Branding…What’s it all about? Emaan Abdelbaki Director of Marketing Holly Houk Cullen Assistant Vice Chancellor LSU Office of Communications & University Relations
Outline of Today’s Presentation• Definition of brand/brand essence• Where we’ve been, where we’re going• Research, planning, implementation, evaluation• The brand gap• House of Brands vs. Branded House• Conclusions/questions
Let’s start with what it’s not… Or cooked up in a well-intentioned meeting A logoA tag line
A brand is…“…a CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE represented by a collection ofimages and ideas; often, it refers to a symbol such as a name, logo,slogan, and design scheme. Brand recognition and other reactions arecreated by the ACCUMULATION OF EXPERIENCES with thespecific product or service, both directly relating to its use, and throughthe influence of advertising, design, and media commentary." American Marketing Association: www.marketingpower.com/_layouts/Dictionary.aspx?dLetter=B#branding
Definition of Brand Essence• The brand’s promise or essence expressed in the simplest, most single-minded terms• The most powerful brand essences are rooted in a fundamental customer NEED• Internal; provides verbal & visual vocabulary• It is rational & emotional
Brand Audit Research• 2009 – 2010 (personal interviews) – Leadership (Deans, Vice Chancellors, etc.)• November 2009 (email survey) – Undergraduate Prospects• August 2010 (email survey) – Graduate Prospects – Alumni/Donors – Current Students – Current Faculty & Staff
Focus Group Research• Prospective Undergraduates – College-Bound, High School Juniors and Seniors• Parents – Spring Invitational Attendees
Focus Group: Key Findings• Create a sense of belonging – Students want to picture themselves in their university of choice• Be literal – Be sure to include images of the cliché and expected; don’t assume anything• Be real – Portray a “not-posed” feeling• Showcase the LSU brand – Use images for which LSU is known (e.g., purple and gold, big, athletic, tiger)
External Advisory Feedback• April 27, 2010• Group of LSU alumni reviewed creative direction – Wright-Feigley Communications – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana – Otey White & Associates – STUN Design – Creative English Communication – Maxon Media
What We Learned• Big• Spirited• Athletic• People don’t know us; neutral
Task Force/Campus Communicators• Support from the top• Interdisciplinary team• Frequent, well-planned, inclusive meetings• Sought input/feedback at every opportunity• Initiated, strengthened campus relationships
Brand Objectives• To position LSU as a high-achieving academic institution• To position LSU as Louisiana’s Flagship institution• To showcase LSU’s tier-one research and educational accomplishments• To leverage the brand equity within Athletics to increase awareness of the academic accomplishments of LSU• To leverage the culture and geographic location of LSU• Demonstrate how LSU transforms you – taking potential and turning it into greatness
Results• Recruiting successes, 5725 (Largest class since implementing admissions standards in 1988)• Nike, licensee adoption• Popularity on campus & among all audiences• Developed a life of its own
If you’re protecting a brand…• You must ensure you use it properly, set the right example in everything you do so others follow• Be consistent, not random or unclear, on how to use the brand• Protect it against uses that can hurt it inside and outside of the organization• Protect it against those that may try to infringe on your brand or misuse it in their own communications• You must watch it carefully – How is it portrayed internally and externally? – How is it portrayed in social media, news media, your competition, websites, local businesses?
I’ll leave you with a couple of things to think about… What is the “POWER” of the LSUbrand? How have we touched people… • Within Baton Rouge? • Within 80 miles of Baton Rouge? • Within the state of Louisiana? • Within the SEC? • Nationwide? • Worldwide?