We talk brand a lot here. Brand promises. Brand research. Brand attributes. Brand launch. Brand revitalization. And although we know that brand is more than logo, we also try to learn the lessons of brand masters like Roberto Goizueta.
Brand is a means to an end, a way to connect our most important audiences with our most important contributions to their lives. To bring our promise into their daily lives, we can follow today’s dictum and physically put our mark wherever we can. We may not be sponsoring race cars, but we could be wrapping busses.
However, it might be time to think about other things that move, and other ways to “sponsor” them. For example, there’s some early evidence that giving admitted students attention on social media networks (following them, retweeting, favoriting, and so on) helps build the warm fuzzies that encourage enrolling.
Isn’t this a way of sponsoring something that moves? It’s a personal sponsorship that wouldn’t have been possible before social media. And, maybe we can figure out what kind of social media swag fits our distinct brand and give more of that. Done right—done with human care and attention to the relationship and the overall brand experience—this will build and strengthen our brand, both in the minds/hearts of our audience and in our own minds/hearts. That’s a deep brand.
(On a cautionary note, swag seems to work for admitted students, who have most likely invited the school into their social world. Our research suggests that prospects don’t want us invading their social space too soon.)
What else “moves”? What “stands still”? Are there landmarks in our audience’s backyard that we could “paint” with our brand colors, maybe a la Christo or with students in appropriately “painted” t-shirts? The latter would be doing both. When we post the video and promote it through social channels, we can also give shout-outs to the individuals who helped create it, spreading swag and deepening the brand experience.
All it takes is attention, not to details, but to the people we value.
(You’ll note I’m not suggesting we paint people with our brand colors, even the sedentary ones. Though next week is April Fools’ Day…. Guess I better get moving.)