Performance Wear with a Laid Back TWIST

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Everyone knows how important exercising is to living a healthy lifestyle- but honestly many of us would rather sit on the couch with a pint of double fudge chocolate than train for a marathon- we feel defeated if we don’t confirm to the “ultimate athlete” image of many fitness brands.

Outdoor Voices is disrupting the fitness industry by literally “freeing fitness from performance.” The technical apparel brand creates stylish and flattering active-wear for everyone. Outdoor Voices believes in “doing things”, whether it’s going for a jog, riding a bike, or walking your dog. The brand engages consumers and allows them to write their own definition of fitness.

It all stems from the brands founder, Tyler Haney, who was recently featured in Forbes “30 under 30.” The 28-year-old powerhouse attended Parsons School of Design, and by TWISTING her love of staying active and simply “doing things,” she was able to build a truly iconic brand in just three years. Her TWIST allows Outdoor Voices to stand out amongst giants like Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas, who instill a typical “go hard” and “beast mode” mentality.

Tyler told Fashionista “We talk a lot about OV being the hiking buddy that brought the snacks.” Her spot-on perspective of the industry, and her undeniable passion drives Outdoor Voices to dominant success.

Headquartered in New York and Austin, Outdoor Voices brought in over 22.5 million in venture capital, and the community continues to explode across the nation. The future is looking extremely bright for this brand with a TWIST.

Is your brand pushing a traditional viewpoint or lightening up and letting consumers define their own ideal benefit? Think outside the box and TWIST to break away from competition.

david scherzer

David Scherzer is a 24 year old marketer and copywriter, who puts a narrow focus on storytelling. He obtained a bachelors degree in media studies at CUNY Queens College, and continues to exercise his marketing-muscle and work with some of the industries greats. Not to mention, he’s a massive soccer fan. Chat with him at davidascherzer@gmail.com. Or connect on LinkedIn.

 

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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 Delightfully Cheesy Twist

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A sure way to your customers’ hearts is to make it easy for them to enjoy you anywhere and any time. This creative TWIST was produced by German ad agency Kolle Rebbe for The Deli Garage, a food label that supports small manufacturers of delicacies, as a limited first edition of 500. It was sold out 2 weeks after its launch!

Take a Pencil & Sharpener, twist it with parmesan cheese and you have Parmesan Pencils, a unique product that permits cheese-lovers to have freshly-grated cheese close at hand. The Parmesan Pencil “Sharper” flakes the cheese, and you can keep your “pencils” right in a briefcase or purse. Isn’t everything better with cheese?

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Helping your customers getting easier access to your brand will turn casual buyers into loyal ambassadors. What TWIST can you add to make your product or service always top of mind?

Brand School gives you the tools to develop innovative touch points with a TWIST. Find out if your business qualifies for a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session HERE.

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“If anyone needs to understand the PROPER professional way that WILL make a difference for branding your business, Brand School is your go to source.” – Mike Sass, Entrepreneur

All Your Burning Brand Questions – Answered!

Sometimes the terms “brand” and “branding” can feel a bit vague or even overwhelming, particularly for those beginning a business, embarking on the entrepreneur track, or looking to refresh their current brand or business.

Branding is often overlooked as an important initial aspect of building a business or re-building an existing one. Many think that “branding” can be added on after the business gets rolling, but the real value of a strong brand goes beyond what the color, logo, or website offer. If you have a clear grasp on who your business is really trying to reach and what you are promising to deliver, you’ll quickly realize the many ways having strong brand can benefit your business, from taking the stress out of daily decisions, to charging a premium for your product or services, to being forgiven by your following for any blunders. You’ll quickly see why a strong brand can be an entrepreneur’s secret weapon.

But how and where do you start formulating your brand?

Do these questions sound familiar:

  • What is a brand?
  • How does having a strong brand help my business?
  • How do I start developing my brand?
  • I’m not a big business, how can I do what the big brands like Starbucks, Virgin and Zappos! do?
  • How can I make my brand work harder to grow my business?

I recently was interviewed by Jennifer Love, Founder of JenniferLove.com and Co-founder & CEO NibMor for her free weekly video interview series that gives tips and information on building business, sales, and product development. I thoroughly enjoyed  sharing answers to her branding questions and giving tips on how knowing your brand well can help in building your business. There are plenty of tips and takeaways in this fun chat, you won’t want to miss it.

As a followup to the video Jennifer and I answered your branding questions in Twitter chat, using the hashtag #Branding101. It was great fun connecting with Jennifer and the Twitter community. You can read takeaways and highlights from our chat HERE.

If you want to receive notification when Jennifer’s new videos go live, sign up at Jennifer’s site HERE, and you’ll also receive access to special information not available to the public.

 

 

 

3 Opportunities to Move Your Business Forward

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The New Year is a great time to act on your business resolutions, and to help, we’re excited to share with you these upcoming interactive workshops with BrandTwist Founder & CEO Julie Cottineau – all within 30-minutes of New York City. (If you don’t live in the area, perhaps you have a friend or colleague that does and could benefit from these events).

In these hands-on, fun-filled events you will learn how to:

  • Stand out from competition
  • Have more impact with less spending
  • Tell a stronger personal brand story
  • Twist your thinking to create fresh ideas

And more!

Julie will be sharing tools and techniques to innovate your brand – and show you how you can put them to work right away to GROW YOUR BUSINESS! These workshops are normally $250 and up but in partnership with local community business centers, we are able to offer them for a fraction of the price.

Join Julie and other like-minded, inspired entrepreneurs and business owners who are putting their business and brands at the top of their lists this year!

There is also an opportunity to get FREE in-person, one-on-one time with Julie prior to each session. Read more below.

These live events have concluded, but to receive immediate updates about more events like these, Brand School’s exclusive programs and free brand and business-building tips, please sign up for our newsletter:

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JUMP START YOUR BRAND  At The Purple Crayon Center for Learning and Social Innovation, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. 

You’ll get 5 sure-fire ways to boost your brand and your business in this interactive session to gain practical insights and takeaway steps, and be infused with the energy of other entrepreneurs and small business owners.

BRAND LIKE A BILLIONAIRE: 5 TIPS I LEARNED FROM RICHARD BRANSON At Serendipity Labs, Rye, NY. 

In this workshop, Julie shares tips she learned from her five years as VP of Brand for Virgin North America and show you how you can make them work for your business. Learn from one of the best-loved brands on the planet and one of the most successful entrepreneurs.

TWIST YOUR BRAND, GROW YOUR BUSINESS  At The W@tercooler Hub, Tarrytown, NY.  

Boost your business with innovative ways to look at old problems from new angles that will help you create new products and services and build loyal brand fans. See how both large and small brands are innovating and how to apply these lessons directly to help your brand stand out.

Please pass these valuable opportunities and offers along to any friends you think may be interested in joining Julie in boosting their business. These hands-on events are a great way to start rocking any business and brand in the New Year.

Each of these events also included FREE, valuable one-on-one time with Julie on days prior to the session. If you are interested in finding out more about a FREE Brand Health Check 45-minute personal strategy session please contact Julie at Julie@BrandTwist.com

We look forward to Twisting with you soon!

Branding Tips for Better Business on American Express OPEN Forum

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We are thrilled to have been a contributor on branding to American Express OPEN Forum.

If you aren’t familiar with OPEN Forum, we urge you to check it out. This forum, in partnership with Linkedin, is open and accessible to everyone and you’ll find amazing resources for every aspect of running a business, entrepreneurship, marketing and branding. Business owners, entrepreneurs and experts can showcase  expertise, help others succeed and discover ways to help propel business forward.

See more of OPEN Forum and catch additional ways to make your business and fast-paced life a little easier and more profitable, HERE.

Check back in with us here: we’ll keep this list up-to-date with links to all of our posts on OPEN Forum:

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. 

“If anyone needs to understand the PROPER professional way that WILL make a difference for branding your business, Brand School is your go-to source.” – Mike Sass, Entrepreneur

Can You Name These Red, White and Blue Brands?

Can you name all 38 Red, White and Blue Brands in the Brand Star pictured above?

Scroll down for the answer.

Wishing everyone a happy, safe, and fun Fourth of July!

Celebrate your business by building a brand that stands out and gets recognized! Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, gives you the tools and techniques you need to keep your brand shining. Get more information about the next session and a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session HERE.

 “Brand School had great examples of real companies. I was able to dig even deeper, think of things in a new way, and get new ideas for my brand.It was well worth the fee.” - Brenda Dillion Cavette, Founder Fashionista Tea

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ANSWER:

RED, WHITE AND BLUE BRAND STAR BRANDS:

RED:

CNN, Target, CVS Pharmacy, Kool-Aid, Levi’s, Colgate, Jell-o, Coca-Cola, Campbell’s, Johnnie Walker Red Label, Red Bull, ESPN, Band-Aid.

WHITE:

Dewar’s White Label, The White House, Dove, Ivory, Calvin Klein White T-Shirts, Apple, White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor fragrance, Nestle Toll House Premier White Morsels.

BLUE:

Blue Buffalo Company, IBM, WordPress, Skype, Intel, LinkedIn, jetBlue, Twitter, GE, Twitter, The Weather Channel, Facebook, AT&T, Ford, PayPal, Lowe’s, Chase.

 

Necessity is the Mother of Brand Invention

“Necessity is the mother of invention.” That expression is as true today as it was when Plato first wrote it, circa 450 BC.

Here is another catchy term, “evergreen topic.” Meaning, a subject  that will always be of great interest to people. One of the biggest evergreen topics is health. If there is such a thing as a health bandwagon, it sure seems like EVERYONE is on it. Now, let’s take all of the above and create a little equation: Necessity + Invention + Evergreen = Brad’s Raw Chips.

Brad’s Raw Chips are a gluten-free, organic, vegan, kosher snack food. Founded by Brad Gruno, who had no experience what-so-ever with baking, cooking or nutritional health products. In fact, he had worked in the telecommunications industry for over 20 years, was 40 pounds overweight with high cholesterol, and was depressed… you get the picture. When Brad decided to get on a healthier track by following a raw diet, he found what he missed most was the flavorful, spicy taste and crunch of snack foods. Out of sheer desperation he began to “play” with kale. He made a kale “chip” and shared samples with friends and family and ta-da… Brad’s Raw Chips were born. Now, he’s expanded the line with other veggies, crackers, and even a snack biscuit for dogs.

It was Brad’s personal quest which led him to focus on a single product that made him stand apart from the thousands of snack foods lining the market shelves. Sharing his story and mastering one specific, singular niche, actually ended up enabling product development and market expansion.

Don’t be put off by taking a look at your own life. What you might want or need may be just the thing to fill a gap in the marketplace, too.

Your target market may have a lot more in common with you and your story than you think. When you share your story you add a deeper dimension to the user experience. You open the way for your customer to identify with you and feel a genuine connection with your brand.

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but identifying your specific niche and honing your brand’s story takes strategic cultivation. Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, will give you actionable steps and strategies that you can use to grow an evergreen brand.  Receive more information about Brand School’s next session and get free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

This post is part of our Brands That Twist series celebrating innovative brands. Read about other breakthrough brands and more ways to grow your business and brand here

“I was starting my business from scratch and was all over the place when started the course. Brand School really helped me focus. I came out of it with a foundation for my brand that I know will work. Without Brand School, it never would have happened.” - Nicole Lesser, Entrepreneur

Sweeten Your Brand’s Impact with a Meaningful Cause

Can a product brand have a higher purpose and not seem like it’s just jumping on the “cause” band wagon? Well, we believe that sweetriot has made the cut with grace and impact.

sweetriot makes chocolate candy. Sounds simple enough, but they have taken their brand to another level altogether. They are a mission-based business that wants to “create a more just and celebrated multicultural world for our next generation”. They embrace this idea throughout their company and in every area of brand expression.

How do they succeed in clearly defining their brand promise to make their product and purpose stand out?

Their name says it all. sweetriot immediately implies they are making their voice heard, that they welcome others into the process, and they do it while creating a sweeter place, literally and figuratively. In their own words: “A sweetriot is a joyful celebration of culture, diversity, and understanding — it is the opposite of a civil riot, which is dangerous, violent, and oppressing.”

They are consistent and creative with their use of verbal identity. CEO, Sarah E Endline, calls herself the “Chief Rioter.” Customers are asked to “Join the riot.”  Their chocolate treats are called “peaces.” Their copy reinforces their dedication to fair-trade and social causes that better the communities from where their materials are sourced.Their tagline is “Fixing the world one ‘peace’ at a time. Sweet for the world & sweet for you.”

Their mission is integrated as a part of every aspect of their business – it is not an add-on. It is integral to their products, partnerships and people. They walk the talk.

Their logo helps tell their story. Their logo is a thumbprint and also the globe. Immediately we know sweetriot is aware that they are leaving their personal mark on the world and it serves as a reminder to us that we are, too (everyone has a thumbprint and everyone lives on Earth).  Based in NYC, USA, sweetriot’s brand colors of red, white and blue reflect their company’s origin.

Their packaging is social and unique. sweetriot supports the emerging artists community by featuring works that embrace sweetriot’s culture on the candy wrappers. Works of art to be featured are selected by votes from website visitors.

sweetriot put a creative twist on their brand by directly involving their market and community and by consistently reminding their customers that when they purchase a sweetriot product they are doing more than simply satisfying a chocolate craving.

If executed with authenticity and care, your customers may respond with loyalty and enthusiasm when they realize that by connecting with your product they are in turn contributing to a larger community. Identifying associations that resonate on a meaningful level with your target market takes strategic thinking. Incorporating your promise into your brand identity takes planning. At Brand School, the highly effective, premier branding program, we deliver the tools and steps you need to sweeten your brand and its connection to your market. Receive more information about Brand School’s next session and get free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

This post is part of our Brands That Twist series celebrating innovative brands. Read about other breakthrough brands and more ways to grow your business and brand here.

“I’ve taken quite a few courses on branding and marketing overall. However, what attracted me to Brand School was Julie’s experience with branding from a corporate level.” - Barbara Wanzo, Non-profit Homeowner Services.

Brand. Smash. Rebuild. Repeat

In this post, Brand. Smash. Rebuild. Repeat, Reid Mueller explains that creating a good brand requires knowledge of your company’s identity and your customer’s needs or wants, and illustrates how you can do what 4 big brands have done by re-builing their brands to thrive. This is part of our guest blogger series. Read more about Reid in his bio, below.  If you would like to be a guest blogger for BrandTwist contact Jamie@BrandTwist.com for more information.

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My brother and I were blessed to grow up in a home with Star Wars, Lego and a 2nd floor balcony – the Holy Trinity of childhood. We spent countless hours building Lego spaceships and drop-testing from the balcony. When they broke, we figured out where and how we could make them stronger. When they didn’t break on the carpet, we dropped from the other side onto the tile. They always broke. Engineers test products in the same way to ensure they work. As marketers, we should do this for our brands using the following process.

BUILD THE BRAND BASED ON WHAT YOU WANT YOUR COMPANY TO BE.

Unfortunately, branding a company is harder than branding a cow (even so, I’ll be the first to say that I wouldn’t approach a cow with a smoldering iron for fear of getting a hoof to the head). A brand is more than a name, title or words on a page. Much like a Lego spaceship, a brand is the sum of your company’s products, culture, logo, user-experience, story—viewed through the lens of a customer’s perception. Creating a good brand requires knowledge of your company’s identity and your customer’s needs or wants (it doesn’t matter how well you build a green light-saber; Darth Vader will always buy the red one). This requires strategic development through market research business objectives and long-term planning. Now it’s time to put the pieces together and test the brand.

 THROW IT AGAINST A BRICK WALL AS HARD AS YOU CAN. 

According to Martin Lindstrom, CEO of Buyology Inc., the idea of a “smashable” brand dates back to 1915 when Coca-Cola requested a bottle designed to be identifiable even when thrown against a wall. As we can all attest, they found what they were looking for. So how do you smash your brand? Remove your logo from one of products, ads or website. When you look again, can you still recognize it as your brand? Can someone else? Is your brand as recognizable as the following “broken brands”?

PICK UP THE PIECES. WHAT’S IMPORTANT? WHAT’S MEMORABLE? THROW AWAY EVERYTHING ELSE.

As you can see in the examples above, the smallest elements of your brand are the most critical. No doubt Apple wouldn’t be what it is today if Steve Jobs had not sat in on a calligraphy class when he wasn’t in college. Now the Apple brand is weaved into the font of every word they print. Ask yourself what pieces work. Do you have brand elements that don’t align with your business objectives or your target markets? Look at Harley-Davidson. What if you replaced the “bar and shield” logo with the “Twitter” bird? Would it be successful in Comic Sans Am?

REPEAT UNTIL YOU HAVE AN INTEGRATED BRAND (OR YOU THROW YOUR SHOULDER OUT).

Branding, like anything else, requires endless revision. However, a strong brand paradoxically requires consistency as well. For this reason we hesitate to partake in brand-breaking. We see our brand as the Waterford vase from our grandparents as a wedding gift that goes up on the shelf and never gets touched; that way it never breaks. The problem is that we live in an interactive society where that vase will be removed from the shelf, thrown around like a football, maybe dropped off the balcony for a “science project” about gravity. You cannot be afraid to have your brand touched, because customers will take it down and break it apart whether you like it or not.

This post by Reid Mueller is part of our guest blogger series. Reid is currently working towards a Master’s of Science in Marketing Communications from the University of Kansas.  This post appears as part of BrandTwist’s participation in  ”Blogapalooza” a platform from the University to help students seeking Master’s Degrees in Integrated Marketing Communications gain valuable experience and exposure in blogging. We hope you enjoyed Reid’s post as much as we did. 

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

Click here for more about Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program to help you build your brand to grow your business.

March Madness – Instant Replay

This webinar series replay offer has expired. Sign up to receive our email to stay up-to-date on more  free webinars, replays and additional tools and tips to grow your business and your brand.

Due to an overwhelming number of requests from webinar attendees who wanted replays, Brand School is making available – for a limited time – a rebroadcast of BrandTwist founder Julie Cottineau’s webinar series, Brands That Twist. This live, interactive series originally aired earlier in March, 2013.

If you missed out on the live broadcasts, you now have another opportunity to receive the tips and tools that will help you begin building a stronger brand.

In this series on brand building, Julie gives you clear and actionable steps that you can start using right away to help boost your business, build a stronger brand, and make a bigger impact in your market. You’ll receive a taste of what Brand School covers in more depth.

In addition, you can receive a $100 discount off the tuition of the April 2013 online session of Brand School which starts April 15th, when you enroll by March 31st.

Both the rebroadcast of the Brands That Twist webinar series and the $100 discount off Brand School offer EXPIRE SUNDAY, MARCH 31, 2013 at MIDNIGHT.

To learn more about Brand School please visit: BrandSchoolOnline.com.

Enjoy the webinars!

Note: The “free seat at Brand School give away contest” Julie refers to in these rebroadcasts is over.

TWST YOUR WORDS: Leverage Verbal Identity to Shine

Tools and techniques to help you to use words: names, taglines, packaging copy and tone of voice to help your brand make some noise and be heard.

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THINK DIFFERENT: Innovation With a Twist

Boost your business with innovative and creative ways to look at old problems from new angles that will ignite new ideas and gain loyal brand fans.

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SMALL BRANDS – BIG IMPACT: Lessons From Brands That Twist

See how small brands are innovating, creating big ideas and standing out in their markets. Take away actionable steps to help your brand shine.

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Click here for more about Brand School, our highly effective, premier program to help you build your brand to grow your business.