How Lululemon Athletica Stretches its Brand Touchpoints

Check out “7 Bewitching Brands,” an article featuring an interview with BrandTwist founder, Julie Cottineau, in the April issue of Entrepreneur magazineShe addresses how Lululemon builds a community of brand ambassadors and uses all of its brand touch points (from tags to tote bags) to build its brand.

Despite the recent setbacks Lululemon Athletica has had with its recall of see-through yoga pants, we are still a big fan of this brand. We believe that all brands make mistakes, but in general, Lululemon does more right than wrong and we think they will weather this setback.

Read about Lululemon and 6 other bewitching brands HERE. This is a great issue of Entrepreneur – dedicated 100% to brand. A must read.

What brands would you put on the “bewitching” brands list? What’s missing? We’d love to hear your twist.

“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 

Get  information about priority registration for the next session of Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program and receive free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

Please also visit us on Twitter and Facebook for more insight and inspiration on branding.

The Power of “We” in Customer Service

Here’s a little anecdote from a shopping experience I had yesterday that shows how a subtle difference in language can really effect a brand experience.

My daughter broke her backpack and I went shopping for a new one. This is not an easy task by the way – three quarters into the school year the selection is very limited. It’s like trying to find a 4th of July sparkler in November.  Anyway, I digress…

I went into several brand name shops in my local shopping area, frantically searching for the back pack, and I noticed something really important in visiting  two stores back to back.

The sales clerk at store number #1 (Burlington Coat Factory)  told me THEY don’t carry backpacks right now. The “THEY” she was referring to was the store she worked at. The employer paying her check. By using this pronoun it was clear to me that she didn’t really consider herself part of this brand. I love Burlington Coat Factory for its great selection and low prices but I was dismayed by this attitude.

[sc:optin]

The sales clerk at store #2 (DSW-Designer Shoe Warehouse) – also wasn’t able to help me find what I was looking for. But she said “I am sorry, WE don’t have backpacks in stock right now”. This subtle difference from “THEY” to “WE” told me that she realized that she was indeed part of the DSW brand. And my experience shopping there has been consistent, the sales clerks will spend a lot of time with you trying to help you find just the right pair of tall black suede boots size 9 (just for example).

Semantics? I don’t think so. I think a brand’s ability to deliver great customer service is linked to its ability to make its employees understand and feel that they are the brand. There is no “THEY” –  there is only “WE”.

Do your employees understand this distinction? Are they taking ownership of your brand?

Building a strong brand culture and delivering on your promise at every touch point – including employee interactions – may not always be as easy as it sounds. We understand the challenges in creating a strong, clear and more profitable brand. Brand School is our highly effective, premier branding program that will give you the tools you need to develop your brand and use it to make your business thrive. Receive more information about the next semester and also receive free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

Please also check us out on Twitter and Facebook for more insight and discussion on branding.

“Quality information. The value is priceless. I loved every minute of it! I’ve recommended Brand School to industry friends and colleagues.” – Barb Wanzo, Non-Profit Homeowner Services

Grow your Business by Changing the Scenery

The Sanctuary at the Purple Crayon Center for Learning and Social Innovation, Westchester, NY

Most of us are creatures are habit. We’ve got a systematic way we go about our day: wake up, brew coffee, go to the office, meet with clients, work, strategize, home, dinner, TV bed. Repeat. Maybe we shake things up once in a while with a work out, dinner with friends, a movie or a show. But mostly we’re on auto-pilot always stopping at the same coffee shop, the same take out place even taking the same exact route to work each day. This kind of familiarity can be comforting – but it can also be the enemy of creativity.

Whether you’re happy with the work you do, or searching for a new creative outlet, it’s time to put some serious thought into your every day routine. I’m not telling you to move to a new apartment or completely overhaul the way you work. But shaking things up can give you big-time business breakthroughs. Seek out new environments. Even if it only means changing the layout of your office – moving your desk to another corner of the room, face the window instead of the door or vice versa. For even better results -get out of your office all together and spend a few hours every week working somewhere new. A coffee shop, shared worked space, even your local library.  When you are in this new environment take time to observe your surroundings: what interests and inspires you? What’s the lighting like, how does it feel to sit in a different chair, to look out a window at a different view? Routines can be ruts, don’t get stuck.

[sc:optin]

 GET MOVING AND GET INSPIRED

The Purple Crayon Center in Westchester, NY is just the kind of inspiring location I am talking about. It’s an old church transformed into a center for learning and social innovation. Part shared work space and part event meeting space -it’s got beautiful vaulted ceilings, hard wood floors and amazing architectural details that will inspire you. And it’s a quick train ride from NYC along with Hudson River – and in walking distance from the train station.  I love it so much that from time-to-tme I hold workshops on branding there and participate in their business community outreach programs as well.  Keep a watch on their schedule, or sign up for the BrandTwist list for updates on all of our future events.  I can promise you will love the results and takeaways you’ll get.

First Impressions Matter

IMG00103-20111024-1354

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the receptionist being the most important person in a company. Even more important than the CEO, the front desk staff are the first point of contact and can be powerful brand ambassadors.

I got a lot of positive comments on this and even a few fist bumps (well maybe extra big smiles) from some of the Agency receptionists around NYC.

Today I stopped by Virgin and this little place card greeted me at reception.

It immediately put a smile on my face.

What a perfect way to start the brand experience.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?
What does your front desk experience say about your brand?

Our online Brand School course will give you the tools you need to keep your brand creative and innovative and full of powerful touch points. Receive more information about the next semester and free tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

Please also check us out on Twitter and Facebook for more insight and discussion on branding.

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 H., Brand School Student