Twist Your Brand For New Ideas

BrandTwist: Turn on your inner lightbulb

Let’s not kid ourselves. Branding is tough.

There are so many competing brands and messages, it’s can be hard to capture a consumer’s attention (and his/her buying power). But there are some brands that consistently breakthrough and get recognized. We often fast-forward, mute or pause advertisements, for instance,, but we’ll slow down the DVR to watch especially good ones from Volkswagen, Target or Doritos.

But its not just ads. Products and services capture our attention, too. How many of you have friends that are so completely brand-loyal they’ll tell anyone who’ll listen about the virtues of their favorite brand (I’m thinking of Lululemon in particular)? I know I do. So what are these brands doing that’s helping them cut through the noise and turn consumers into brand ambassadors? More importantly, what can your brand take away from these brands?

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It’s crucial to constantly learn from well-loved brands.

Even the most skilled branders, marketers and entrepreneurs can benefit from brainstorming with others and mentally challenging themselves. But it’s really important to take these lessons from brands that are outside of your business category.What does this kind of lateral thinking have to do with great branding? In a word, everything. As entrepreneurs, business owners and marketers, we’re so concerned with what the competition is doing, we forget to look toward brands that are winning. Consumers don’t have this narrow view. They notice when a brand provides great service, and they come to expect it as standard. That’s good for you if you deliver excellence. If not, well…

BrandTwist’s foundation is built on lateral thinking, in part because it’s so effective, and in part because it helps others to be just as successful. Even if you’re a business of one, you can use best practices of brands like Apple to improve your own customer experience. The trick is to pick an inspirational brand that is as far away from your business category as possible. Let’s say you sell lingerie to women; you should twist your brand with a masculine, high-tech brand like BMW. What would BMW do to rev up your business? Think big picture. I guarantee that if you twist your business with just a few brands in other categories, you’ll come up with hundreds of actionable new ideas in a short amount of time.

COME TWIST WITH ME – AND TEST DRIVE SUCCESS

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Focus On Usefulness, Not Innovation

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

Here we go, folks, with another post in our “13 Branding Tips for Better Branding” series. Read on for another strategy for making your brand better starting now, and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

TIP #2 : FOCUS ON USEFULNESS, NOT INNOVATION

Brands need to curate innovative experiences in order to retain their current consumers and attract new ones. But brands also consistently fall into the trap of creating new bells and whistles that are more about stroking their own egos than really providing value. A great way to avoid this is to focus on your brand’s ability to be useful. Stop thinking about innovation, at least momentarily. By shifting your mindset from a somewhat internal notion of innovation to a more external one of usefulness, you’ll be able to more effectively serve your consumer.

Usefulness automatically puts the customer at the heart of your development process. Let’s take one example. Zappos was originally founded by Tony Hsieh as an online shoe company, and was purchased by Amazon in 2009 for $900 million. As a brand, Zappos’ policy is to help customers find the exact shoes they want, even if it means finding them on a competitor’s website. This commitment to usefulness has created dedicated and passionate Zappos fans and brand ambassadors to boot.

Check out tip #3 in the series, Build Your Verbal Identity.

HOW CAN BRAND SCHOOL HELP YOU?

Psst: For more actionable strategies, consider BrandSchool. BrandSchool is the premier program that teaches you how to grow your business by building a stronger brand. From bull’s eye targeting to strategic social media and more, Brand School shares current best practices from Virgin and other world-leaders in branding and shows you how to apply these lessons to your business for greater impact from day one. Learn more about Brand School’s next semester and esclusive offers for BrandTwist social media friends when you join the BrandTwist newsletter 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.” – Malla Haridat, Coaching for Small Business and Entrepreneurs