We say it all the time around here: “Successful brands are more than logos and taglines; they’re a collection of experiences — the living embodiment of everything an institution stands for.” Now, maybe that sounds a bit hyperbolic (after all, we have more than one poet on staff), but we firmly stand by the sentiment.

Brands distill an institution’s purpose and the promise it makes to the world. In mere milliseconds, that artful combination of wordmark, images, and colors must convey volumes about who you are, the special value you deliver, and what each of your constituents stand to gain by aligning their futures with yours. That’s big stuff. That’s a level of responsibility that takes brains and brawn.

And when it comes to improving yield, brands are no less central to success. As the calling card that starts the conversations that build long-term engagement, your brand must be strong, clear, and capable. It must enrich and reinforce your message as each of your audience’s journey through pivotal touchpoints — from first awareness to final enrollment.

Not sure if your brand is up to the task? Here’s a quick check list to determine if your brand is ready to power engagement and yield:

  • Is my brand aligned with my institution’s strategic plan and goals?
  • Is the brand message clear?
  • Does my primary institutional brand work well with all sub-brands?
  • Is it rooted in authentic, provable values?
  • Is the brand consistently expressed in print, online, in person, and in the experiences people have with my institution?

If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, all is certainly not lost. Consider it an opportunity to look at the health of your brand more broadly and explore new ways it can be a more active asset in improving yield. And if you’d like to learn more about allthe steps that drive strong yield (hint: there are seven, and each one is absolutely vital), download our free eBook, Marketing Muscle: 7 Steps to Improve Yield Now.

To learn more about branding, read the blogs, Stand By Your Brand or learn about storytelling on A Brand New Year.

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