Love YOUR Brand

I officially declare February the month to LOVE YOUR BRAND!

Taking care of YOUR brand helps you do a better job for your clients. And the best way to begin is to stop thinking about them all the time.

Who is “them”? The clients you spend 24/7 obsessing about and giving all of your creative energy to.

You heard that right.

Being a creative or consultant is exhilarating, fulfilling work. We love to create. We love to write that perfect sentence, design the perfect graphic, build that perfect strategy or plan that perfect event.  We love to brand and create unique brand experiences. It’s our obsession. We simply cannot shut off our creative brains… for our clients.

It’s easy to get totally immersed—to be pulled into pitch after pitch, project after project. As rewarding as this can be, chances are it comes at a cost of neglecting our own brand. Our own brand strategy, our own website, video, name, logo or hundreds of other brand touch points that we deliver for our clients. 

And so we put off working on our brand. We’ll get to it–after we meet this deadline or hit that income goal. But days turn into weeks, then months. Before we know it, we’ve entered another new year still feeling a pang of dread every time we look at our OWN brand. Knowing it needs our attention, but never making it a priority.

Well, it should be a priority. Because if you’re neglecting your brand, you’re not giving your best creative self—to you OR your clients. Honing your own brand helps you attract the clients you really want to work with, command the prices you deserve, and give you the inspiration and passion that will shine through in the work you deliver to your clients.

My best advice: Treat yourself to the TWIST.

TWISTING allows you to find inspiration and ideas by looking at successful brands outside your  category. What are they doing that might inspire a new approach for your business? How are they solving problems for their customers, turning them into loyal followers and brand ambassadors?

TWISTING is important for every business, but it’s mission-critical for anyone involved in creating solutions and strategies for clients. Why? Because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of talented consultants, copywriters, designers, marketing strategists, event planners and videographers who can all do what you do… but there is only one YOU!

You may already be aware of brands that are breaking new ground. You probably admire their ingenuity, and you might even draw inspiration from them.

Time to step it up!

  • TWISTING can help you change the way you think about YOUR business.
  • TWISTING can help you unlock fresh new perspectives that will propel YOUR brand forward 
  • TWISTING is the most loving thing you can do for your brand.

Try the 3 As to start TWISTING today!

  1. Be more AWARE. As a creative, you probably study other brands for inspiration. Take your awareness further. Train your brain to notice successful brand trends and practices far OUTSIDE of your category. Why? Because your ideal client is exposed to all brands, not just your business.
  2. Always ANALYZE. Just as important, you need to start analyzing brand elements that draw you in. Why do you love them? What emotions or larger truths are they tapping into? What best practices can you spot? How do they connect with your heart, not just your head?
  3. Finally, the most impactful step is to APPLY. When you apply these insights to your own business, you will funnel new ideas into your business and try new approaches that will push your brand upward and onward.

Commit to your brand: Join my FREE webinar on February 28th at 12pm EST.

I will walk you through exactly how to PLEDGE YOUR LOVE  to your own brand—not only for February, but for many years to come. Perhaps until you’re ready to retire to that little lakeside cabin or beach house you’re dreaming about!

SIGN UP NOW:

Love Your Brand

Sign up for the Love Your Brand Webinar: Feb 28, 2018

Why Brands Like American Girl Build Fans Not Customers

Great brands touch consumers hearts, not just their heads. They go beyond rational proof points and connect on an emotional level, and that’s why it’s the last criteria for the brands we choose on our BrandTwist Safari. So our Safari attendees can see brands that get this.

These brands know that branding is a relationship, not a transaction.

Ever feel so passionate about a brand you can’t wait to tell your friends all about it? You’re on a mission to get them to try it too so you can share this experience? When you feel and act this way, you’ve become a brand ambassador and your relationship has gone way beyond the “client zone” to something deeper.

I remember back in the day my friend Shari couldn’t believe I had not yet tried Netflix (this was back in the red envelope era). Every time I would see her she would pester me about it. I actually had a fleeting suspicion that she might be getting a commission from them. Not until I tried the brand and realize how much it changed my ability to watch TV and movies on my terms- did I understand why she was being so persistent.

The difference between fans and buyers.

When we choose brand experiences to visit on our guided BrandTwist Safaris, we look for brands that have fans – not just buyers. Brands that understand the emotional need they are filling – and who work hard to keep that relationship healthy.

American Girl Place is one such experience we will be visiting on our upcoming Safari.

BrandTwist Brand Safari TWIST American Girl

This brand really gets that they are not just selling dolls. They are fostering important friendships. The entire brand experience is designed around this special bond.  From the cafe where you can dine with your doll, the hospital where dolls are treated with special TLC, the Hair Salon with its pampering services for both girl and doll -even the clothes where you can dress like twins – American Girl is fostering a unique friendship. And not surprisingly, given this bond, commanding a premium price.

Your business can learn so much from TWISTING with American Girl and other brands about building deeper, and more profitable relationships with your customers

Join us in person in NYC as we visit Microsoft, American Girl, and more on our Brand Safari.

TWIST Book Julie Cottineau

How to Represent Your Brand at Big Events

In May I was asked to be a part of two amazing events with strong (and unique) brand experiences. First I stopped by the Business and Burgers segment during the Newfronts with Entrepreneur TV to talk TWISTS and burgers. The next day I headed to Northern California to join Tyra Banks at Stanford Graduate School of Business to talk TWISTS for personal branding.

Representing Your Brand on stages like Entrepreneur and Stanford Graduate School of Business

I think you’ll agree, both of these events had their own unique and very strong brand experiences, and in both cases, multiple large brands were involved. In events like these, the challenge becomes how do you make sure YOUR brand connects and stands out?

It all comes down to three Rs…

  • Research
  • Represent
  • Repeat

Let’s talk research.

For years we’ve heard about the importance of doing your “homework”, but for many business owners they skip over doing it before these types of events, and this is where you can lose some important brand leverage.

Before both events, I was in continuous contact with the teams putting on the events so I could know not only the details and expectations, but also how I could best support the event, and the event leaders.

By connecting with them before the event and digging in on my own research I was able to do two very important things.

First I was able to offer relevant recommendations that could help the event and hosts. This allows me to stand out to them, and that’s valuable not only the day of the event or for future events, but for possible partnerships in the future.

Stanford Graduate School of Business Brand TWIST exercise

The second thing it allows me to do is over deliver for the audience. I know exactly who they are before I entered the room and that allows me to make sure my content is directly targeted at them. I am able to make sure they hear it and remember it.

This research can happen right up until you go on stage. Before the Business and Burgers segment, I asked the guest chef about the burger and what the TWIST was. This allowed me to highlight the great burger and talk TWISTING. I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I hadn’t taken the time to ask a few quick questions. In case you are curious, it was a pinch of cinnamon added to the lamb burger. YUM!

Let’s talk represent

Representing your brand is more than carrying your card and handing it to everyone you meet. You’re a walking and talking example of your brand. This means you can be a constant visual reinforcement of your brand through wearing your brand colors, but also it means living your brand promise, so think not only about the color but the style as a whole.

Julie Cottineau and Tyra Banks talked Personal branding at Stanford Graduate School of Business

It’s also important to have collateral that represents your brand, and if you have a book – that gets really easy. I went back and forth about carrying books with me for the Business and Burgers events, and I’m glad I did. We ended up having one on the table during our chat. The same thing happened at Stanford. After the class, Tyra went live on Facebook with some students and held the book while sharing how she enjoyed it.

Remember this is all about being visual, what can you put in front of your audience’s eyes that will help them remember who you are? It doesn’t have to be a book, it can be a “report” of findings with your logo loud and proud on the cover.

Let’s talk repeat

One of the most important parts of Brand School is knowing your core brand message, and that’s because knowing that allows us to build everything else. I don’t think you’ll be surprised to know that for me it always comes back to the TWIST.

Julie Cottineau looks for the brand TWIST in a burger

That’s why during my time at Business and Burgers I asked about the TWIST in the burger. I also complimented the hosts on their own unique TWISTS – revving up business content with engaging cooking tips and, fun to eat, delicious (messy) burgers! It allowed me to have another place in the conversation to talk TWISTS. Even better was a way for me to talk about my core message, without just talking about me. It allowed me to highlight that you can find the TWIST in anything.

You’ll also notice in the videos from Entrepreneur TV and Tyra Banks we use the word TWIST a lot because it’s all about repeating that brand message in new and creative ways so that you can connect with the people listening.

It’s important to remember though, my ability to repeat came from doing the research, and visually representing the BrandTWIST brand.

What tips to do you have to help your brand shine during important events? Share them here at our BrandTwist blog.

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TWISTING to Help Causes Succeed on Selfish Giving Podcast

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BrandTwist Founder & CEO, Founderj of BrandSchoolOnline.com and author to “TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands” is the featured guest on CauseTalk Radio, with Joe Waters.  Visit the Selfish Giving website to learn more about how nonprofits & businesses can raise money & make money with win-win partnerships that change the world. – See more and hear the whole discussion HERE.

Highlights from the show include:

  • Julie’s career path to branding expert, including her unacknowledged invention of the Pet Rock and a stint with Sir Richard Branson.
  • How Julie defines Brand and a Brand Twist.
  • When is it appropriate for organizations to Twist? And why it’s okay to turn off some people!
  • How you find your twist in the marketplace by looking both within your own brand story and outside your industry.
  • The importance of failing harder and developing focus when it comes to brand development.
  • The incredible opportunity nonprofits and businesses have to promote themselves and build their brands.

Twist angle white

Finding the right TWIST can help your brand innovate and 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. Pick up your copy today.

An Airport TWIST Makes Wait Time More Fun

flyinstyle

Today’s traveler spends increasingly longer time waiting at airports. To address this, many airports offer more conveniences than ever before from health clinics, beauty salons and gyms, to designer brands, fine dining and entertainment – but every airport is different and most travelers are not aware of what’s available. Flyinstyle app solves this problem with a TWIST. It’s an interactive consumer app that connects you to all the concessions and goodies an airport has to offer- plus bonuses and discounts.

Says Flyinstyle Founder & CEO Amanda Anthony, “Our aim is to improve the airport experience, enhance communication between consumers and airports/airlines/brands/concessionaires…” *

Anthony saw that there were few options available to let travelers know about brands, products and retailers at airports. Thinking, “We could use an app for that” * she set out to create Flyinstyle, a personal shopper/travel airport guide available right on your mobile device. It allows retailers to directly connect and engage with travelers, offers special deals and discounts, has a blog giving travel tips and news, and users can share their first-hand airport stories.


Flyinstyle app is a TWIST that makes it easier for airport businesses to reach consumers and for consumers to get more enjoyment from airport travel. What TWIST would make it easier for your customer to enjoy your product or service. Is there a missing piece preventing you from getting the word out to your customer?

 

Twist angle white

Finding the right TWIST can help your brand innovate and 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. Pick up your copy today.

* The Moodie Interview