Elder Care with a TWIST

GRANNYPODFamilies with elderly relatives who need constant caregiving have few options when it comes to long-term housing. Assisted living and nursing homes can be expensive and many older adults want to maintain some independence and stay close to their families. Enter N2Care’s innovative TWIST to address a growing need, the MEDCottage, a.k.a: “The Granny Pod”.

The MedCottage TWISTS an RV mobile home with a hospital room.
“Our products offer families the ability to directly participate in the recovery, rehabilitation and extended care of the people they love.”
These are mobile, modular dwellings that can be temporarily placed on a caregiver’s property. There are three designs to select from. One is designed to fit into an
existing garage. Another is designed on an RV platform and the third comes as a kit you or a contractor assembles. Each is handicapped accessible, comes equipped with safety rails, first aid kit, defbrillator machine, lighted floorboards, floor sensors, a computer virtual companion, and video cameras that alert the family if something goes wrong.

AARP says 25 million Americans need to take care of their elderly parents. N2Care recognized the growing need of this target population and created a win/win concept that allows great care and more independence for older Americans.

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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.

Talking Brand and Entrepreneur TWISTS with Steve Blank

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Julie Cottineau, founder of BrandTwist and BrandSchoolOnline.com and author of TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands, talks branding and entrepreneurship TWISTS with Steve Blank on The Wharton School’s “Entrepreneurs are Everywhere” show on Channel 111 on SiriusXM Radio. LISTEN TO A REPLAY HERE.

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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.

Valentine Twists For Him and Her

Expressing love can take many forms, but there’s something intimate and long-lasting about putting your passion for your Valentine into words. Here are our picks to help you TWIST your thoughts and feelings into original compositions that your sweetie will cherish of years to come.

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 3.23.35 PM Letters to My Love - With this TWIST, you get to say “I Love You” all year long. Letters to My Love  gives you 12 fold-and-mail style letters that use clever prompts making composing a lot easier (“I knew you were the one for me when…”). You fill in the story, seal the envelope and indicate an “open on” date… so the gift of sharing your love continues throughout the year.

 

 

loveletternecklaceLove Letter Necklace - A love letter with a stylish TWIST. This necklace makes your passion timeless and fashion-forward. You engrave the two of your’s initials, plus words of love (1-3 line message up to 12 characters each)  and this enchanting gold plated or sterling silver “letter and envelope” pendant becomes a wearable reminder of your affection.

 

 

throwpillow“Remember When” Throw Pillow - From a fun vacation to a special song, TWIST your favorite memories to create this one-of-a-kind pillow that’s always there to cuddle up with.

 

 

 

ticket bookJust the Ticket, Ticket Stub Organizer - Remember your favorite concert together, special event, shows, sporting events, airline flight or amusement park visit?  With this TWIST you can preserve your memories and share your reflections of them with this handsome ticket stub organizer!

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 3.46.28 PM Love is Art Kit - There’s nothing like sharing a new experience together to ignite your passion. How about putting your passion down on canvas together? Fine artist Jeremy Brown’s TWIST gives you everything you need to capture the beauty of your connection in his Love is Art Kit. So, hang up the “do not disturb” sign, take out your paintbrushes and create a visual celebration that will last for years to come.

 

 

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. Receive more information about the next session and see if you qualify for a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session HERE.

 

A Twist on a Traditional Car Rental

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You finally arrive at your destination airport. You’ve been up since 4:00 am to make the 8-hour flight. Tired, stressed and disoriented, you’re not looking forward to waiting for the shuttle to take you to the car rental lot, standing in line to complete paperwork, haggling over which car model and price, and then lugging your suitcase to the far end of the car lot to hunt for your car.

The good news: the folks at SILVERCAR hear you, loud and clear.

With the tagline, “Car Rental the Way it Should be. No Hassle. No Lines. No paperwork.” SILVERCAR is just the ticket for the harried traveler.

To help travelers have a more stress-free, seamless way to reach their rental car, SILVERCAR took the latest mobile and tech trends (Think UBER app) – and TWISTED it with a luxury car experience (Audi) to come up with a solution that streamlines the car rental experience:

You download the SILVERCAR app on your mobile device and contact SILVERCAR when you arrive at the airport. A “concierge” picks you up and delivers you to the SILVERCAR lot – populated by only silver Audi A4′s – which means you know what car you’re going to get every time. Use your mobile device to unlock your car and away you go – with free onboard wi-fi, GPS, satellite radio, and no transponder fees at tolls, to boot. Now available at 10 major cities and airports across the U.S.

Take a look at the latest tech and experience trends outside of your category and think how you could apply them to help your customer have a more positive and seamless experience.  What uncertainty and hassles can you eliminate that would deliver something better?

Brand School gives you the tools to deliver fresh TWISTS and more of what your customers are looking for. 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 allowed me to get to the essence of my brand. I was able to hone and tighten up my brand. Thank you, it’s a great program.” - Jonathan Flaks, President, Jonathan Flaks Coaching Associates

An Older Twist For a New Brand

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“Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first.” Senior vice president of retail and online stores at Apple Inc. and former CEO of Burberry Angela Ahrendts knew that employees are the cornerstones of building a business.

So does Sarah Oliver Handbags founder Sarah Oliver.

Oliver started designing handbags as gifts for friends and family and when stores began to inquiring to sell her pocketbooks she realized she could grow her business. She wanted to keep production in the U.S. but did not have the human resources to do the hand knitting required. Reflecting on dear memories of knitting with her mother and grandmother the idea came to her: why not see if the seniors at the nearby Redwoods Senior Retirement Community would want to sign on as knitters for her handbag company? And right away, an enthusiastic team of senior knitters stepped forward.

Calling themselves The Purlettes, they are the foundation of the business and put a little of themselves into every one of the hand-knit bags they produce for the company. Says Sarah, “When I think of the potential we have to scale and create opportunity for seniors across the country, I just get so excited imagining the possibilities… Every one of our bags tells a story worth telling!”

These hand-crafted bags are more than a stylish accessory, they empower and re-engage seniors in the American economy. By valuing and tapping into an under-utilized and under-appreciated population, Sarah Oliver is building an iconic American brand while delivering a new sense of purpose in senior’s lives.

Your employees are your first brand ambassadors – and a valuable asset. Listen to them; they’re on the front lines and their perspectives can provide invaluable feedback on customer’s experience of your brand. Consider how their unique talents can be an inspiration to innovate fresh ideas for your business.

Brand School gives you easy, actionable tools that you can use right away to boost your brand’s impact. Get access to our team of experts and enjoy support and inspiration from an exclusive community of like-minded business owners, non-profits and entrepreneurs.  Learn more about Brand School and see if your business qualifies for a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session at BrandSchoolOnline.com.

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“Working with Brand School is an invaluable experience and a really great use of resources because it opens up so many doors and affects so many areas of  your business.” - Sarah Hinawi, Executive Director, The Purple Crayon Center for Learning and Innovation

A TWIST For The Perfect Fit

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With the onslaught of cheap, disposable clothing in the U.S. and busy, demanding lifestyles fewer and fewer people are investing time or money in custom tailoring their wardrobes. Finding the perfect fit seems to be a thing of the past, making it especially difficult for tailors to stay afloat.  Until now…

Take UBER, TWIST it with a tailor, and you get zTAILORS.

ZTAILORS is the first and only online platform that connects tailors with potential customers.  Like UBER, a customer uses an app to call for a tailor to visit anywhere they prefer, at home, at the office, or even a Starbucks.

zTAILORS innovated to serve the needs of both the tailor and the customer. Tailors now have the ability to better serve their local community and the flexibility to choose their own hours. From hemming skirts to tapering jackets, customers now have the easy access to get the perfect fit from a professional tailor when and where it’s convenient for them.

It’s never been easier to have that favorite gown or suit – you know the one, it’s been sitting in the back of your closet waiting to be altered – ready in time to wear at your next special event.

Brand School gives you the tools to innovate and deliver more of what your customers are looking for. 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.

What twist can you use to make it easier to deliver more of what your customer needs?

“I’ve been able to take a look at the professionalism I offer and have been able to raise my prices to a level of which I didn’t have before.” - Ned Towle, Founderer Westchester Wine School

 

Top 5 Freedom Brands

Independence Day in the U.S.A. is a time to salute our founding fathers and mothers and take a moment to celebrate the birth of our great country…and of course consume way too many hot dogs and too much coleslaw and beer.

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But while enjoying these important festivities, I think there is something else we should salute.

Brands!!!

Not just Brands in general, but Brands that give us freedom. Products and services that allow us to do more, roam freely and achieve a certain level of independence and control over our lives.

Here are  my top 5 “Freedom Brands”, I’d love to hear yours.

(Cue the fireworks please)…

#1)  iPhone

#2)  Netflix

#3)  Google

#4)  Kindle

#5)  Spanx

#1)  iPhone: Like many of my BrandTwist readers, I also have a love/hate relationship with my  iPhone. However, I have to give credit where credit is due. No other brand in my life has given me such a degree of flexibility and freedom. Keep reading »

New Twist on Food Delivery

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Food delivery is not a new concept. Internet based delivery services such as Grubhub and Seamless have even taken food delivery a step further by offering delivery from restaurants that may not offer delivery services. However, up and coming business Dashed.com has TWISTED together the concepts behind Domino’s and rewards programs such Mileage Plus to create their “frequent foodie” points system.

Dashed not only guarantees delivery in 45 minutes or less in various cities in the northeastern United States, every order you make earns points towards rewards such as cash, free merchandise, or FoodlerBucks to put towards your next meal. From free deserts to discounts on orders, Dashed’s rewards program will make good food easily accessible and more affordable.

Running from 8am to 1am, Dashed will deliver meals to your doorstep using drivers that have taken a mandated four-hour training program to ensure a high quality of service. By simply entering in your location, the accessible web interface makes it easy to find different types of restaurants offering food from various different backgrounds.

Thanks to Dashed, hungry customers can enjoy a speedy delivery from a wide variety of restaurants while earning points towards future purchases, a concept that will TWIST how you think about food delivery.

Brand School gives you the tools to innovate and deliver more of what your customers are looking for. 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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“Working with Brand School … opens up so many doors and affects so many areas of  your business – an invaluable experience.” - Sarah Hinawi, Executive Director, Purpl  Center for Learning and Innovation

A Travel Twist for Pets

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Every pet owner who travels – and can’t bring their pet along – knows how inconvenient it can be to deal with the scheduling around boarding their pets. Most conventional pet boarders aren’t open 24/7 for drop off and pick up, which means extra boarding days for your pet, extra time off work and extra expense for you. But, what if you took a pet boarding & grooming facility put it right at the airport, kept it accessible 24/7 and offered terminal shuttle service and discount airport parking?

You’d have THE solution to every traveling pet owner’s need… and you’d have the hottest growing trend in pet boarding being offered by businesses like Now Boarding and Pet Paradise  – Airport Pet Hotels.

They conveniently place hotels for people at airports, why not for people’s pets?

“We’re running a hotel, but instead of people, we check in dogs, cats, the occasional pot-bellied pig and, once, some llamas.” says Pet Paradise Founder Fred Goldsmith.

How can you make your service or access to your business more convenient? Take a look at where you are not – and consider why you should be there.

Brand School takes a look at best practices of successful businesses and shows you how to twist and apply them to grow your brand. Learn more about what our Brand School Faculty can do for you HERE.

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“Julie gave great examples in Brand School that inspired me to think outside the box. I especially appreciate her attention to everyone’s brands and her insightful comments. Thank you!” - Jamie Lacroix, Marketing Department for a Non-profit