Toys With A Life Saving Twist


Organ donation can be an uncomfortable topic and for some countries, like Japan, it is a particularly sensitive area and rarely discussed. This gap in awareness means that many do not receive life-saving donations – and children, in particular suffer from a shortage of donors more than most of the population. Second Life Toys is an organization in Japan that’s using a clever and endearing TWIST to raise awareness about organ donation for children.

They take donations of loved but no longer needed, injured, used plush toys and perform “transplants”, making them whole again. This campaign not only raises awareness in general, but also helps children gain a better understanding about transplants in a way that they can instantly relate to, with the comfort of new-found toy friend.

When you become a “donor” and donate your own unwanted stuffed toys you’ll receive a letter of thanks from the “recipient” telling you how your donation has helped them.

Second Life Toys took a painful, taboo topic and TWISTED with a beautifully simple idea – re-furbish donated toys to explain and promote organ donation – to make a big impact and lessen the information gap.

Is there an information gap preventing your customer from understanding what your business or non profit has to offer? What beautifully simple item could you TWIST with that would make your customer feel more at ease?

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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.

Jewelry with an Alarming TWIST


Yasmine Mustafa followed her dream to take a solo, six-month trek across South America. Throughout her journey she heard story after story from women about their being attacked, feeling vulnerable, inhibited and afraid. When an attack took place in her own apartment building, her vision to empower women to “Live your life boldly and without fear” was born.

Take Tiffany & Co., TWIST it with ADT Security Systems and you get Athena, a wearable piece of tech jewelry designed to prevent assault by ROAR for Good.

Athena is a simple device that looks like a jewelry accessory. It’s about the size of a half-dollar, wearable as a necklace or clipped onto clothing or a handbag. It’s mission: to protect women with the touch of a button. When you press the button a loud alarm is sounded and text messages are sent to friends & family with your current GPS location. There is also a SilentROAR™ feature which sends text alerts without activating the alarm.

Dedicated to ending assault, ROAR For Good takes their mission a step further. For each device sold, a portion of proceeds is invested in educational programs that have been shown to increase empathy and reduce violence, and ten percent of proceeds from their crowdfunding campaign goes towards raising awareness about the warning signs of abuse and helping end relationship violence.

ROAR For Good’s CEO & Co-Founder Mustafa saw a need, and TWISTED to create a brand and a product line that delivers what women are truly seeking, empowerment and safety.

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Finding the right TWIST can help your brand take charge. 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.

A Fashionable TWIST on Granny Glasses


I am always on the look out for that really great fashion statement piece, so I was quick to notice my BFF wearing a beautiful pendant necklace. That’s when she really impressed me by flipping her necklace open to reveal that it multi-tasked as a pair of chic reading glasses. This struck me as a brilliant TWIST. For the woman who is embarrassed to pull a pair of readers out of her designer handbag just to read a the menu in a hip restaurant –  Blinks are a great solution. Their tagline is “We make needing reading glasses a fashion statement.” No granny glasses here!

Blinks co-founders, sisters Stephannie Keller and Heidi Valenti, really understand a key pain point of their target customer, the fashion conscious middle-aged woman. They fittingly named their company Girl Powered Inc. Blinks really scores a home run with this stylish solution and was even featured in the 2012 Academy Awards swag gift bag.

As a Brand School graduate, I really love Brand School’s A+++ practice of TWISTING.  To successfully leverage lessons from brands that you admire you need to: 1) Become Aware of innovative brands, 2) Analyze what’s working and catching your attention and 3) Apply this to your own brand challenges.

This got me thinking about how I could incorporate a similar TWIST into my own brand, MissionBoost consulting. Everyone knows that social media is necessary tool to give your business a leg up. However, some of my clients are insecure about posting on social channels, as they do not want to come off as Granny with her first-time Facebook post. By incorporating my client’s individual voice and sense of style and using tools like Canva and Pablo, I help her create posts that are formatted with great fonts and beautiful images to make her and her businesses shine.

How can you use your favorite brand TWIST to inspire innovations that connect to your core customer and grow your business?

Brand School gives you the tools to innovate and deliver more of what your ideal customers really crave. 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.





“Brand School was helped us set structure to our process, define our target and recognize our customer’s motivations. We were able to create timely taglines and better define our branding campaigns.” – Randi Curhan, Development Coordinator for Redwood High School Foundation, Non-profit

About the author:


Randi Curhan is founder of, specializing in helping you figure out what you really need to do to bring your business to the next level, get projects off the plate, and get it done. Randi grew up 3rd of four kids, sandwiched between two gifted, mathlete brothers. Randi realized at a young age (when her preschooler brother shouted out the answers to her homework problems before she finished reading them) that she had to work a little harder to get where she wanted to be. That did not intimidate this girl who thrived on the challenge. It’s how she got into an ivy league school where she excelled among the Wharton pocket protector set, nailed the dream job at Goldman and got a spot in an amazing MBA program. Randi’s love of figuring sh** out and getting it done has always made her a valuable part of teams throughout her academic and professional life. Even while taking time “off” to raise her children, Randi was the one to set up fundraising systems, databases, email invitations and graphics for events. Consistently boosting and supporting people around her, always excited to learn the latest trends and tools and to put them into action, has earned Randi her status as “Legend” in ability to help others the job done.

You can reach Randi via, on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

Interested in guest blogging for BrandTwist? Contact

The Pocket Dial: An iPhone and Fashion Twist


Love your phone, but don’t know where to put it when you’re dressed for a nice evening out? Women can stash their phones in stylish handbags, but what do men in suits do? Cell phones weight down pants pockets and look bulky. Enter The Pocket Dial, invented by The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon. Fallon TWISTED debonair fashion with a basic cell phone case to create a new solution to a common problem. The Pocket Dial is an iPhone case that has an interchangeable pocket square – so a gentleman can put his cell phone into his suit pocket and be stylish and unencumbered.

Fallon and his assistant literally hot glued a pocket square to an iPhone case creating the first prototype and marched into J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler’s office to pitch the idea, and they loved it. Proceeds go to David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust so you not only look good, you feel good too.

Look at old problems from new angles and TWIST your way to new solutions. Consider a homemade prototype to make the idea more real and get others on board. What could you do with a glue gun and a bit of imagination?

Brand School gives you the tools to innovate and deliver more of what your ideal customers really crave. See 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, The Purple Crayon Center for Learning and Innovation

Twist Your Clutter Into Cash


They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, or maybe in this case – a thousand dollars?  Founded by Agustin Gomez in 2013, Wallapop is revitalizing the idea that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure by creating a 24-hour, 7-day a week garage sale without the hassle of putting up signs in the rain or sacrificing your entire weekend.

With Wallapop, a free new app, Instagram meets Ebay in a TWIST to create an ideal “What you see, is what you get” experience.  Wallop is primarily an image-based, streamline virtual flea market which removes the vague guess-work that usually accompanies online second-hand purchasing.

Wallapop users play the role of either “Wallashoppers” or Wallasellers” and unlike other online classifieds it enables you to instantly chat with the person you are buying from or selling to in order to ask questions or make requests.  Items are listed based on location with the radius expanding the further you scroll, all you have to do is just snap a picture of what you want to sell, give it a fair price and wait as all your clutter turns to cash!


The world is moving more visual. What visual TWIST could your brand take advantage of to stand out and simplify your customer’s experience?

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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,

About the Author: Courtney Elaine Glynn

Courtney is a senior in college studying psychology with a background in international relations and diplomacy. Blazing her own trail in the suburbs of New York, she is a self proclaimed renaissance woman of sorts; spending her time as an intern, personal assistant, small business manager, cooking instructor and aspiring writer.

Want to now more ? You can contact her at:

Interested in guest blogging for BrandTwist? Contact