Small Business Advocate Jim Blasingame Twists with Julie Cottineau


Julie was interviewed by Jim Blasingame, The Small Business Advocate,  about branding for the small business owner, finding your unique TWIST to make your brand stand out, how telling your brand story is different for men and women, and her book, TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands.

Jim’s website is loaded with insight for the small business owner or entrepreneur. Jim hosts videos, podcasts, articles, interviews and more. Experts share their wisdom, discuss their challenges and give solutions. For more valuable tips and support please hop on over to

Listen to Julie’s and Jim’s talk here:

Finding the right TWIST can help your brand stand out. 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. Available at

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Fundraising With an Interactive Twist


Charities have to constantly ask people to take time out of their routine, reach into their pockets, phone in, mail in, or go on line and answer questionnaires or fill out forms in order to make even a small donation to their worthy cause. If only this cumbersome process could TWIST into being something that is conveniently accessible, practically effortless and fun to do!

Welcome to “SocialSwipe”, the first interactive billboard to accept credit cards, making donating super easy – and even fun. A credit card swipe through the poster triggers an interactive experience. For example: the card swipe acts as a knife and cuts a slice of bread from a loaf, symbolizing a meal for a family in Peru. The donor feels an immediate sense of emotional gratification – as well as having a very cool experience. Each swipe donates 2 euros and the credit card statement comes with the opportunity to elect to make this a reoccurring donation.

Advertising agency Kolle-Rebbe and mobile payment provider Stripe, Inc. TWISTED by removing the barriers to donating by going directly where potential donors – and their credit cards – already are, (the first rollout was in an international airport), and giving donors the opportunity to be actively involved – and feel good doing it.

How can you TWIST to make your service or product more accessible? Try a loyalty mobile app. like a “Buy ten/Get one” mobile punch card. One local hardware shop we know had a “Trivia Question of the Day” posted over the cash register and anyone who answered correctly received a free light bulb. Offer them a little something extra for an immediate sense of satisfaction, like a sticker, postcard, charm, or discount coupon that will keep you fresh in their minds and wanting to return.

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Finding the right TWIST can help your brand reach more customers. 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.




Twist Book Testimonials


“TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands”

Available on Amazon.

I am truly blessed to have finally realized my childhood dream of writing a book!. A huge thanks to all the friends, family, Brand School students and faculty for their inspiration and helping me me get this far. To all who generously share their well-wishes and support, your endorsement means so much and I am full of gratitude and appreciation.  Thank you!


“Every brand should be doing the TWIST.” – Raul Leal, ECO of Virgin Hotels

“This book is a gift to small business owners, packed with information and strategies for potent branding, and full of obvious experience, wisdom and from-the-ground knowledge.” – Sarah Hinawi, executive director, Prupl Center of Learning and Social Innovaiton

“This book encourages entrepreneurs and brand owners across all types of businesses to think outside the limits of their category and take risks, and gives them the tools to make them stand out from their competitors.” – Laura Winston, attorney, Kim Winston LLP

“Julie’s rich experiences as the vice president of brand for Virgin has been brought to life in TWIST — a wakeup call and a road map for building brands that break through and get noticed.” – Raul Leal, CEO Virgin Hotels

“Just pre-ordered what I expect to be an excellent book on the art of branding from BrandTwist’s Julie Cottineau. I’m not a huge reader of business books, but not only is Julie knowledgeable and passionate about the power of brand and how to build one, she’s also an entertaining speaker and I’m sure her voice will pop off the page.” – Matthew Rosenberg, Chief Marketing Officer at ChoiceStream

Read more reviews on Amazon.

Health Monitor with a Twist


Think medical devices need to be staid and serious? Think again. MOCAheart, a personal health tracker, takes the heart health awareness credo of the American Heart Association and TWISTS it with the user-friendly design of Apple. Its cutting edge, elegant design makes health monitoring a breeze.

MOCHAHeart is created by MOCACARE, with a goal of making health tracking as effortless as possible. Like Apple, the hardware and software are designed and engineered side-by-side to deliver a functional and streamlined user experience.

Winner of the IF Design Award 2015, MOCACARE TWISTED human-centered design principles and the latest heart health technology to fill a need for a simpler and more intuitive way to take better care of our health. And their social function lets you check in on the health of those you love.  Even their website is clean, fresh, and super-easy to use.

What brands inspire you? Take some of that inspiration and consider how you might bring those principles to your user experience. Examine how you could simplify your website, purchasing process, or packaging. A simple design change can make a big difference to your customer.

Brand School gives you the tools to innovate and deliver more of what your ideal customers really crave. See what Brand School’s team of experts can do for you and see if you qualify for a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session HERE. 





“I am a proud graduate of Brand School! I thought I knew about branding before but this course took it to another level. I loved it!” – McKenna Ripley, Graphic Designer