explore Your Brand

Branding is about the unique and personal experience your space creates for its visitors.   In this post, Draw Your Target In to Explore Your Brand, guest blogger Kathryn (KC) Ha shares that her love and passion for the MASS MoCA and gives ways you can be inspired to create unique experiences for your customers that sets your business apart. This is part of our “Brands That Twist” series celebrating innovative brands. See more of these brands HERE . For more about Kathryn (KC) Ha, check out her bio below.

As an art lover, I frequent art museums wherever I go. While spending four years at Williams College (Williamstown, MA), I was sure to go to every museum in the area. Most of my favorite visits were to MASS MoCA, a contemporary art museum located in a neighboring town, North Adams, MA. I even found myself working in their Kidspace gallery last summer.

What I love most about MASS MoCA is the unique and personal experience it creates for its visitors. The museum immediately captures your attention and draws you into both its art and space.

Three ways that MASS MoCA puts a Twist on the traditional museum experience are:

  • The physical space that houses MASS MoCA immediately captures your attention. The building has served as a textile factory and an electric plant. The radical change from electric factory to art museum gives way to the radical experience for visitors, more specifically children. They enter the building and are immediately drawn to the space and exploring it.
  • The Kidspace gallery literally asks visitors to create their own art, influenced by the artworks in the gallery. For example, last summer the gallery had artwork involving monsters and an “art challenge” that asked the kids to create their own monster from a box of random materials they were given
  • The seasonal outdoor exhibits, such as a sculpture of picnic tables, invite visitors to touch, climb and explore them.

The museum immediately creates an interactive experience with its visitors from the moment they arrive.

First impressions are always key in a relationship, especially when it comes to brands. MASS MoCA has conquered this task successfully.

Other brands can learn from them how to create a strong first impression through:

  • Visual tools, such as color, shape, and symbols, to signal a unique experience to the people- from the moment they enter your brand experience or land on you web page
  • Find ways to get people directly involved in your brand; perhaps through social media or even old-fashioned suggestion boxes.
  • The ability to surprise and delight your target by altering their point of view, such as using picnic tables as art (and not just traditional seating)

MASS MoCA has created a unique, unforgettable brand experience through its ability to invite visitors to want to learn more and spur curiosity from the moment they enter the parking lot. It is key for any brand to immediately captivate their target, to stand out from other brands, and create a deep connection with the public.

About the author:

Kathryn (KC) Ha is a recent graduate from Williams College (Williamstown, MA) where she majored in art history and achieved the NCAA All-American honor for swimming all four years. She is interested in a career in marketing/advertising. She will be traveling around Europe for July, but may be reached for job opportunities at kathryncha90@gmail.com

If you are interested in being a BrandTwist guest blogger, please email jamie@brandtwist.com for details. 

Learn how to spice up your brand’s experience. Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, will give you tools to innovate your business and enrich your customer’s experience.  Receive more information about Brand School’s next session and get free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

“Results came amazingly quick. Now, my brand name speaks my message immediately and I’ve expanded my reach.”  - Lynn Stull, Owner Arts2Thrive

Summer Camp for Grown-ups?

“What do you mean you have to go to work in the summer?”

This from the lips of my precocious, yet insightful, 9 year old son.

I have to admit, I’ve had the same thought lately.

As both a parent and a career person, the rhythm of my life is very much affected by the rhythm of my children’s lives…including the seasonal changes driven by the calendar of a student.

In the fall as they prepare for back to school, I often find myself also exploring and committing to some new learning opportunity (e.g. honing my social media skills, attending a conference on a marketing topic I want to learn more about or flexing my creative muscles through a writing class or cooking etc.).

Similarly, when school ends in June and they get to kick back and take a break…I find myself longing for one too.

Sure things slow down in the summer a bit at work, there are half day Summer Friday’s, long holiday weekends, and the requisite summer vacation.

But sometimes it still doesn’t feel like enough.

I think what I am really longing for is…camp.
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The Tale of the Boy and the Box

My Mom got me snow shoes for my birthday.IMG00009

Having just tried out a pair at my friend’s house in Vermont, I was very excited.

But not half as excited as my 8 year son who promptly got to work transforming the empty LL Bean box into a fort.

I looked at the box, determined it had served it’s shipping purpose and started to put it in the recycle pile.

Fortunately, his imagination stepped in and he quickly reclaimed the empty box as a toy.

He spent the next hour cutting out a peep hole in the side, covering it with black paper (better to hide) and rigging a pretty sophisticated system to attach a light bulb to the inside corner of the box “just in case”.

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My Last Meal

We all know that food really isn’t about sustenance- at least the physical kind.

Sure we need food to fuel our bodies and keep them functioning. But it’s no great secret that food is about emotional nourishment and associations.

I find exploring favorite foods and the feelings they evoke is actually a great exercise to do in brainstorming sessions. It helps to warm up the creative juices and can sometimes have direct implications for developing stronger brands.

I remember once pitching a large Atlanta based airline where we recommended that they serve ice tea to everyone who comes on board to really bring their promise of southern hospitality to life. We even recommended finishing each glass with a small mint leaf in each cup to demonstrate (not just talk about) the special touches the airline was touting in its ad campaigns

I am sure many of you are familiar with the power of the fresh baked chocolate chip cookies on Midwest Airlines. It’s not about the physical need of hunger that’s satisfied. It’s about the emotions of comfort and security that the taste, and most importantly the smell, of the cookie evokes.

Here’s a great game that explores these food feelings. It may seem morbid at first blush, but I find that it actually unlocks a lot of creativity and inspiration if you allow yourself to get into it. It’s really fun to do in groups.

It’s called “Last Meal”.

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The Pet Rock and other Favorite 70′s Brands

Today is my birthday.

Rather than focus on the fact that I am another year older, and freaking out about the passage of time etc. – I’ve decided to focus on the brands of my youth- some of which I miss.

As a child growing up in the 70’s, I remember a lot of iconic brands- many of which are no longer with us.

Check out Retroland.com and search under the 70′s in case you miss some of them too.

I have distinct images of myself in front of the bathroom mirror singing into my hair brush or accepting my academy award (thanking my mother of course).

I probably also thanked product sponsors and gave them a shout out for for making me look so beautiful and glamorous.

Top on my list were:

“Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific” Shampoo (the best name ever)

Herbal Essences (who could forget that green bottle and distinct smell?)

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Elf on the Shelf

Have you heard about this newest Christmas sensation and budding tradition? elf

It’s called Elf on the Shelf.

I think it’s been around a few years, it seems to be really gaining momentum with parents this season.

My understanding is the Elf watches the children to see if they’ve been naughty or nice. Every night he returns to the North Pole. And every morning he re-appears at a different location in the child’s house.

This last bit is what I think is so clever. By a simple act of moving the Elf, he is then rendered interactive.

Not in the wii or Nintendo DS Way, but in a much simpler and perhaps more powerful way through a combination of parental love and effort and childhood imagination.

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5 Creative Gifts that Won’t Break the Bank

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Holidays, and especially holiday gift giving, can be extremely taxing.

But this year why not take a step back and create something special?

Save the physically draining desperate crawl around the mall.

Pour a  glass of wine or a mug of cocoa and spend a bit more mental energy dreaming up something unique.

You might find it doesn’t take a lot more time, and it definitely won’t cost more.

Plus I always find I get more joy in giving (and getting) creative gifts.

Here are some ideas:

5 Creative Gift Ideas that Won’t Break the Bank

1. Write a Special Letter.
Think about what you love and admire about someone and put it down in writing.

Not to be too morbid, but think about what you would say about them if they were gone and write it now to share with them while they can really appreciate it.

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