For nearly 30 years I traveled around the country visiting clients for Stamats. It was on those trips that I discovered the amazing variety of regional potato chips.
On my ride to work each morning I pass what is probably the best ad ever. It’s on a small, 24” by 18” plastic sign stuck in the dirt at the side of the road.
It says, simply, Stump Grinding.
You have probably heard from someone in your administration the words “get on this social media thing,” because that’s what everyone is doing these days. You wonder where they’ve been for the last 10 years, but another thought quickly creeps in—how do you represent an entire department or college?
One of the best ways to bring a brand to life is to tell a story. This really shouldn’t be too surprising. After all, Paul Harvey, Toni Morrison, Garrison Keillor, and countless others have long understood the power of a great story.
You’ve been asked, or will ask someone, to write a brand marketing plan for you. Before you begin, however, I suggest that you take a short institutional self-test to see if you are ready:
Purse Strings, with Maria Reitan (Principal at TopSail Strategies) is a podcast program focused on marketing to women. In this episode, titled Marketing Trends for 2016, Maria Reitan talks with Pat Weas, COO and Executive Strategy Director for The Thorburn Group. They discuss the future of branding in higher education and the role of agencies like The Thorburn Group.
There are college recruitment videos showing students in a fun and bright campus, discovering college as a path towards independence and a promising future. At most, they may bring back successful graduates to give a soundbite on how college changed their lives for the better and imply that you as the viewer will equally benefit with the end goal of a great career. Then there’s Western Sydney University (WSU).
As far as I’m concerned, three things* complicate the higher education narrative more often than they help. Brand taglines are at the top of the list. They attempt to convey in just a few seconds what a college or university has spent decades creating: their very special brand story. As busy consumers with ever-shorter attention…
Eric Sickler, a friend and colleague at Stamats, recently said something that really caught my interest. He mentioned that effective brands must have an inside-out orientation. I queried him about what he meant, and he stressed the importance of having the brand deeply and intimately aligned with an organization’s people and culture. Eric is absolutely right. Alignment is critical.
How does brand affect the adult student? As we referenced in our last issue, adult learners looking for programs from degree completion to graduate programs continue to use search engines to research programs and narrow their consideration set. Does that mean brand messaging goes unnoticed on this prospective audience? Not necessarily, as the “new traditional”…