Mani-Pedi’s with a Starbucks Twist

nailsalon

Taking inspiration from successful businesses and twisting it with your brand to create innovative ways of reaching your ideal customer is the core of the BrandTwist philosophy. That, in particular, is what inspires the Brands That Twist Blog Series. That’s also what delighted us when we came across this Mani-Pedi TWIST:

Who would ever imagine how Starbucks Coffee could inspire a mani-pedi business? The folks behind MiniLuxe.

Taking inspiration from a completely out-of-category business, they intentionally set out to do what Starbucks did for the coffee industry. They wanted to develop a business that addresses customer’s needs, has a loyal following and is located right in their own communities. So, they incorporated the Starbucks formula: savvy design, cutting edge systems, a solid company culture, great employee care, excellent customer care, and not being afraid to have an abundant presence.

They decided on the mani-pedi business after noticing how many there are and how popular they are (not unlike Starbucks and coffee houses). Just because there are a lot of others like you out there, doesn’t mean the uniqueness of what you offer can’t shine through.

It’s all about the customer and delivering a great customer experience; as their tagline relays:  More than beauty care, Self Care; Be You. They’re all about helping you be the “you” you want to be.

At Brand School we do fun and innovative exercise where we imagine what our business would be like if we twisted it with something completely different and out-of-category. The results produce startling innovative solutions. See how Brand School can help you innovate to get your business noticed HERE.

BT BrandTwistSchoolLogosHSept27withTagline

“I highly recommend this program to anybody, to both those who have been in business for a long time, and those just starting out because it will put your business on a different level.” - Dr. Marina Kostina, Distance Learning Specialist, CEO of wired@heart

Innovative Connecting at 35,000 Feet

delta

Since commercial airlines became popular in the 50’s nothing much has changed. Unless you are on a luxury jet, most of us sit like anonymous sardines. We believe the airline industry is ripe for innovation and we often tell the true story of how we created the innovation TWISTING technique through a mix up with a McDonald’s mirage at Newark airport a few years ago.

When we do this TWISTING exercise in workshops and Brand School we often ask participants to imagine what would happen if a traditional airline like Delta would twist with an iconic brand like Starbucks – how would the airline experience become more innovative? Most respondents say that it would be great if we could have more convivial seating and make more meaningful connections on airlines, like we do at Starbucks. After all, Starbucks is not about coffee, it’s really about community.

We’re wondering if maybe the folks from Delta have been reading our BrandTwist blog or sneaking into the workshops, because they recently launched “Innovation Class” - a mentoring program at 35,000 feet that allows people to travel with innovators and use the flight time for valuable business connections.

Looking outside of your category for inspiration is one of the best ways to create fresh ideas and stand out in your market.

What iconic brand can your business TWIST with to reach new heights?

Brand School Master Class inspires innovative thinking to implement TWISTS like these that can broaden your business’ reach. Enrolling now – see if your brand qualifies HERE.

BT BrandTwistSchoolLogosHSept27withTagline

“Brand School turned out to be like the Mastercard commercial, priceless.The one-on-one sessions really allowed me to go deep into what my practice was about and how to implement it” - Sandeep Manchanda, Giraffe Partners Program Management

Add a Fresh Twist

This post is part of our series, “Thirteen Tips For Stronger Branding.” See the rest of the series HERE.

 TIP #12: INNOVATE NEW BRAND IDEAS BY ADDING A FRESH TWIST

Fresh ideas come from looking at old problems from new perspectives. If you are only looking at and thinking about what your competition is doing, chances are you will stay in the same rut and not come up with anything new or exciting. You need to look at old challenges from new angles.

A few years back I was at an airport and saw a 747 with McDonald’s golden arches on the tail fin. I started to imagine what this McDonald’s airline would be like. I imagined it would be a good value, family friendly and most importantly it would have flexible options in terms of how I bought my ticket and any upgrades – allowing me to supersize my experience to a seat with more leg room or special menu options. As it turns out, this airline was just a figment of my imagination. It was the reflection of the neon sign in the food court on the window, and there happened to be a plane parked behind the window on the tarmac. So while it was just imaginary, it led to the very real practice of TWISTING brands in different categories to come up with new ideas. (That’s actually why I named my company BrandTwist.)

Consumers don’t live in a one-category world. For example, they make note of great customer service experiences across airlines, retail stores, dry cleaners, fast food, fine dining, taxi cabs, doctor’s offices, personal trainers…you name it. So as marketers we should constantly be looking at the larger brandscape for inspiration. A great way to leverage lateral thinking for your own brand is to imagine what a beloved brand (in a different category) would do if it took over your business. How would this brand use its brand DNA to innovate in your market?  Twist an inspirational brand (ex. Virgin, Zappos, Starbucks, Apple) with yours and see the impact it can have in creating fresh ideas for your business today.

Check out tip #13 in the series, Commit to Continual Learning.

BRAND SCHOOL CAN HELP YOU ADD THE TWIST YOU NEED

…After all, that’s what it’s designed to do.

Julie Cottineau, the former VP of Brand for Richard Branson’s Virgin, and entrepreneur and a branding expert responsible for countless small business and personal branding makeovers, has created Brand School, the highly effective, premier program to help you grow your business and perfect your brand at the same time.

Receive more information about the next semester and free brand-building tools and tips when you join the BrandTwist mailing list.

“Brand School was engaging and helpful to me in learning more about myself and my business. Results came amazingly quick. Now, my brand name speaks my message immediately and I’ve expanded my reach.” – Lynn Stull, Owner Arts2Thrive 

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