Phonebooth With a Poetic Twist

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Telephone booths have become old school relics of the past, until Elizabeth Hellstern took one and added a poetic TWIST to create Telepoem, an experiential art piece that debuted in Flagstaff, Arizona.

The Telepoem booth offers the younger set a novel, “new” experience of dialing a rotary phone in phone booth, and it provides a comforting dose of quiet and nostalgia for the senior set. For both, it’s a respite from an increasingly higher tech world, free of selfie taking or texting – just a solitary space and listen – to poetry recited by the authors.

What started out as a one-off, is available for purchase or rental and the artist is seeking funding to create more.

Hellstern didn’t invent the phonebooth, rotary dial phone or poetry. She took inspiration from an array of seemingly unrelated interests and existing items to deliver a novel experience.

How can you enhance your customer’s enjoyment? Take a look at what you already have in your business and TWIST unrelated assets together to see what emerges.

April is National Poetry Month… Use poetry to build your brand by creating a brand Haiku (Here’s how). It’s just one of the may exercises we use in Brand School

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Finding the right TWIST can help your brand 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.

A Creative Business and Travel Twist

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We hear from work-from-home business owners and solopreneurs how they often  feel isolated and how challenging it is to remain inspired and innovative when they are alone in the same space day-in and day-out.  Something as simple as a little TWIST in the routine, like working from a local coffee shop or library can be a refreshing change – for the short term. A vacation provides some needed rest and relaxation but won’t hone your business skills. What if you had the opportunity to really break free of the isolated work-a-day routine while making new connections and keeping your business thinking cap on?

Take Match.com, twist it with Travelocity.com, and you get Jobbatical, “It’s a word made up of “job” and “sabbatical”. It means a professional career break where people use their skills and knowhow to work on an exciting project in a new team in a new environment – without dipping into your life savings.”

Jobbatical took a look at the growing temporary and part-time employment trend and created a service to bring together employer and employee in a way where each can add value to the other’s business skills and enhance one another’s creative thinking – all while providing a rejuvenating travel experience.

Where would you love to go to get paid AND see the world?

Keeping the creative ideas flowing is essential to keeping your business and brand fresh and alive in your customer’s mind. At Brand School you will connect with an exclusive community of like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners. Our team of experts share their skills and give you the tools you need to innovate and grow your business. Now enrolling HERE.

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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

What’s Your Brand Theme Song?

Every detail plays a part in starting a business – you need the vision, the plan, the team, the perspective, and the ability to execute. Carolyn Browning, founder of MEETing Needs, LLC, shares how a Brand School workshop exercise “Identifying your brand’s theme song” helped her bring it all together and formulate a plan for success.

This entry, from Carolyn Browning, is another in our guest blogger seriesRead more about Carolyn in her bio below. If you would like to be a guest blogger for BrandTwist contact Jamie@BrandTwist.com for more information.

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If you are anything like me, there is always music playing – whether in the car, exercising, preparing dinner or working. The type of music varies, but having something in the background helps my mood – it calms me, energizes me, and keeps me focused.

So I was excited when some pre-work for a workshop I recently attended entitled “The Brand of You” (led by BrandTwist’s own Julie Cottineau), was to choose a song, poem or quote that described my personal brand.

Editors note: This workshop has passed but you can read more about how to effectively tell your brand story, in Julie Cottineau’s article, HERE. If you want to make sure you hear about future events like the one Carolyn attended, sign up for our mailing list.

[sc:newoptin] I immediately decided that I’d choose a song – but which one to pick? What would best describe my company – MEETing Needs? My brain was bouncing in different directions as I started listening to the radio. I happened to be tuned to the Broadway show tunes station when, it hit me – “Putting it Together”, a Sondheim classic from Sunday in the Park with George, about an artist who is trying to overcome objections from his manager, investor and wife, about his style and the direction his art is going in.

I started singing some of the lines

“Bit by bit, putting it together… Every moment makes a contribution; every little detail plays a part. Having just a vision’s no solution, everything depends on execution….”

This really resonated with me and my new brand and it ties together the three core facets of my business. Here are some of the other lyrics and the correlations I drew:

“Link by link, making the connections”

In my speaking/training area – I love helping people connect concepts together.

“First of all you need a good foundation, otherwise it’s risky from the start”

When facilitating a meeting or retreat for a group, a good foundation and vision is critical

“Mapping out the right configuration… starting with a suitable foundation… til you have a balanced composition”

This applies to meeting management, planning things out – keeping harmony among the various parties – balancing the stakeholders needs.

“Putting it Together” could be the soundtrack for my life, both personally and professionally – almost everything I’ve done has to do with putting together people and ideas. From organizing activities for my sisters and I, to planning parties, to leading clubs in school, to training the sales team on a new product, to building a strategic plan with an association board, or finally starting my own company. Every detail plays a part – you need the vision, the plan, the team, the perspective, and the ability to execute.

Identifying your brand’s theme song was a really helpful exercise and just the beginning of this incredible workshop. From there we delved into creating a cohesive story that resonates with our target audience. We pinpointed personal stories that could be used to define us and our brand; linked the personal story to our professional experience and finally tied it all together in our ‘elevator pitch’.

Julie’s technique of finding a theme song as a way to explore what is unique about my personal brand really inspired me.  I came away energized to tell my story and might just be adding some theme music to my website…

About guest blogger Carolyn Browning:

Carolyn Browning is the Chief Solution Strategist of MEETing Needs, LLC. After years of freelance meeting planning, developing association leaders, leading certification prep classes and being a super-volunteer, she decided to combine her passion for teaching, facilitating and designing meetings to start her own company, MEETing Needs. She is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), holds a Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM), is a multiple-award winning member and two-term past president of the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) WestField Chapter. In her “spare time” she manages the family schedule for her husband and two busy teenagers. If you’d like to find out more about Carolyn or MEETing Needs, contact her at crb@carolynbrowning.com, follow her on Twitter @crbcmp or visit her website, www.carolynbrowning.com.

Build Your Business On Vacation

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A Business Building Vacation sounds like an oxymoron, right?

Wrong. You can actually take advantage of some “down time” to come back with fresh ideas that will help you re-energize your brand and your business and hit the ground running when you come back at work.

Summer vacations  are a great time to make note of new brands and exceptional customer service experiences that surprise and delight you. Pack a Brand Safari notebook (along with your sunscreen) when you go to the beach, Europe, mountain resort..wherever you are headed.

Write down specific elements of your summer experience (right after they happen so they are fresh) and think about how you can apply those lessons to your own brand.

You can build your business and work on your tan at the same time!

Build your business  with a brand that gets noticed! Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, gives you the tools and techniques you need to keep your brand shining. Receive more information about Brand School’s next session and get free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

 

“What an excellent experience. You have turned our business on its head! We are in the process of re-inventing our brand and company!” – Gavin Meiring, CEO, Rugged PC, South Africa

Try to Get Fired

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

TIP #5: THINK OF ONE THING THAT COULD GET YOU FIRED

Often, we are our own worst enemies. We come up with a fresh idea, then immediately censor it. “What if my boss doesn’t like it?” “What if it fails and I get fired?” This kind of thinking blocks innovation and is actually hindering your productivity and growth, whether you know it or not.

To snap out of the mindset you’re currently in, I encourage you to try this exercise. Start brainstorming new ideas, and make the objective of your brainstorming to think specifically of ones that would get you fired. I’m not talking about spreading company gossip on your Facebook page or throwing up on the CEO at your holiday party (Yikes. Did anyone actually do that?). I’m also definitely not encouraging you to actually get fired; work experience and a 401K is sometimes too valuable to just give up.

I’m talking about creating an idea that deliberately takes you out of your habitual comfort zone. By thinking in this way, going to the extreme opposite of what’s expected, you actually ladder up your thinking. You might just come up with a nugget of an idea that’s pitch-worthy, even brilliant and highly-marketable. Read more on this creative-thinking technique here. 

Check out tip #6 in the series, Fail Harder.

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GET PROMOTED WITH BRAND SCHOOL

For more actionable strategies, sign up for Brand School, the premier program that  teaches you how to grow your business by growing a stronger brand. From bull’s eye targeting to strategic social media and more – Brand School shares current best practices from Virgin and the world’s best brands  and teaches you how to apply these lessons to your business for greater impact from day one. To receive up to date news of the next semester and special offers for BrandTwist social media friends, sign up for the BrandTwist newsletter HERE

“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 Sass, Entrepreneur

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