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.

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 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.

13 Tips For Stronger Branding

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

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You might have been thinking about whether you’ve been bringing your A-game to your branding – let’s face it: creating and maintaining a strong brand can be complicated, but I’m here to show you how to make your branding seamless — and help you understand why doing so is MORE than worth the time you put into it. Start here for 13 tips (yes, 13!) you can apply right now to make your brand and your business stronger.

 TIP #1: LOOK THROUGH YOUR CUSTOMER’S EYES

It’s extremely important to continually look at your brand through your customer’s eyes. After all, brands are relationships, and like every successful romantic relationship, there must be two mutually interested parties. Start 2013 with your first customer experience audit. Map out all the touch points on your customer’s journey. Many companies focus just on when their consumer uses a product or service. I want you to think about the entire process.

Think about the moment your consumer starts to interact with your product up until they set it down, until they leave your business’ environment. Enlist help of friends, interns, and neutral third parties, like that kid in a coffee shop playing on his iPhone 5. Ask all of those people to interact with your brand and report back to you on where they felt engaged and well guided and also moments when they felt abandoned or confused. Make sure to photograph or record the experience so that you have documentation and can reference it whenever you think about engaging with your consumer.

Check out tip #2 in the series, Focus on Usefulness, Not Innovation.

BRANDSCHOOL: WHAT THE FUSS IS ALL ABOUT

Like what you’re reading? 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 HERE

“I received huge value from Brand School. You can’t put a price on that experience. I loved the integrated learning experience and that we walked out of the series with a working brand strategy.” – Rachel Watkins, Brand Development for Large Businesses