Twist Book Testimonials

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“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!

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“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.

Entice Your Customers with a Color Twist

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In a fast-paced, fast-food world, finding that one little TWIST to make your product stand out is pivotal to gaining attention and building brand interest.

Take a Cartier box, who’s brand signature red color immediately gains your attention and signifies there is something wonderful to be found inside – twist it with a burger – and you get Burger King’s Red Whopper. In a sea of endless beige and brown burgers, Burger King Japan, with a limited budget and a R&D and marketing team of only five people, came up with a little twist that packed a big punch – color. Four years ago they successfully launched a “Black Burger”.

This year, they wanted to shake things up a bit, and launched a limited edition Red Burger – which was a red version of the “Angry Whopper”.  Says Burger King Japan’s general manager of business management Masanori Tatsuiwa, “We’re not using any creative agencies for these products. And this way we don’t need any big money to expand our awareness in the market.” “We thought making it red would make people curious and express the hot taste.” (AdAge)

And right they were. Before the product even launched, more than 150 headlines in English alone appeared in a Google search right out of the gate.

The Aka Samurai from Burger King Japan. There's also a version with chicken.

You don’t need a big budget or need to reinvent the wheel. It only takes the willingness to give a little twist a try. Just like Burger King did, your business can introduce a simple twist to stay fresh and current.

We know we’d make our burgers purple or pink… what color would your brand twist with?

In Brand School we give you easy, actionable tools that you can use from day one to boost your brand’s reach. You’ll have access to our team of experts and enjoy the ongoing support and inspiration from an exclusive community of like-minded business owners and entrepreneurs to help you stay on track and bring fresh ideas to market.  Learn more about Brand School and see if your business qualifies for a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session at BrandSchoolOnline.com

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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

Twisting, Moving and Shaking Your Brand

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Imagine what would happen if you really dove in and started to twist and shake up your brand and business? That’s what visionary entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Gary Vaynerchuk do. Listen to the “OnBranding by BRANDFEVER” podcast with conversation about the far-reaching power of a strong brand and ways you can dive in and add a little twist to strengthen your brand’s reach.

Listen to the interview at BRANDFEVER, HERE.

If you have not tuned into OnBranding’s interview series, you are missing out on an amazing resource. These are high quality, in-depth audio and video interviews with top industry leaders, businesses and entrepreneurs about branding and marketing.

During this rich, one-hour podcast we covered how I became interested in branding, lessons I learned from Richard Branson during my history as VP of Brand at Virgin, how I became an entrepreneur and developed BrandTwist and Brand School Master Class, but most importantly – we dive deep and give insight that can really help you grow your brand and business right now, like: the difference between marketing, advertising and branding; what’s important in branding today; tips on how to relate your story and social media; ways that brands can stay fresh and how entrepreneurs and business owners can generate new solutions to their business challenges and reach more customers.

Some takeaways:

  • Make sure there is an audience for your idea.
  • Rather than focusing on  innovation, focus on usefulness.
  • Put your consumer at the heart of your ideation. What do your customers need?
  • Ask your market what is wrong with today? What’s missing? What do you enjoy in other industries? What are you tired of?
  • Know your brand promise for leadership positioning and an edge-up over the competition.

Listen to the interview at BRANDFEVER, HERE.

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A Curated Brand Can be Music to Your Ears

What goes around comes around. No matter which technology is used to deliver it, from the hand-cranked Victrola machine to micro-chips embedded into eyeglasses, people want to hear their music.

Along with the introduction of the personal computer came the ability for people to produce their own music directly from their desktops. This was a real boon to musicians, but it introduced a whole new problem: with so much music out there on the web and bricks-and-mortar music stores rapidly disappearing, how do we actually FIND new, independent music?

In the not-so-distant past, we could go to our neighborhood music store and sample the newest releases. We could subscribe to the Record of the Month Club and receive our choices delivered via the mail, right to our door.

Well, guess what? What is old is new again! Enter: Rough Trade, “Independent purveyors of great music since 1976.” Specializing in collecting independent releases, they have two (soon to be three) actual record stores and an online presence. They put a twist on the old “Record of the Month Club” subscription concept. They incorporated new technologies to deliver to your email “Tracks of the week” as mp3’s and their “Album of the Month” delivered in either mp3 or CD formats.

But what really sets them apart is the exclusivity of access to a private collection and that they have removed the effort and work by curating for us. We receive their own personally selected favorites chosen from their archives of tens-of-thousands of recordings, delivered on schedule.

While the concept of a “month club” is an old idea, there is nothing old about what Rough Trade delivers and how the deliver it. Even their visual branding has a bright, fresh feel while still remaining true to the rugged, individualistic counter-culture music scene look.

The Rough Trade brand has several things going for it:

  • Focused niche
  • Exclusive access to a private collection
  • Reinventing the Month Club delivery system using new technologies
  • Removing the work and effort for us by curating and selecting
  • Consistent visual branding

Don’t hesitate to take a look backward. Consider your delivery system and ask if there might be a tried-and-true method that you could put a twist on to get your product or service into the homes, on the screens, or in the headphones of your target market.  How can you simply for your end user?  Is there something you can do to make their choices more effortless?

You don’t need to be a DJ to put a spin, or a twist, on your brand. New technologies are emerging all the time and you need to be able to evaluate which methods will provide the longest play for your business. Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, gives you the strategies and tools you need to spin your brand to the top of the charts. Receive more information about Brand School’s next session and get free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

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

 
“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

Sweeten Your Brand with Innovation

Valentine’s Day has just passed. Searching to find a sweet little something to give as a gift online became a bit of a chore, revealing little more than those tried-and-true V-Day staples: chocolates, sparkling wines, roses and perfumes — that was until I came across a unique twist on an otherwise everyday item, honey.

Bee Raw Honey. This brand incorporates several solid branding concepts and executes them very well:

Niche: one item, well- mastered.

Name: we instantly know exactly what it is and by using the word “raw,” we know what makes it unique.

Location: proudly promoting and supporting the importance of local artisanal sources.

BUT WHAT MAKES THEM TRULY STAND OUT IS THEIR PACKAGING TWIST

They took a plain pantry staple and presented it in a way that elevates the way we think about it. We now can enjoy honey with a culinary perspective we never even considered before.

Like an elegant wine tasting experience, Bee Raw Honey offers us the opportunity to sample several flavors of honey by packaging smaller “sample tasting flights” together in a unique wooden stand. They’ve made it even easier for us to experience their product in a new and innovative way by providing food pairing ideas, menu suggestions, and recipes.

Your brand doesn’t need to be a food-related business to benefit from Bee Raw Honey’s sweet branding success.

HERE ARE THE LESSONS YOUR BRAND CAN APPLY

Think outside the box, or create a better box, literally. The way your promise is delivered does matter. Packaging may be the first physically tangible contact your market has with you; use it as an opportunity to make a lasting impression.

Give your market something new to do. Tell your market how to use your product in a new, innovative way and make it accessible.

Find innovative ways to present who and what your brand is all about. We know that executing on this concept may not  always be as easy as it sounds. We understand the challenges in creating a strong, clear and reinvigorated brand. Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, will give you the tools you need to develop your brand and use it to make your business buzz. Receive more information about the next semester and also receive free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

Editor’s note: This is an entry in our blog series called “Brands That Twist”. We are celebrating entrepreneurial brands and highlighting lessons that your brand can use right away to grow your business. We hope you enjoy and we’d love to hear your suggestions for future brands to feature. Just let us know in the comments section of this post. Happy 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 Sass, Entrepreneur