A Twist That Can Save the Planet

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Plastic bottle caps are washing up on ocean shores and posing environmental health and safety concerns. They are actually number 5 in a top 10 list of commonly found pieces of trash on the shores. The problem is clear, but so far no one has come up with a solution to keep these caps out of our oceans and landfills. That’s until now. Clever Caps has taken a conventional water bottle cap and TWISTED it with a Lego block – they’ve created an innovative solution for a world increasingly concerned about environmental pollution and trash build up.

With Clever Caps, users can create everything from furniture, to light fixtures, to art pieces, to children’s toys – and they interlock with similar crafting blocks already on the market.

We were so impressed by this TWIST that we donated to a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo. You can too.

Just by adding one simple out-of-category twist, Clever Caps created an all-around friendlier bottle cap that’s fun and more environmentally friendly.

Brand School Master Class gives you the tools you need to create the TWIST that will take your business further. Enrolling now HERE.

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“Brand School’s guidance and support has helped grow my business to new depths of expansion, creativity and financial worth… and keep it growing and transforming to passionately share what I love with others.” – Deborah Coulter, deborahcoulterartflow.com

Mani-Pedi’s with a Starbucks Twist

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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.

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“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

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

Unisource Inaugural Strategic Branding Conference: Hotel, Lodging, Hospitality

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I was honored to be among the presenters at the inaugural Unisource Strategic Branding Conference along side Dr. Chekitan S. Dev, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration; Chris Crenshaw, Vice President, STR and Tony Pollard, President, Hotel Association of Canada.  The focus of this event was to discuss current issues, best practices, and innovative new ways to maintain, protect, and grow an organization’s brand in the Hotel, Lodging and Hospitality industry.

Here are two articles that summarize the event, and provide insightful takeaways that you can begin using right away to grow your business and brand, no matter what field you are in.

Unisource Unplugged Blog:  Trophies, Vomit Bags, and Other Takeaways from our First Strategic Branding Conference

Jackie Sloat-Spencer’s article for HotelierMagazine.com: Unisource Conference Informed on Brand Awareness

Keep your brand fresh and your with the tools and techniques you’ll receive in Brand School, the premier program for business owners and entrepreneurs who want to build stronger, more profitable brands. Receive more information about Brand School’s next session and get free brand-building tools and tips when you join our 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

How Uniforms Influence Employees and Their Company Brand

In this entry, How Uniforms Influence Employees and Their Company Brand, Jennifer Busch, explains how uniforms play an important role in not only influencing customer expectations, but that one important element, often forgotten, is how uniforms heavily influence employees as well. This is part of our guest blogger series. You can read more about Jennifer in her bio below. If you would like to be a guest blogger for BrandTwist contact Jamie@BrandTwist.com for more information.

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We all know that a company’s uniforms can say a lot about its employees. But how about what employees say about their uniforms?

Most companies choose uniforms to reflect their brand—perhaps understated formal suits for a luxury hotel, or casual and colorful outfits for a family-friendly park. Uniforms reveal a tremendous amount about an organization and communicate to customers an image of professionalism and reliability. Though uniforms play an important role in influencing customer expectations, one element often forgotten is how uniforms heavily influence employees as well.

Research in the hospitality and service industries show that employees who enjoy wearing their uniforms had higher self-perceptions of job performance, better attitudes about their work, and higher levels of job satisfaction. Likewise, employees who disliked their uniforms had lower levels of job satisfaction. Levels of employee satisfaction directly correlate with customer satisfaction.

So what are the elements that go into creating uniforms that employees will be proud to wear? There are two main considerations, appearance and function.

Appearance. Employees care about how they look. An attractive uniform can greatly enhance self-esteem, which in turn improves attitude. One extremely important detail is the fit. Baggy or tight garments can make employees feel self-conscious and less confident in interacting with customers. Other important details include color, fabric, and style, which should reflect the company brand.

Function. Uniforms should be sturdy enough to handle daily wear and tear. They also should not inhibit job performance—imagine a waiter’s pockets not being able to fit a notepad, or a bellboy’s jacket being so overdesigned with buttons that they pop off every time he is lifting luggage. Impractical uniforms can increase stress and make job performance difficult.

In short, well-designed uniforms can build employee self-confidence and morale. In particular, studies show that employees believe that their credibility increases while wearing a formal style uniform, making them far more confident and professional while interacting with customers. This translates to better service, and in turn positively affects a company’s long-term profitability. It’s what researchers call the “Apple Store Effect.” When managers and employees feel connected to the company, they exhibit higher levels of loyalty and commitment to the job, which translates to better customer connections.

About guest blogger Jennifer Busch:

Jennifer is the fourth generation of the Busch family to run I. Buss & Allan Uniform Company. Prior to joining the family business, Jennifer worked in the field of psychological research and also flourished in the creative industries. She now channels her creativity into her work as the owner and lead designer for I. Buss & Allan Uniform. She has designed unique looks for many of New York’s most renowned owners and developers. I.Buss & Allan’s client list includes hotels and clubs, real estate companies, privately owned firms, The NYPD,  banks and Business Improvement Districts.