Add a Fresh Twist

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

 TIP #12: INNOVATE NEW BRAND IDEAS BY ADDING A FRESH TWIST

Fresh ideas come from looking at old problems from new perspectives. If you are only looking at and thinking about what your competition is doing, chances are you will stay in the same rut and not come up with anything new or exciting. You need to look at old challenges from new angles.

A few years back I was at an airport and saw a 747 with McDonald’s golden arches on the tail fin. I started to imagine what this McDonald’s airline would be like. I imagined it would be a good value, family friendly and most importantly it would have flexible options in terms of how I bought my ticket and any upgrades – allowing me to supersize my experience to a seat with more leg room or special menu options. As it turns out, this airline was just a figment of my imagination. It was the reflection of the neon sign in the food court on the window, and there happened to be a plane parked behind the window on the tarmac. So while it was just imaginary, it led to the very real practice of TWISTING brands in different categories to come up with new ideas. (That’s actually why I named my company BrandTwist.)

Consumers don’t live in a one-category world. For example, they make note of great customer service experiences across airlines, retail stores, dry cleaners, fast food, fine dining, taxi cabs, doctor’s offices, personal trainers…you name it. So as marketers we should constantly be looking at the larger brandscape for inspiration. A great way to leverage lateral thinking for your own brand is to imagine what a beloved brand (in a different category) would do if it took over your business. How would this brand use its brand DNA to innovate in your market?  Twist an inspirational brand (ex. Virgin, Zappos, Starbucks, Apple) with yours and see the impact it can have in creating fresh ideas for your business today.

Check out tip #13 in the series, Commit to Continual Learning.

BRAND SCHOOL CAN HELP YOU ADD THE TWIST YOU NEED

…After all, that’s what it’s designed to do.

Julie Cottineau, the former VP of Brand for Richard Branson’s Virgin, and entrepreneur and a branding expert responsible for countless small business and personal branding makeovers, has created Brand School, the highly effective, premier program to help you grow your business and perfect your brand at the same time.

Receive more information about the next semester and free brand-building tools and tips when you join the BrandTwist mailing list.

“Brand School was engaging and helpful to me in learning more about myself and my business. Results came amazingly quick. Now, my brand name speaks my message immediately and I’ve expanded my reach.” – Lynn Stull, Owner Arts2Thrive 

Focus On Usefulness, Not Innovation

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

Here we go, folks, with another post in our “13 Branding Tips for Better Branding” series. Read on for another strategy for making your brand better starting now, and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

TIP #2 : FOCUS ON USEFULNESS, NOT INNOVATION

Brands need to curate innovative experiences in order to retain their current consumers and attract new ones. But brands also consistently fall into the trap of creating new bells and whistles that are more about stroking their own egos than really providing value. A great way to avoid this is to focus on your brand’s ability to be useful. Stop thinking about innovation, at least momentarily. By shifting your mindset from a somewhat internal notion of innovation to a more external one of usefulness, you’ll be able to more effectively serve your consumer.

Usefulness automatically puts the customer at the heart of your development process. Let’s take one example. Zappos was originally founded by Tony Hsieh as an online shoe company, and was purchased by Amazon in 2009 for $900 million. As a brand, Zappos’ policy is to help customers find the exact shoes they want, even if it means finding them on a competitor’s website. This commitment to usefulness has created dedicated and passionate Zappos fans and brand ambassadors to boot.

Check out tip #3 in the series, Build Your Verbal Identity.

HOW CAN BRAND SCHOOL HELP YOU?

Psst: 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’s next semester and esclusive offers for BrandTwist social media friends when you join the BrandTwist newsletter HERE. 

“I’ve taken quite a few courses on branding and marketing overall. However, what attracted me to Brand School was Julie’s experience with branding from a corporate level.” – Malla Haridat, Coaching for Small Business and Entrepreneurs