A Switch With a Twist

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Here’s a TWIST that is so handy and so simple you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it and why you didn’t invent it. Have you ever found yourself confused with which light switch is which? In your home? In someone else’s home? In your new home? At work? SwitchID solves this problem with unique visual TWIST.

The old fashioned way was often taking a marker and labeling switches, taping up little notes or putting up stickers to help remember or let guests know which is which switch. But they rub off, wear out or leave a sticky mess behind.

SwitchID is a simple, safe, and easy solution that shows you which switch is which with self-adhering badges that use universal iconography for instant recognition. They’re durable, easy to clean and even come in a glow-in-the-dark option for added safety. They’ll stay on your switch plate until you decide to remove them.

SwitchID was created by Matthias Bollmus and John Schlick both of whom started Napkin Innovations, L.L.C, a think tank for new consumer ideas. Their mission statement: “We are trying to capture the every-day problems and see if there is an opportunity to tackle those through innovative solutions.”

Bollmus and Schlick took action on a simple idea that could solve a pesky problem and TWISTED to find a better way. Just because an idea seems too simple to be good, doesn’t mean it isn’t.

What simple TWIST could make your customer’s life a little easier?

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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.

Twist Book Testimonials

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“TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands”

Available on Amazon.

I am truly blessed to have finally realized my childhood dream of writing a book!. A huge thanks to all the friends, family, Brand School students and faculty for their inspiration and helping me me get this far. To all who generously share their well-wishes and support, your endorsement means so much and I am full of gratitude and appreciation.  Thank you!

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“Every brand should be doing the TWIST.” – Raul Leal, ECO of Virgin Hotels

“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, Prupl Center of Learning and Social Innovaiton

“This 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

“Julie’s rich experiences 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

“Just pre-ordered what I expect to be an excellent book on the art of branding from BrandTwist’s Julie Cottineau. I’m not a huge reader of business books, but not only is Julie knowledgeable and passionate about the power of brand and how to build one, she’s also an entertaining speaker and I’m sure her voice will pop off the page.” – Matthew Rosenberg, Chief Marketing Officer at ChoiceStream

Read more reviews on Amazon.

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A Better Bottle With a Twist

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Toting water on the go is a standard part of today’s healthy lifestyle. But we often have to compromise on taste when choosing an easy-to-carry solution. Reusable stainless steel bottles can leave a metallic taste and often get dented. Refillable plastic sports bottles – even BPA-free bottles - aren’t the right choice for everyone – they often retain odor and flavors, even after washings.

Real glasses and mason jars are often the preference of taste purists, however we can’t use these on the go because glass is too easily shattered and dangerous.

But… what if you took a mason jar and TWISTED it with a plastic sports bottle? You have GLASStic. A sports bottle that essentially is a glass bottle inserted within a BPA-free plastic bottle. If the glass should break, it stays contained within the plastic bottle – which means it’s safe to use in public places. You can replace the glass insert for just the cost of shipping - and it has a lockable lid for extra safety.

There’s always room for innovation even in a crowded market. Take a good look at your competition and see what’s missing. Are there still compromises that no one has solved?

In Brand School we show you to tap into market gaps and apply creative TWISTS to deliver fresh solutions. To find out what Brand School can do for you and and learn more about a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session, please click here.

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“I got so much out of Brand School. My business has grown leaps and bounds, and I feel like I have much more solid branding and language around what I do. :) So thank you!!” - Nathalie Lussier, natalielessier.com

Think Inside the Box for Better Branding

Birchbox was built on a single observation: It’s difficult for many people (like new parents) to get out and into stores to sample new products. So why not bring those samples directly to their homes? Birchbox does just that.

PACKAGE THE GAP AND DELIVER

Similar to what Rough Trade did with music, Birchbox took the “Product of the Month Club” concept and put a twist on it.  Instead of one monthly product, Birchbox delivers several samples of cosmetic, skin care, bath, beauty and lifestyle products all bundled into a beautiful Birchbox and sent direct to their subscribers door. They offer subscriptions for both men’s and women’s products, and each is branded with its own unique colors, look and feel.

ENGAGE YOUR MARKET; EXPAND ON WHAT YOUR BRAND OFFERS

But beyond delivering a new box of samples each month, Birchbox delivers brand value to their customers by giving them a total lifestyle website, where they can access user reviews of the latest products, have the opportunity to purchase additional goods and receive tips on grooming, fashion and beauty through their online magazines and blog.

Birchbox, like Brad’s Raw Foods, created a unique promise by filling a gap. Birchbox addresses people’s need for shopping convenience and their desire to feel connected, as their tagline expresses, Discover Beauty Better™        

CURATE AND CONQUER

Think about ways your brand may be able to address an unmet need and make it easier for consumers to say “yes” to giving you a try. Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, will provide the tools to create fresh ideas and help your business build trial and customer loyalty. Get information about priority registration for Brand School’s next session and receive our 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. Check out  other breakthrough brands and learn more ways to grow YOUR business here.

“I learned a lot from Brand School.  It inspired me to think outside the box. I have a much deeper understanding of how to effectively build a brand.” - Mike Sass, Entrepreneur

Do Blondes Have More Fun? Starbucks Thinks So

I recently came across this new Blonde coffee variety from Starbucks and I think it’s a great example of a name that’s descriptive without being boring.

Starbucks could have gone with more traditional descriptors like “Light” for this new variety.

But by choosing the name “Blonde” they are both helping the consumer navigate the choice of the many varieties and imparting a bit of personality – part of the strategy of what has made this brand so strong. They understand that it’s about the experience – not just the functionality. And they have always known that the devil is in the details.

Too often brands think the have to make a choice between clear and clever.

Starbucks shows you can have your (coffee) cake and eat it too.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

What other great descriptive names have you noticed?

Identifying your specific market niche and honing your brand’s verbal identity takes strategic thinking. Our Brand School program will give you actionable steps and strategies that you can use to grow a strong brand.  Receive more information about the next semester and receive free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

Please also join us on Twitter and Facebook for more insight and discussion on branding.

“Brand School allowed me to get to the essence of my  brand. I was able to hone and tighten up my brand. Thank you, Julie, it’s a great program.” – Jonathan Flaks, President, Jonathan Flaks Coaching Associates