Location, Location, Location

One of our recent Facebook posts featured the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, Canada. Our attention was drawn to this independent hotel because of how they set themselves apart by embracing the uniqueness of their location. Their brand is dedicated to offering an immersive and authentic Toronto experience to guests. The Gladstone is a one-of-a-kind hotel with one-of-a-kind rooms, each designed by a different local artist. Every room is detailed on their website with a statement by the local artist.


Then we discovered Provenance Hotels, a chain with five prominent hotels in the U.S. They create a savvy, branded experience that highlights the culture of the city in which each hotel is located. This allows guests to form personal connections with the local community, the featured art and the hotel staff. The picture above is from their Hotel Max, Seattle, WA. Each room’s door is a full black and white photograph of artists and musicians that have a history connecting them to Seattle. Even the “X” created by lighting projected on the wall speaks to the local culture.

Though these two brands are in the same business; by offering their own twist on celebrating their location, they each provide travelers a rare and enriching experience, which cannot be duplicated.


Often small brands feel they have to act big to be taken seriously. But small can be an advantage. Don’t be afraid to be local. Celebrating where you come from can make you stand out and be noticed – and help people identify with what you are offering. Locals appreciate the recognition and visitors appreciate getting an authentic taste of a new place. Establishing a connection with the local community also adds to the credibility of your brand.

Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, will give you the tools you need to develop your branding and use it to connect your market with your brand’s unique sense of place. Receive more information about the next semester and free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

“Motivational! I’ve given recommendations to several clients about Brand School.” – Liz Osting, Founder Herculiz Design

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

Show, Don’t Tell

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

For today’s post, we’re taking a trip back to grade school. You know, when you had those class projects you brought in to show your fellow students (and hopefully, engaged listeners) about your product, thing or idea? Let’s start there. Read on for another tip to help you brand your business even more successfully.


Brands must have clear brand promises in order to be successful. But the strongest  brands also back up their words with actionable results. Marketers, strategists and social media experts, that means that you need to ensure your experience actually delivers what you say it will. Virgin America has done so well in a relatively short time span because the brand doesn’t just tell you it’s ‘A Breath of Fresh Airline’. It shows you, through unique mood lighting that’s present on each aircraft, a touch-screen RED entertainment system built into the headboard of the airline seats, and the complete ability to control when you order and eat during the flight. Add to that fleet-wide WiFi and a rockin’ elevate points system and you might actually start to feel that seeing is believing. Great brands “walk the talk”. Is your brand blowing hot air, or does it deliver what it promises? Delivery and execution for brands isn’t always an easy task, but brands that show their consumers what they offer, rather than telling it, are the ones that make it to the head of the class.

Check out tip #8 in the series, Find Moments That Matter.


Brand School is the premier program that shows you step-by-step how to build your brand and grow your business. Brand School takes best practices of beloved brands such as Virgin, Apple, and Zappo’s and teaches you how to apply these lessons right away to your brand. It’s not about the theory of branding. It’s about rolling up your sleeves, learning by doing, and seeing the impact of a stronger brand right away. Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on special offers and learn more about the next semester of Brand School HERE

“Brand School helped me get clear on my messaging and my brand. Now my clients know exactly what it is I bring to my classes.” – Josh Pais, Actor and Founder of Committed Impulse, creativity workshop

Little Touches of Brand


This is the purple coffee pot in my new BrandTwist office.

A little bit of branding that helps me get in the BrandTwist mood while drinking my morning Joe.

Next to it are the salt and pepper shakers that I “borrowed” from Virgin Atlantic.

I know many of you have heard the story how Virgin brands these  shakers with “pinched from Virgin Atlantic” on the bottom. This way  people who feel compelled to take them home and show them off to their friends can also extend the brand’s reach through a very clever brand touch point.

Two simple objects (a coffee pot and shakers) but they help remind me of my mission and vision and what I love so much about Brand..

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

What touch points (big or small) do you use?

Our online Brand School course will give you the insight and tools you need to keep your brand creative and innovative and in-touch. 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 learned a lot from Brand School.  It inspired me to think outside the box. I have a much deeper understanding of how to effectively build a brand. – Mike S.