While higher education is a very crowded market, there are some colleges and universities that have differentiated themselves in highly compelling ways. Here are some of my favorite examples of this:
Naropa University: Transform Yourself, Transform the World
The Naropa Experience: Perform in an Indian classical music ensemble. Write a thesis on creativity and social action. Take yoga for credit. Volunteer in a community garden. Study Tibetan. Spend the weekend at a meditation retreat. Intern at the Peace Jam Foundation. Conduct research on the nature of consciousness.
I have positioned five wealth management brands and over a dozen other financial service brands. Most people, when thinking about wealth management brands, think the target customer is fairly straightforward – anyone who has more than $250,000 or $500,000 of investable assets – individuals or institutions. And while most wealth management firms’ customers would meet this criterion, this is not the bulls-eye of the target.
Brands make promises and then they must keep those promises. Making the promise is easy. Keeping it is the hard part. One can make a promise with words. But it can only be kept through actions. Consider BP repositioning itself as an environmentally friendly brand with the “Beyond Petroleum” slogan and the bright yellow and green sunburst icon. BP supported this with a $200 million public relations advertising campaign designed by Ogilvy & Mather. It worked well until the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010. Then other actions came to light, like the environmentally controversial oil sands project in Alberta, Canada.
As branders, it is useful to understand the basic needs that drive human emotions and behaviors. Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs addresses this, as does Artur Manfred Max Neef’s classification of fundamental human needs. Albert T. Poffenberger, Ph.D. devotes an entire chapter to “An Inventory of Human Desires” in his book, Psychology in Advertising, published in 1925.
In branding themselves, municipalities should always play off of their strengths. In a recent online survey of 452 Rochester area residents, we discovered that Rochester has many strengths that can be used to develop a powerful brand position.
I’m sure anyone who has tried to figure out the best strategy/tactic to use in direct mail has left in frustration.
An interesting side story on the London Olympics (Games of the XXX Olympiad) is the power of brand sponsorships and the battle against ambush marketing. Olympic organizers have hired about 250 “brand police” to patrol the London streets to make sure brands that are not official sponsors of the Olympics are not presenting themselves in ways that mislead the public to believe that they are. The organizers raised more than $1 billion from official sponsorships. Given that amount of money, it only makes sense that some resources would be committed to minimizing ambush marketing, which had been significant at several previous Olympic games.
Our research over the past twelve years has shown that brands whose values align with their customers’ values have much stronger brand equity as measured by brand preference, loyalty and emotional connection. I recently read Jim Stengel’s book, Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies. He has come to a similar conclusion after researching 50,000 brands in conjunction with Millward Brown Optimor.
I noticed a funny sticker on my banana one recent morning when I was making breakfast. You’ve probably seen them around – a small square with a bunch of squiggles, and then four smaller boxes within the image.
In 2000 a research study was conducted to determine the demographic and employment status of women in the Graphic Communication industry.
In 2011 the research surrounding this study was revisited in an effort to determine if there were any significant trend changes over this eleven year span.