SheBrand Superstar: Julie Cottineau

Every week we’ll be featuring a smart, savvy female entrepreneur we think is just great. These are women who are out there in the trenches each and every day, making things happen and affecting other people’s lives for the better. So pull up a comfy chair, grab a cup of coffee and meet this week’s SheBrand Superstar. We can all learn a golden nugget or two from each other.

Name: Julie Cottineau


Occupation: Founder of BrandTwist

Twitter: @Jcottin

1. What are three words that best describe your personal brand?

Passionate, Innovative, and Purple (that color just brings me joy).

2. Tell us why you’re awesome in two sentences or less

I bring a fresh perspective to branding from my experience creating some of the world’s best loved brands including Virgin, where I spent the past 5 years as VP of Brand in North America. With BrandTwist, I am on a mission to help entrepreneurs, frequently women, create kick ass brands that help take their businesses further.

3. What are your three biggest indulgences?

1) Chocolate (my anytime pick me up)

2) Celebrity magazines (my Friday wind down for the weekend treat)

3) Blow outs (whenever I have to give a presentation, I always get my hair blown out. It makes me feel instantly more confident and somehow more articulate)

4. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Loud cell phone conversations by people in public places (like trains or buses). I find it really annoying to listen to one side of a conversation and amazingly rude of people that they think everyone is interested in the personal details of their lives.

5. If you could have dinner with anyone (living or not) who would it be and why?

I’ve actually been lucky enough to have dinner several times with my idol and former boss at Virgin, Richard Branson. He’s great company. Not just because he’s an inspiringly successful entrepreneur, but also because he is really an authentic human being. We would spend just as much time talking about our families as our business issues.

6. Why is having a powerful personal brand important to you?

I operate in the competitive field of branding “experts” who often make branding a bit too much of an intellectual and somewhat mystifying exercise. I try with my personal brand to bring a fun, approachable, intuitive and actionable approach to branding. I also embrace my femininity and particularly my role as a mother. I think its part of what makes me unique in the field, an engaging presenter, and someone that clients can trust and relate to.

7. What is your #1 marketing tip for fellow female entrepreneurs?

Spend time really defining your brand – who it’s targeted to, what value it offers and what makes it relevant and unique. Then use that core brand idea to influence every single business decision you make. Not just your marketing and communication but also  who you hire and fire, the products and services you innovate, all the way to how you answer the phone and what kind of holiday card or gift you send to customers and clients.

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