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.

Promoting Pet Adoption With a Tennis Twist

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Stray dogs are problem the world over. Shelters are overflowing and animal rescue organizations are desperate to find ways to increase pet adoptions. How could a completely outside of category business lend support? Take the USTA (United States Tennis Association) and TWIST it with the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). That’s what The Brazilian Tennis Confederation (CBS) did when they created the “Ball Dogs”  campaign – an entertaining and fun initiative that demonstrates how smart shelter dogs can be.

Debuting at the Brazil Open tennis tournament, four stray dogs abandoned in Sao Paulo slums participated in the match demonstrating their newly learned skills as ‘ball dogs’ – and captivated everyone’s attention and hearts.

“The idea is to show people that a well-fed and well-treated animal can be very happy. We have more than 1,000 dogs in our care,” Marli Scaramella, the organizer of the ball-dog initiative, told the Associated Press.

Successful businesses promise to solve problems, make lives easier, better and more fun. When the CBS partnered with the shelter dog initiative, they showed the world they have a heart, are willing to help, and that they care – creating a deeper and more emotional connection with their audience.

What pro-social cause should your brand TWIST with to add impact?

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Finding the right TWIST can help your brand stand out. 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

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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.

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“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:

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Randi Curhan is founder of MissionBoostConsulting.com, 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 MissionBoostConsulting.com, on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

Interested in guest blogging for BrandTwist? Contact jamie@herculiz.com.

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

The Pocket Dial: An iPhone and Fashion Twist

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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