Sweeten Your Brand’s Impact with a Meaningful Cause

Can a product brand have a higher purpose and not seem like it’s just jumping on the “cause” band wagon? Well, we believe that sweetriot has made the cut with grace and impact.

sweetriot makes chocolate candy. Sounds simple enough, but they have taken their brand to another level altogether. They are a mission-based business that wants to “create a more just and celebrated multicultural world for our next generation”. They embrace this idea throughout their company and in every area of brand expression.

How do they succeed in clearly defining their brand promise to make their product and purpose stand out?

Their name says it all. sweetriot immediately implies they are making their voice heard, that they welcome others into the process, and they do it while creating a sweeter place, literally and figuratively. In their own words: “A sweetriot is a joyful celebration of culture, diversity, and understanding — it is the opposite of a civil riot, which is dangerous, violent, and oppressing.”

They are consistent and creative with their use of verbal identity. CEO, Sarah E Endline, calls herself the “Chief Rioter.” Customers are asked to “Join the riot.”  Their chocolate treats are called “peaces.” Their copy reinforces their dedication to fair-trade and social causes that better the communities from where their materials are sourced.Their tagline is “Fixing the world one ‘peace’ at a time. Sweet for the world & sweet for you.”

Their mission is integrated as a part of every aspect of their business – it is not an add-on. It is integral to their products, partnerships and people. They walk the talk.

Their logo helps tell their story. Their logo is a thumbprint and also the globe. Immediately we know sweetriot is aware that they are leaving their personal mark on the world and it serves as a reminder to us that we are, too (everyone has a thumbprint and everyone lives on Earth).  Based in NYC, USA, sweetriot’s brand colors of red, white and blue reflect their company’s origin.

Their packaging is social and unique. sweetriot supports the emerging artists community by featuring works that embrace sweetriot’s culture on the candy wrappers. Works of art to be featured are selected by votes from website visitors.

sweetriot put a creative twist on their brand by directly involving their market and community and by consistently reminding their customers that when they purchase a sweetriot product they are doing more than simply satisfying a chocolate craving.

If executed with authenticity and care, your customers may respond with loyalty and enthusiasm when they realize that by connecting with your product they are in turn contributing to a larger community. Identifying associations that resonate on a meaningful level with your target market takes strategic thinking. Incorporating your promise into your brand identity takes planning. At Brand School, the highly effective, premier branding program, we deliver the tools and steps you need to sweeten your brand and its connection to your market. Receive more information about Brand School’s next session and get 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. Read about other breakthrough brands and more ways to grow your business and brand here.

“I’ve taken quite a few courses on branding and marketing overall. However, what attracted me to Brand School was Julie’s experience with branding from a corporate level.” – Barbara Wanzo, Non-profit Homeowner Services.

March Madness – Instant Replay

This webinar series replay offer has expired. Sign up to receive our email to stay up-to-date on more  free webinars, replays and additional tools and tips to grow your business and your brand.

Due to an overwhelming number of requests from webinar attendees who wanted replays, Brand School is making available – for a limited time – a rebroadcast of BrandTwist founder Julie Cottineau’s webinar series, Brands That Twist. This live, interactive series originally aired earlier in March, 2013.

If you missed out on the live broadcasts, you now have another opportunity to receive the tips and tools that will help you begin building a stronger brand.

In this series on brand building, Julie gives you clear and actionable steps that you can start using right away to help boost your business, build a stronger brand, and make a bigger impact in your market. You’ll receive a taste of what Brand School covers in more depth.

In addition, you can receive a $100 discount off the tuition of the April 2013 online session of Brand School which starts April 15th, when you enroll by March 31st.

Both the rebroadcast of the Brands That Twist webinar series and the $100 discount off Brand School offer EXPIRE SUNDAY, MARCH 31, 2013 at MIDNIGHT.

To learn more about Brand School please visit: BrandSchoolOnline.com.

Enjoy the webinars!

Note: The “free seat at Brand School give away contest” Julie refers to in these rebroadcasts is over.

TWST YOUR WORDS: Leverage Verbal Identity to Shine

Tools and techniques to help you to use words: names, taglines, packaging copy and tone of voice to help your brand make some noise and be heard.

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THINK DIFFERENT: Innovation With a Twist

Boost your business with innovative and creative ways to look at old problems from new angles that will ignite new ideas and gain loyal brand fans.

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SMALL BRANDS – BIG IMPACT: Lessons From Brands That Twist

See how small brands are innovating, creating big ideas and standing out in their markets. Take away actionable steps to help your brand shine.

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Click here for more about Brand School, our highly effective, premier program to help you build your brand to grow your business.

Hop to It… For Better Branding

What’s the next best thing? Sometimes it isn’t a “thing” at all, but how useful a thing is, or in the case of TaskRabbit, it is how useful people can fill the needs of people in need.

TaskRabbit is all about getting the job done, and right up front, their name says it all.  Immediately we know the company is there to take on our request, do it quickly and as their tagline promises help us go From To-Do, to Done.

They put a twist on their business by branding their identity throughout every aspect of the user experience. Their expert service providers are referred to as “TaskRabbits,” while those seeking to hire sign in as “TaskPosters.” Brand credibility and recognition are further enhanced when TaskRabbits wear identifiable branded shirts or jackets while on the job, and a job can be doing just about anything, anywhere.

FOCUS YOUR BRAND ON USEFULNESS, NOT INNOVATION

The entire premise and focus of TaskRabbit is to fill needs. Usefulness was the driver in the development of the business. The TaskRabbit brand identity was then built around that purpose.

This is a great strategy. Too often brands get caught up inwardly gazing innovation. They focus on what they can make (faster, stronger, smaller) but they don’t actually stop to think “hey, does anyone really need this new and improved widget?” Instead of focusing on what you can provide, try thinking about what your target needs. Build that solution into your branding and reiterate it as part of your brand promise. Then you will have people lining up at your door.

Clearly defining and communicating usefulness reinforces your brand’s impact in the market. But finding these brand-building needs takes focus and a strategic approach to identifying how your product or service can make people’s lives better and compel them to choose your brand over another. Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, will give you the insight and tools you need to get the job done. Receive more information about the next session of Brand School and get 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. Read about other breakthrough brands and more ways to grow your business and brand here

“Julie’s active participation in Brand School and  feedback was amazing and helped a LOT. I received great value from this program.” – Leslie Hughes, PUNCHmedia

Engage in the Conversation

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

en·gage 
v.
 en·gageden·gag·ingen·gag·es
1. To involve oneself or become occupied; participate: engage in conversation.

It’s not enough to talk to a few loyal fans and followers on social media. You must really engage: it’s the only way to get ahead. Read on for another tip that will help you engage better.

TIP #11: ENGAGE IN THE CONVERSATION

Stop observing and start participating. Curious about Pinterest? Create a page and start pinning. Set up a Twitter account, follow those you can learn from, comment on and Retweet other users’ content. Start small; the important thing is that you get in on the conversation. You don’t have to start your own blog, but you should comment on blogs that you read and find relevant. This simple act can help drive traffic back to your site – and may even lead to valuable and enriching professional relationships.

What simple tips have you used to grow your business? Let me know in the comment section or on Facebook.

Check out tip #12 in the series, Innovate New Brand Ideas by Adding a Fresh Twist.

ENGAGE BETTER WITH A STRONGER BRAND THROUGH BRAND SCHOOL

Brand building is one of the single most important things you can do to grow your business but it takes expertise, energy and investment. Julie Cottineau, the Applegate Network’s Small Business Branding Expert and the former VP of Brand for Richard Branson’s Virgin is here to show you how.

Brand School is the premier program for business owners and entrepreneurs who what to grow their business. Brand School takes best practices of beloved brands such as Virgin, Apple, and Zappos and teaches you how to apply their success to your business to build a stronger brand to drive business results. Brand School gives you engaging videos, interactive exercises and exclusive access to a private community of other entrepreneurs. Learn more about Brand School HERE.

“Julie was so generous and gave us so much depth.  I learned my core message and how to package and brand it so I could stand out from the crowd.” – Dr. Marina Kostina, Distance Learning Specialist, CEO of  wired@heart 

Build Your Verbal Identity

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

TIP #3: BUILD YOUR VERBAL IDENTITY

The right words are key to your brand’s success. As marketers, branders and community managers, we tend to think about branding in terms of images – company logos, photos, a website’s look and feel. It’s important, though, to also pay attention to your verbal identity. Your company’s name, product names and taglines, and the everyday language you use to communicate your brand promise make up your verbal identity. Look at a differentiated brand like Starbucks. It’s no coincidence that the company’s branding has a lexicon all its own; servers are baristas, a large coffee becomes a Venti Blonde, a medium is a Grande, etc. Take some time to define your brand’s tone of voice and look for opportunities to use it to connect with your customer and reinforce what’s special about your brand. Your hard work will pay off.

Check out tip #4 in the series, Get Out and Go On a Brand Safari.

WHAT’S THE WORD ON BRAND SCHOOL?

Brand School is the premier program that teaches you how to grow your business with a stronger brand. In our session about how to build your verbal identity, we look at Starbucks, Apple, Nike, and Innocent Drinks for lessons in how to leverage names, taglines and tone of voice, put this knowledge to work immediately to beef up your brand’s verbal identity. In the words of Nike “Just Do it” –  learn more about the next semester of Brand School and receive news of exclusive offers for BrandTwist social media friends when you sign up for the BrandTwist newsletter HERE.

“The Brand School course gave in-depth actionable tools for real business and cultural development and product innovation… far exceeding all expectation.” – Jamie Freitas, Graphic Design and Social Media Marketing