Small Business TWISTS – Rey Insurance Agency

Brand School Alumni, Linda Rey, has a family-owned insurance agency that celebrates its roots in the community. This includes a unique TWIST of sending out email advisories during bad weather with very localized updates on specific road closings and streets to avoid. This is something the larger companies could never do. And Linda’s customers are grateful. It’s one thing for an insurance agency to talk about its auto insurance policies, it’s another for it to actually keep you safe on the road.

Before Brand School it had been about 15 years since Rey Insurance had updated the brand. And as Linda put it, “we never really went through the process of what a business does for branding purposes. We didn’t have a strategy for how we wanted to look. Brand School afforded us the opportunity to explore how that might work for us without breaking the bank!”

Rey Insurance - Before and After Branding

One lesson from Brand School that helped Linda was to think about storytelling. Approaching their brand with that objective allowed them to be more human and step away from “textbook language about insurance”. Linda shares one of the ways they’ve implemented the TWIST, “BEING FUN in our DESIGN by presenting ideas and concepts about insurance that bring attention to considering the possibility vs. avoiding the consequences.”

Rey Insurance New Website Logo Update Rebrand

Linda transitioned her brand from a traditional family-owned insurance promise to a more modern “We help you GET insurance” brand idea. When she did this, she realized that her red and blue logo developed in 2000 blended in too much with her competitors and undermined her company’s TWIST of approachability.

She kept the core element of the shape but updated it with vibrant colors, which were inspired by her favorite organic grocer. When she walked into this grocery store, the fruits and vegetables were so inviting and colorful that she wanted to pick them up and put them in her basket. She loved the new logo so much she added bright throw pillows that adorn the reception area of the agency. This splash of color is distinctive for her category and really underscores her brand’s intention to be friendlier, more welcoming and more down-to-earth than traditional insurance agencies.

Before an After Rey Brand Logos

Investing the time in finding the TWIST and following that up with action, made a big impact on Rey Insurance. The key there is doing the work. It can feel overwhelming to implement, but that’s where the support of Brand School can really help. Linda says it best, “(Brand School) was such a great experience for me. Though, after delving in, doing the work is hard. There is resistance, but having access to Julie with the one-on-one meetings helped to move the needle so we can continue in breaking through with a more creative flair to our brand. I’m so grateful I went through it.”

Brand School by Brand Twist  Branding Course for your Small Business

Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, delivers the tools and steps you need to strengthen your brand and your business’ connection to your market. Get our free brand-building tips and receive immediate updates about Brand School’s exclusive programs when you sign up for our newsletter at BrandSchoolOnline.com.

How to Twist Outside the Box This Father’s Day

Everyone understands the annual struggle of finding the perfect gift for dad on Father’s day. No matter what kind of person your dad is, finding a gift that’s thoughtful and that he might actually use is always tricky. It’s easy to find yourself slipping into the traditional last minute habit of buying him yet another tie, but this year, try stepping up your Father’s Day gift game by taking a generic gift idea and adding a TWIST that is sure to secure your spot as the favorite child.

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For the runner: 2015-2016 has certainly been the year for workout technology. New gadgets promising a better workout have flooded the market, but what makes one fancy pedometer better than another? A good twist to give your father is the Garmin Forerunner 620 GPS Running Watch. The twist for this watch is that it, unlike some of the big name fitness monitors, is built specifically for runners and not only records your progress every run, but gives you advice on what more you are capable of doing in the future to help you continue to improve.

 

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For the handy-man: A crafty guy who loves DIY projects needs way more than just your basic hammer and nails to really be able to build something special. But a complete tool box can be very expensive. A great twist on this classic gift for a do-it-yourself dad would be the Dremel Oscillating Tool Kit. This single tool has over 30 different functions your father can try out on his next project without taking up too much space.

 

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For the foodie: Instead of getting your food-loving dad some more pots and pans, spend a Saturday with him at the Smorgasburg Food Festival in Brooklyn! The vendors at this outdoor festival specialize in twisting classic foods into new, unique creations such as the ramen burger (which features ramen noodles as the buns for a classic burger) or a hotdog from Asia dog (a hot dog with asian inspired toppings such as Japanese curry or asian sesame slaw.) All of these vendors twisting their food will be sure to wow and inspire your father, plus he will get to spend the day with you!

 

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 3.40.42 PMFor the outdoorsman: For activities like camping, conserving space and versatility are key functions when deciding what to bring on the trail. Rather than just getting your dad some more fishing line, try the Alex water bottle. The twist for this bottle is that it, literally, twists open and turns into a bowl that you can eat out. The bottle opening also helps make cleaning it easy. This gift is something your father can bring along and use anywhere without weighing down his backpack.

 

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For the entrepreneur: If your father has his own business, help give his brand a boost this father’s day by giving him TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands, The book is sure to help your dad learn the in’s and out’s of twisting himself and gain tools to make his personal brand even better. He’ll learn how to take off his “brand blinders” and look outside his category to make his business stand out and thrive in this competitive market, which will certainly help make this father’s day memorable for him.

 

About the Author:

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Kate Gouran is working as an intern at BrandTwist for this month. She is a high school senior from Hastings-on-Hudson and will be graduating from Hastings high school in June. She is very excited to be attending Tulane University in the fall and she plans on double majoring in marketing and musical theater.

 

 

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

Just Twist Now – Quick Twist Video #6

 

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Julie Cottineau, BrandTwist and Brand School founder, and author of TWIST, shares the important lessons she learned as the VP of Brand for Virgin and the value of Richard Branson’s “Let’s do it!” approach.

More Quick Twist Video tips here.

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TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands by Brand School founder Julie Cottineau.

“This book is a gift to small business owners, packed with information and strategies for potent branding, and full of obvious experience, wisdom and from-the-ground knowledge.” - Sarah Hinawi, executive director, Purpl Center for Learning and Social Innovation

Live Your Twist – Quick Twist Video #5

 

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Create fresh ideas for your business by TWISTING your brand with a successful out-of-category brand. Julie Cottineau, BrandTwist and Brand School founder, author of TWIST and former VP of Brand at Virgin shares her proven approach for creating inspired and actionable ideas.

More Quick Twist Video tips here.

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TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands by Brand School founder Julie Cottineau.

“This bold book encourages entrepreneurs and brand owners across all types of businesses to think outside the limits of their category and take risks, and gives them the tools to make them stand out from their competitors.” - Laura Winston, attorney, Kim Winston LLP

 

The Virgin Twist – Quick Twist Video #4

 

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How did Richard Branson create loyal brand fans for his Virgin Airlines? Imagine a disco with wings. Julie Cottineau, BrandTwist and Brand School founder, author of TWIST and former VP of Brand at Virgin, highlights the importance of lateral thinking.

More Quick Twist Video tips here.

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TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands by Brand School founder Julie Cottineau.

“Julie’s rich experience as the vice president of brand for Virgin has been brought to life in TWIST – a wakeup call and a road map for building brands that break through and get noticed.” - Raul Leal, CEO Virgin Hotels

Celebrate the Modern Dad with a TWIST

The modern dad is different than the stereotypical dad of times past. The new age father ditches the stern authority figure and involves himself in his family. From cooking meals and taking care of the children, to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and furthering his own independence, the modern dad changes the entire playing field. Here are some great Father’s Day gift ideas to show dad your appreciation with a modern TWIST.

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Dads nowadays want to involve themselves more in child raising. Ergobaby promotes different types of baby carriers that are easily adjustable to dads that often have taller and wider frames. Thanks to this brand, the new dad can bond and get a closer relationship with his newborn!

 

 

18eef4662e87f396bf0d6e045529e2aeSecond Wind Eco Tours

The family oriented dad will love family outings that bring the members closer than before. With activities offered from this organization, such as kayak tours on the White Oak River, Jones Island, and Bear Island, you will be guaranteed to treat dad to a fun event that brings the family closer together.

 

 

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From goofy knick knacks – like action figures from dad’s favorite show – to electronic gadgets such as the 3-D printing pen, the hip and tech-savvy dad will definitely enjoy anything this online shop has to offer.

 

 

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These top notch kitchen supplies, for instance the nonstick burger press, will be sure to appeal to the inner chef of every modern dad and will have him in the kitchen experimenting with ways to make the best Sunday dinner ever.

 

 

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Surprise dad with a new office! Hot desks offered by co-working spaces like this one in Westchester will help dad become more independent with his work and allow the modern father to work closer to home so he can be sure to make it to his kid’s afternoon soccer games.

 

 

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Brand School Online

Got a dad who is an entrepreneur? Gift him the gift of pursuing his dreams – encourage him to sign up for a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session at BrandSchoolOnline.com

 

 

 

 About guest blogger Collin Wisniewski:

bt collinCollin Wisniewski is a BrandTwist intern and is currently a senior graduating from Dobbs Ferry High School. He plans on attending SUNY Fredonia this coming fall to study business in the music industry. For future job opportunities, Collin can be reached at collin.wisniewski@gmail.com.

Five Brand-Marvelous Ideas for Mother’s Day

It can be challenging to come up with a gift idea that is thoughtful, meaningful, fun and unique for mom on Mother’s Day. We’re here to help! Check out these brands we love, and that mom will love receiving.

Box up a bundle of goodies with a Birchbox - It’s difficult for active mothers to get into stores to sample new products. So why not make it easier for her and bring those samples directly to mom’s door? Birchbox does just that. Birchbox bundles several samples of cosmetics, skin care items, bath, beauty and lifestyle products all into a beautiful Birchbox and delivers it directly to mom’s doorstep. (and they have a line for men too… Father’s Day is right around the corner! Check out the men’s Birchbox in our Father’s Day post ) Read more about what we feel drives the success of the Birchbox brand here.

 

Hire a rabbit to take on a task with Taskrabbit – A mom’s life is busy, busy, and… did we say busy? There’s always some task that she doesn’t have time to complete. She would really appreciate a helping hand. TaskRabbit is all about getting the job done.  This company has experts in just about every field who are ready to take on mom’s request, and as their tagline promises, to help mom go “From To-Do, to Done.” Interested in how Taskrabbit built a succesful brand? Read more here.

 

Ch-ch-ch-changes through chocolate! Chocolate is always a welcomed gift, but when it’s fun, meaningful and connects you to the world, it’s even better.  Each sweetriot chocolate candy purchase supports sustainable cocoa farming, native and local farmers, and the emerging artists community by featuring works that embrace sweetriot’s culture on the candy wrappers. A sweetriot gift purchase does more than simply satisfying mom’s chocolate craving. Want to know more about the secret to sweetriot’s sweet branding success? Read about it here.

 

Take mom on a fabulous get-away –  Treat mom to a fabulous weekend away full of local flavor by celebrating at a unique hotel. Discover a new city together – and build memories that will last a long time. The  Provenance Hotels are a great boutique collection that offer wonderful decor and  authentic local touches in some very cool US cities. How can your brand cash in on the trend to hyper local? Read more here.

 

Support mom in growing her business. Is your mother an entrepreneur, small business owner, artist, performer, or freelance contractor? Here’s a way to help her take her business and brand to the top! Brand School is our highly effective, premier branding program that will give her the tools and insight she needs to grow a stronger personal, career or business brand. To get more information about the next session and a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session, please click HERE.

Build Your Business – Exclusive Offers for BrandTwist Friends!

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We are happy to share with you BrandTwist guest blog posts from innovative entrepreneurs and business owners that graciously share their business-building tips and takeaways AND have generously made exclusive offers available to Friends of BrandTwist. These articles, products and discounts are designed to help your business spring into action now that the warmer weather is (nearly) here.

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Solving a personal problem can lead to powerful innovation. Tired of winter snow and slush ruining your boots?  Cassandra Droogan, Founder & President, PYSIS Inc took her inspiration from her father’s galoshes and created an exciting new product with a TWIST. Read her guest post HERE - it might inspire you to pursue that idea you’ve been musing about. And make sure you see her special April offer for BrandTwist readers – you and your shoes will be ready for April showers.

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Finding the balance between your business’ visual and verbal communication is essential to presenting a solid brand identity and building consumer comfort and loyalty.  But how do you know which “tone” defines your type of business? You’ll find all the answers in this free webcast replay from BrandTwist Founder & CEO Julie Cottineau and Rebecca Swift, Head of Creative Planning at iStock: “The Ying and Yang of Powerful Brand Stories,” all about visual and verbal branding. PLUS receive 10% discount on any of IStock credit packs for friends of BrandTwist. checkout. Promo expires March 31, 2014.  Webcast replay and promo code HERE.

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Did you know that when people Google your name, LinkedIn is one of the highest ranked sites? Do you want to know you how you can get more for your business out of one of the largest job searching and business networking, marketing and branding sites in the world? In this series on Linkedin, guest blogger, Leslie Hughes, Principal of PUNCH!media, Professor of Social Media and corporate trainer, shares her insider tips. Catch Leslie’s Linkedin tips and info. about her SPECIAL OFFER for Friends of BrandTwist HERE.

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How do you distinguish your brand and its products and services in a competitive market? One way is to develop a “video brand bumper” that accompanies your every presentation, video, or workshop.  Read Dr. Marina Kostina’s, co-founder of Bookphoria, guest post HERE. In it, she shares with you more about what a video brand bumper is, why every author, speaker and expert needs one, and a 3-step process to develop an effective bumper for your brand – and take advantage of their offer for a free consultation.

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BrandTwist ‘s Julie Cottineau had the good fortune of working at Virgin as VP of Brand for North America for five years and during this time she gained invaluable insight into best practices in branding, marketing, and corporate culture. Whether you are a corporate CEO or a recent grad just starting out your career, these tips are designed to help you learn from one of the best-loved brands on the planet, and one of its most successful entrepreneurs. Each tip contains valuable lessons from Virgin and food-for-thought for your own business. Receive our “Brand Like a Billionaire: 5 Tips I learned from Richard Branson” when you join for our email list HERE.

BSchoolSummerLogo

Looking forward to summer? As you plan your fun in the sun, make sure to make some plans for your Brand too. Take advantage of the longer days of summer to re-energize your business with Brand School Summer Session.

This is a streamlined version of Brand School Master Class where you get the best of the Master Class core principles in less time so you can hit the ground running in the fall for better business results. Attract more profitable and loyal customers, tighten your brand story, create a more professional and distinctive brand… and more!  Enrolling now. Find out how to grab your seat HERE.

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This Valentine’s Day, Show Your Love with a Twist

Tired of the same old gifts for Valentine’s Day? If you’re stuck in the typical roses, perfume, and boxed chocolates rut, never fear…we’ve uncovered 9 innovative brands that offer clever TWISTS on the classic Valentine’s favorites for both men and women.

moonglowmoonglow jewelry twists the idea of personalizing jewelry by taking  a special moment in time and depicting what the moon looked like on that day. This line of handcrafted and made-to-order jewelry is designed in Montreal by local artist, Luc Rouleau. Pick a date you want to commemorate – first kiss, wedding, anniversary – and find the exact moonphase through their moonphase calculator.

 

godiva2GODIVA’S Chocolate and Coffee of the Month Club steps up the traditional chocolate gift by pairing two strong favorites, coffee and chocolate – and curates them so you can give a gift that keeps on giving. This collection includes up to three months of Chocolate Truffle Coffee paired with a favorite GODIVA treat. It’s the perfect way to rev up your relationship for months to come!

 

 

mms

Personalized M&M’s are a whimsical and fun way to express your unique “couple” brand. Mars twists their iconic favorite, M&M’s, by letting you custom design your own candies. You can choose your colors; put a portrait or special photo on them and imprint your own special words and affections. Your honey will never tire of seeing your XO’s, hearts, special dates, or… perhaps even a proposal?

 

boomf

With boomf magical marshmallows you can twist your memories into a romantic adornment for your cup of hot cocoa. Personalize marshmallows with your favorite Instagram pictures. Turn photos of you and your sweetie into a romantic, sweet and fluffy gift. Created by James Middleton, brother of Kate Middleton, it boasts a royal romantic touch. Free shipping to Europe and North America.

 

beerkit

Mr. Beer – Beer, Cider and Root Beer Brewing Kits puts a twist on the micro brew trend by giving you everything you need to turn your fridge into a micro brewery. With its reusable brew keg and screw-top bottles, Mr. Beer creates up to two gallons of beer or cider in just 14 days. There’s nothing like kicking back and enjoying a home-made, lip-locked toast together.

 

 

ChocolateDipped-Wine

Champagne Dipped in Chocolate – Literally. The duo of chocolate and Champagne always enhances a romantic setting.  But here, Guittard Chocolate has twisted these favorite gifts by literally combining them. They dip the bottle of Champagne (or wine) in a rich, decadent Guittard dark chocolate. This creative indulgent gift available through GiftTree.com is the perfect touch to any romantic evening.

 

 

bemineA rose is a rose… but a Love Is In The Air Plant lasts and lasts and is practically care-free. Give your Valentine a twist on the usual red roses. Air Plants are trendy and unique. This gift from Gifts.com features a tillandsia air plant and rocks within a glass globe that can be placed hung indoors or outdoors. The heart shape makes sure your loving intention is clear.

 

 

perfume

For women: Fragrance Republic adds a twist to the standard perfume present with their fragrance enthusiasts club that gives exclusive access to original fine fragrances as created by world-class perfumers. Each month members receive an exclusive new fragrance delivered straight from the FR! lab free of charge, right to their door. Membership includes connection to an online community where you can rate and vote for favorite fragrances; exclusive invites to launch parties, speaker events and discounts.

 

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For men:  Scent Monthly – Does your hottie wear the same cologne, every season, every day? Help him twist out of that scent rut with a membership to Scent Monthly. They deliver two fresh, premium fragrances each month, and each fragrance is handpicked for the season. Sign up for a  three or six-month subscription or a trial one-month membership and your guy will be thanking you throughout the year.

 

Support your sweetie in growing their business. Are they an entrepreneur, small business owner, artist, performer, or freelancer? Here’s a way to help them be more successful doing something they love. Brand School is our highly effective, premier branding program that provides the tools, framework and insight to build a stronger personal or business brand. To get more information about the next session and a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session, please click HERE.

 

Lessons That I Learned From Virgin

To see more of our articles for  Women Business Owners Today (WBOT) click HERE.

WBOT-COVER

So excited to be on the cover of Women Business Owners Today e-zine! This edition focuses on everything from investing in you and your business, to how to manage your online reputation and engage your customers, to the the etiquette of the handshake. I’m deeply honored to be the featured cover story and in the company of so many gifted women offering amazing insight and helpful tips for business & entrepreneurs in this e-zine. I really enjoyed the interview and sharing my journey from working as V.P. of Brand for Virgin to becoming an entrepreneur and creating my own brand consultancy, BrandTwist and Brand School.

Learn how to rock your brand and business with a little inspiration from Richard Branson. Check out this edition of Women Business Owners Today e-zine and my cover story, “Lessons That I Learned from Virgin,” HERE.

Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, delivers the tools and steps you need to strengthen your brand and your connection to your customers. Get our free brand-building tips and receive access to updates about Brand School’s exclusive programs when you sign up for our newsletter at BrandSchoolOnline.com.

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