The real “owner” of your brand – is your target

Brands are  relationships. And like romantic relationships, they are only healthy when you are in one with someone who really values what you have to offer.

That’s why every semester in Brand School we focus on answering 4 major questions with our students- and these 4 questions begin with the most critical question – “WHO do you want to be in a relationship with?”

Who – are the most important targets for the brand?
What – is going to compel them to choose and stay loyal?
Why – should these high-priority targets believe?
How – is the brand felt at every touch point?

In the lingo of today’s teens – a group for whom relationships are everything… who is your B.A.E? Your ideal target that you want and need to attract “Before Anyone Else”.

Brand School Alumni Brooke Nalle shares how zeroing on her BAE was the key to finding her Twist and growing her business.

Brooke Nalle of Sleepy on Hudson had a big breakthrough when she realized her TWIST wasn’t about helping babies sleep, it was about helping parents sleep. During the course of our conversation, we talked about a brand lesson that surprised her and she shared something really important for all of us to remember, “That my business, my brand, is about the woman who finds me, hires me.  She is not just a mother; she is a professional, a wife, a friend.”

The impact for Brooke’s business really came as she dove into the Target Audience exercise in brand school and looked at her target audience not as a woman with a child, but at all the things that woman is. That clarity allowed her to implement big changes and see fun results.

Women 25-54 is not a target.

When you’re targeting women 25-54, you’re looking too broadly. You are not really diving into what makes them tick and what keeps them up at night.  This makes it hard to really connect your brand values and promise with what they need. That’s why we create Bull’s Eye Target Personas and really dive into your target- so we can create marketing that goes directly to their hearts (not just their heads) and turns them into loyal brand ambassadors.

Let’s look at an example, Apple. I think we can all agree that people ages 3 to 83 use and love Apple products, but Apple built a strong brand by focusing on the 20-30 year old digital native -someone who is tuned in and comfortable with technology. By designing a brand experience to a narrower target, someone we all aspire to be, Apple has created an iconic brand that never discounts and is always in high demand and that attracts a broad range of loyal followers. They would not have made the same impact if they targeted “3-83”.

The foundation of your brand is your Target Audience, join our Brand School experts for a 30-minute call to focus in on your target audience. During this call, you’ll walk away with actionable next steps and clarity around how to answer the critical question of “Who is your brand’s B.A.E?”. Book your call now.

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A Sipping Selfie TWIST

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 Selfies are how Millennials share their lives – and normally this is a “commercial free” zone – but how can brands add just the right meaningful and useful TWIST to become a part of their story?

Here’s an innovative selfie TWIST from Coca-Cola Israel for the Coca-Cola Summer Love campaign, Israel’s largest outdoor brand event. Coca-Cola noticed that their consumers were taking a lot of photos, but not photos that included their product. So they came up with a selfie picture- taking bottle. The drinker tips the bottle up to 70-degree angle it snaps a photo, that shows the bottle and consumer taking a sip. These photos can be shared on Coca-Cola’s Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Users can tag themselves and friends to spread the news of the event.

Look for TWISTS that bring customers deeper into the experience of your brand and inspire them to share and help keep your product, service or business on the social radar.

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Finding the right TWIST can help your brand innovate and deliver. In TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands, Brand School founder Julie Cottineau provides a clear road map to build a stronger more distinctive brand – complete with examples from real life small business owners who have successfully completed our Brand School program. Pick up your copy today.

A Tasty Tiffany Eye-Worthy TWIST

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Tech-savvy Generation Z’s and Millennials’ use social media to communicate and spread the word about what excites them, what they enjoy and brands they love. If a brand wants to get noticed, providing an “eye-worthy” TWIST is key to making it into Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Restaurants have learned this as gastronomy is becoming a favorite way for GenZ’s and Millenial’s to spend their money. Some restaurants have redesigned interiors and services to be more “Instagram-friendly”.  Some offer discounts in return for social media reviews or limited-time specials, like this eye-catching TWIST: The Peninsula Bangkok hotel TWISTED with Tiffany’s to create a Tiffany Afternoon Tea that includes handcrafted, jeweled, sweet delicacies inspired by the Tiffany brand’s jewelry and iconic blue box.

Says Wanda Pogue, chief strategy officer at Saatchi & Saatchi New York, in Luxury Daily, “… From a ‘grammed brunch with friends to a Cronut that they waited an hour in line for, they get a great story to share and an emotional payoff that is as big, if not bigger than what traditional luxury goods provide  – but without the big financial investment.”

Are you offering your customer’s “word of eye” enticements to help spread the word about your brand or business?

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Finding the right TWIST can help your brand innovate and deliver. In TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands, Brand School founder Julie Cottineau provides a clear road map to build a stronger more distinctive brand – complete with examples from real life small business owners who have successfully completed our Brand School program. Pick up your copy today.

Twisting Personal Branding: Tone, Twitter and Trouble

adeleThough your business’s semblance is essential to your success, don’t forget to pay attention to how you present yourself. Your personal brand shows the public who you are as a company, as well as a person. What’s your TWIST? Are you bubbly and lighthearted? Are you serious and driven? Do you want to appear approachable? These are questions you may want to ask yourself before entering the public eye.

Many businesses have a distinctive presence when it comes to their brand, so much so that it feels more like a personal brand. A prime example is the British juice and smoothie company, Innocent Drinks. As the name implies, this brand maintains an innocent, almost comical appearance on its social media platforms. Innocent Drinks wrote on Twitter, “Scientists * say buying our smoothies for half price…makes you 67% more attractive.” The company then followed up with, “ * Scientists may be imaginary.” With both messages, Innocent Drinks reiterates its twist – its humorous tone – displaying a consistent personal brand. Many consumers, especially the younger demographic, have applauded this personal branding, leading to a strong social media fan base. Because of its successful personal branding, Innocent Drinks makes sure the public remembers its products, as well as the company as a whole.

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Personal branding is just as important, if not more important, for individuals as it is for businesses. Celebrities have a large presence on social media, especially on Twitter. The Twitter platform permits celebrities to quickly  communicate directly with their fans. This is why celebrities often flock to Twitter when problems arise that they want to address in a timely fashion.

Not all business ventures will go off without a hitch and nobody is perfect, not even celebrities. The manner in which you respond to errors and setbacks is crucial to how you and your business, are viewed. When things go wrong in a celebrity’s career, they often follow one of two paths to address it: laugh it off or become utterly serious. The path they choose reflects on both their personal and business brand.

Besides her beautiful voice, Grammy award-winning artist Adele is known for her humor which has become a defining personal brand twist. She is also known for not caring what others, like the media, think about her choices and her lifestyle. This is Adele’s personal brand, and it works for her. When parts of her performance at the 2016 Grammy Awards seemed uncharacteristically out of tune, Adele took to the social media platform to explain the story behind the problem. She tweeted, “The piano mics fell on to the piano strings, that’s what the guitar sound was. It made it sound out of tune. Shit happens…” She then followed with, “Because of it though… I’m treating myself to an In-N-Out. So maybe it was worth it.” Adele was consistent with expressing her humorous and relaxed personality when her performance did not go as planned. Her personal brand stayed intact, and her fans appreciated it.

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But not all celebrities will remain calm, cool, and collected when they run into obstacles – and this can have an impact on their personal brand. Laura Benanti is a Tony Award-winner for her portrayal of Louise in Gypsy and a five-time Tony nominee. Like Adele, Benanti is known for her humor, especially in her frequent tweets. But Benanti’s personal brand veered from funny to ferocious when her husband encountered a seating mix up on a flight.

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She called out United Airlines, tweeting, “Hey United, the garbage can of the skies, if you book an aisle seat across the country you should get that seat. Not the MIDDLE,” to which United Airlines responded, “Hey, Laura. We know seat changes can be a drag. DM us your confirmation number if you’d like assistance.” After Benanti attacked the airline again (later deleting her tweet), United Airlines answered, “We know this is frustrating, however we do state in our Contract of Carriage that seat assignments are never guaranteed.”

Benanti’s personal brand shifted drastically when everything did not go as planned revealing a brand-inconsistent demeanor.  To her, United Airlines was the villain. In the public’s eyes, Benanti became the villain. The sudden change in her personal brand away from humor made her appear unapproachable.

Clearly, finding your personal brand twist is important. The tone you set for yourself and your company shows the public who you are, what you stand for, and how you stand out. When things go wrong, stay consistent with your brand’s tone and handle the situation in keeping with your brand.

About the author:

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Justin Cohen is a rising senior at Dobbs Ferry High School. An International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate, Justin hopes to pursue a career in advertising. He is happy to be a part of the BrandTwist team!  You can reach Justin on Twitter at @justcohen18 and via email at justcohen18@gmail.com.

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Finding the right TWIST can help your brand innovate and deliver. In TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands, Brand School founder Julie Cottineau provides a clear road map to build a stronger more distinctive brand – complete with examples from real life small business owners who have successfully completed our Brand School program. Pick up your copy today.

New Twists on Playing With Your Pets

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There are many times when we have to leave our beloved pets home alone, bored and often anxious. We love our pets and want to take good care of them but day care boarding, pet walkers and sitters require advanced vetting, scheduling and are costly. What loving pet owners need is a TWIST that’s convenient and affordable to help monitor, interact with and entertain their pets while away from home. Welcome Petcube and PlayDate, two new pet care innovations that twist high-tech and mobile know-how into fun pet sitting solutions.

Petcube gives you the ability to monitor and interact with your pet from your mobile device using streaming video, a two-way audio stream and speaker, motion and sound detection, and a laser for added game-time fun. It also serves as a room monitor, providing an extra dose of home security. Even if you don’t own a pet, but are a pet lover – you can join the Petcube community. When you download the app you can interact and play with other’s pets or shelter pets.

With PlayDate you can actually play fetch with your pet by operating a rolling smart ball that you control from your mobile device. You can watch, record video and capture pictures of your pet interacting with the ball. There’s a microphone and speaker so you can hear one another, and a squeaker for added fun. Everything your dog or cat needs to be entertained and for you to feel reassured.

Pletcube’s and PlayDate’s developers took an old problem and looked at it from a new angle – They TWISTED high tech with warm and fuzzy to create solutions that every pet owner can use. How could you twist with a bit of readily available technology to solve a problem your customer’s facing?

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Finding the right TWIST can help your brand innovate and deliver. In TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands, Brand School founder Julie Cottineau provides a clear road map to build a stronger more distinctive brand – complete with examples from real life small business owners who have successfully completed our Brand School program. Pick up your copy today.

Jewelry with an Alarming TWIST

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Yasmine Mustafa followed her dream to take a solo, six-month trek across South America. Throughout her journey she heard story after story from women about their being attacked, feeling vulnerable, inhibited and afraid. When an attack took place in her own apartment building, her vision to empower women to “Live your life boldly and without fear” was born.

Take Tiffany & Co., TWIST it with ADT Security Systems and you get Athena, a wearable piece of tech jewelry designed to prevent assault by ROAR for Good.

Athena is a simple device that looks like a jewelry accessory. It’s about the size of a half-dollar, wearable as a necklace or clipped onto clothing or a handbag. It’s mission: to protect women with the touch of a button. When you press the button a loud alarm is sounded and text messages are sent to friends & family with your current GPS location. There is also a SilentROAR™ feature which sends text alerts without activating the alarm.

Dedicated to ending assault, ROAR For Good takes their mission a step further. For each device sold, a portion of proceeds is invested in educational programs that have been shown to increase empathy and reduce violence, and ten percent of proceeds from their crowdfunding campaign goes towards raising awareness about the warning signs of abuse and helping end relationship violence.

ROAR For Good’s CEO & Co-Founder Mustafa saw a need, and TWISTED to create a brand and a product line that delivers what women are truly seeking, empowerment and safety.

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Finding the right TWIST can help your brand take charge. In TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands, Brand School founder Julie Cottineau provides a clear road map to build a stronger more distinctive brand – complete with examples from real life small business owners who have successfully completed our Brand School program.

A Twist That Cleans Up

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What do janitors have to do with James Bond 007? Not a lot – that is, until now.

Friends Dan Teran and Saman Rahmanian were perplexed by a common problem faced by start-ups- office spaces could never adapt as quickly as the companies needed them to. It was such a pain to set up a new workspace, move a wall, order new desk chairs, or bring in an exterminator. They brainstormed and imagined the dream office manager as something like the character Q in James Bond films, a quiet genius who understands technology and creates the tools that help Bond do his work. That was how Managed by Q was conceived.

Reading the New York Times article, “Managed by Q’s ‘Good Jobs’ Gamble,” I was struck by how Teran and Rahmanian’s thought process mirrored the BrandTwist technique of twisting with a brand completely outside of a company’s category to come up with disruptive differentiating ideas. With the tagline “We make it easy to run your office,” Q uses wall-mounted iPads with an intuitive app for ordering supplies or other services. Q takes care of all the details, quietly and quickly. Specific operators are matched with companies based upon an algorithm determining best fit for clients’ needs in terms of skills and personality traits.

This TWIST warrants premium fees for what is often considered a generic service with a bonus of supporting one of the company’s core values. While actual sharing in the “sharing economy” is rare, Q’s goal is to provide its employees with a living wage. Q’s business model, hiring full-time employees with fair pay, benefits, 401Ks and training, translates to lower turnover costs of employees and clients- reducing both hiring and marketing expenses. Clients are happy to have consistent, reliable support. And the awesome employees, traditionally viewed as pure cost on the P&L statements, are considered value-added embedded salespeople for Q’s higher margin services.

I am rooting for Q to succeed, as this is a win-win for everyone! Now it is your turn. Can you think of a problem facing your sector? Is there a brand in a completely different category whose approach could be TWISTED to turn your sectors negative into a positive? We always love to hear your feedback.

About the Author:

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Randi Curhan is founder of MissionBoostConsulting.com, specializing in helping you figure out what you really need to do to bring your business to the next level, get projects off the plate, and get it done. A Wharton graduate, former Goldman employee and an MBA, Randi is also a Brand School Graduate and a member of the Brand School Facutly.  Randi’s love of figuring sh** out and getting it done has always made her a valuable part of teams throughout her academic and professional life. Even while taking time “off” to raise her children, Randi was the one to set up fundraising systems, databases, email invitations and graphics for events – which was the beginning of her Mission Boost Consulting.

You can reach Randi via MissionBoostConsulting.com, on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

Interested in guest blogging for BrandTwist? Contact jamie@brandtwist.com.

 

 

 

 

Health Monitor with a Twist

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Think medical devices need to be staid and serious? Think again. MOCAheart, a personal health tracker, takes the heart health awareness credo of the American Heart Association and TWISTS it with the user-friendly design of Apple. Its cutting edge, elegant design makes health monitoring a breeze.

MOCHAHeart is created by MOCACARE, with a goal of making health tracking as effortless as possible. Like Apple, the hardware and software are designed and engineered side-by-side to deliver a functional and streamlined user experience.

Winner of the IF Design Award 2015, MOCACARE TWISTED human-centered design principles and the latest heart health technology to fill a need for a simpler and more intuitive way to take better care of our health. And their social function lets you check in on the health of those you love.  Even their website is clean, fresh, and super-easy to use.

What brands inspire you? Take some of that inspiration and consider how you might bring those principles to your user experience. Examine how you could simplify your website, purchasing process, or packaging. A simple design change can make a big difference to your customer.

Brand School gives you the tools to innovate and deliver more of what your ideal customers really crave. See what Brand School’s team of experts can do for you and see if you qualify for a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session HERE. 

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“I am a proud graduate of Brand School! I thought I knew about branding before but this course took it to another level. I loved it!” - McKenna Ripley, Graphic Designer

 

A Twist on Personal Security

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Arriving safely at your destination is always the top priority whether traveling a long distance or walking around the block. But along the way you might encounter a sketchy situation, feel uneasy or even be confronted with an emergency.

Wouldn’t it be comforting to have your own, personal, security shield? Well, now you can.  Welcome Companion, the peer-to- peer personal safety app that is like a TWIST between home security systems such as ADT and social media like Facebook.

With the Companion app installed on your phone, friends, family or your public safety department can keep an eye on you as you travel.  You launch the app, plug in your destination, select a friend to be your “companion” to “watch” you as you progress along your route, and with just one tap you can send a message stating you are nervous or requesting immediate help.

Companion created a fresh, simple solution for a very real and pressing problem for travellers. It also harnesses the power of peer-to-peer communication which is already prevalent among its target market.

What keeps your ideal customer awake at night? Put yourself in their shoes to develop a solution that will change their lives.

Brand School gives you the tools to innovate and deliver more of what your ideal customers really crave. See what Brand School’s team of experts can do for you and see if you qualify for a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session HERE.

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“Brand School was helped us set structure to our process, define our target and recognize our customer’s motivations. We were able to create timely taglines and better define our branding campaigns.” - Randi Curhan, Development Coordinator for Redwood High School Foundation, Non-profit

Twist Your Clutter Into Cash

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They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, or maybe in this case – a thousand dollars?  Founded by Agustin Gomez in 2013, Wallapop is revitalizing the idea that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure by creating a 24-hour, 7-day a week garage sale without the hassle of putting up signs in the rain or sacrificing your entire weekend.

With Wallapop, a free new app, Instagram meets Ebay in a TWIST to create an ideal “What you see, is what you get” experience.  Wallop is primarily an image-based, streamline virtual flea market which removes the vague guess-work that usually accompanies online second-hand purchasing.

Wallapop users play the role of either “Wallashoppers” or Wallasellers” and unlike other online classifieds it enables you to instantly chat with the person you are buying from or selling to in order to ask questions or make requests.  Items are listed based on location with the radius expanding the further you scroll, all you have to do is just snap a picture of what you want to sell, give it a fair price and wait as all your clutter turns to cash!

 

The world is moving more visual. What visual TWIST could your brand take advantage of to stand out and simplify your customer’s experience?

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“Brand School’s guidance and support has helped grow my business to new depths of expansion, creativity and financial worth… and keep it growing and transforming to passionately share what I love with others.” - Deborah Coulter, deborahcoulterartflow.com

About the Author: Courtney Elaine Glynn

Courtney is a senior in college studying psychology with a background in international relations and diplomacy. Blazing her own trail in the suburbs of New York, she is a self proclaimed renaissance woman of sorts; spending her time as an intern, personal assistant, small business manager, cooking instructor and aspiring writer.

Want to now more ? You can contact her at: courtneyelaine12@gmail.com

Interested in guest blogging for BrandTwist? Contact jamie@brandtwist.com.