Brand alignment for higher ed: Connecting your brands and putting them to work


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Higher-education institutions -- like many organizations these days -- manage a family of offerings. And though it may often slip through your fingers, the perceived relationship between those “sub” brands and the parent or “master” brand matters.

Your people, programs, and places are all brands, and a strategy for managing those brand relationships is the only way to ensure credit flows back to your institution (a must for fundraising and recruitment).

In this session, learn the basics of the 4 brand relationship strategies, see examples from from many universities, and learn how to apply them effectively and comprehensively to your institutions’ print, digital, and social media communications.

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Brand alignment for higher ed: Connecting your brands and putting them to work

  1. 1. Connecting Your Brands and Putting Them to Work <ul><li>Brand alignment </li></ul><ul><li>for higher ed </li></ul><ul><li>Eric Norman and Tamsen McMahon </li></ul><ul><li>Sametz Blackstone Associates </li></ul><ul><li>Julie Rafferty </li></ul><ul><li>Harvard School of Public Health </li></ul><ul><li>CASE D1 28 January 2011 </li></ul>
  2. 2. <ul><li>Diagram four main branding strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Branding strategies in action </li></ul>What’s in the tour / goals
  3. 3. <ul><li>Because it affects: </li></ul><ul><li>How much you spend to promote your offerings </li></ul><ul><li>How much credit you get for your offerings </li></ul><ul><li>How well you can “ sell in ” or “ sell across ” </li></ul><ul><li>Your alumni’s pride in their alma mater </li></ul><ul><li>Donors’ perceptions of your heft and momentum </li></ul>Why care about brand alignment? © Sametz Blackstone Associates
  4. 4. <ul><li>Four main strategies </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Brands </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parent brand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Child brands (or Sub brands) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brand strategy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relationships among brands </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brand identity system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Names and visual design </li></ul></ul>Speaking the same language
  6. 6. <ul><li>Brand strategy The approach (or combination of approaches) used by organizations to identify themselves and their entities / offerings––and the relationships between these entities / offerings. </li></ul>Speaking the same language Institutional focus Program / offering focus Master Source Endorsed Product
  7. 7. <ul><li>Parent brand influences all offerings </li></ul><ul><li>Umbrella value proposition extends to across offerings </li></ul><ul><li>No unique identities, usually generic naming </li></ul>Master (umbrella) branding Institutional focus Program / offering focus Master
  8. 8. Master branding
  9. 9. Master branding
  10. 10. <ul><li>Tight familial relationship with parent and child/sibling brands, but space between them </li></ul><ul><li>Distinct value propositions under familial value </li></ul><ul><li>More subtle identity variations; systematic nomenclature </li></ul>Source branding Source Institutional focus Program / offering focus
  11. 11. Source branding
  12. 12. Source branding
  13. 13. <ul><li>Overt but subtle relationship with parent / sibling brands </li></ul><ul><li>Unique identity, name and value proposition, backed by parent or family brand </li></ul>Endorsed branding Endorsed Institutional focus Program / offering focus
  14. 14. Endorsed branding
  15. 15. Endorsed branding
  16. 16. <ul><li>Unique identity and name </li></ul><ul><li>Unique value proposition </li></ul><ul><li>No overt relationships with parent or sibling brands </li></ul>Product branding Product Institutional focus Program / offering focus
  17. 17. Product branding
  18. 18. Strategy tradeoffs Succeeds or fails on its own Requires separate media / comm’s Expensive to introduce / maintain Unique identity & value proposition Can show focus All entities / experiences contribute to reputation of parent brand Leverages all communication / media $s Less expensive to introduce / maintain Unified, over-arching identity and value Supports integrated selling Master Source Endorsed Product Institutional focus Program / offering focus
  19. 19. <ul><li>Brand strategies in action </li></ul>
  20. 20. Parent brand
  21. 21. Child brand, master branded
  22. 22. Master branded property
  23. 24. Child brand, endorsed brand
  24. 25. Child brand, endorsed brand
  25. 26. Child brand, product branded
  26. 27. Parent brand
  27. 28. Child brand, master branded
  28. 29. Child brand, master branded
  29. 30. Child brand, master branded
  30. 32. Child brand… brand strategy?
  31. 33. <ul><li>Name / nomenclature </li></ul><ul><li>Logos </li></ul><ul><li>Color palette </li></ul><ul><li>Graphic design </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Typography </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Composition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Signature design gestures </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Commission / approval / production process </li></ul>Levers for expressing brand strategy
  32. 34. Names © Sametz Blackstone Associates
  33. 35. <ul><li>New England University School of Business </li></ul><ul><li>New England University Men’s Basketball </li></ul><ul><li>New England University Photonics Center </li></ul><ul><li>New England University Department of Biology </li></ul>Names / nomenclature: Master
  34. 36. <ul><li>New England University Warbucks School of Business </li></ul><ul><li>New England University Woodchucks </li></ul><ul><li>New England University InterGlobalCorp Photonics Center </li></ul><ul><li>New England University Novus Magazine </li></ul>Names / nomenclature: Source
  35. 37. <ul><li>Warbucks Business School at New England University </li></ul><ul><li>InterGlobalCorp Photonics Center at New England University </li></ul><ul><li>Warbucks Performing Arts Center at New England University </li></ul>Names / nomenclature: Endorsed
  36. 38. <ul><li>Warbucks Business School </li></ul><ul><li>The Woodchucks </li></ul><ul><li>InterGlobalCorp Photonics Institute </li></ul><ul><li>Warbucks Museum </li></ul>Names / nomenclature: Product
  37. 39. Logos © Sametz Blackstone Associates
  38. 40. <ul><li>Standardize your logo / seal / wordmark and distribute templates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Typographic style(s) for subbrands </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Encourage / require consistent source or endorsing brand banners </li></ul>Logos © Sametz Blackstone Associates
  39. 41. Parent brand mark
  40. 44. Colors © Sametz Blackstone Associates
  41. 45. <ul><li>Standardize core and supporting colors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Publish specs across media </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Strong or distinctive use of core color(s) </li></ul>Color palette © Sametz Blackstone Associates
  42. 46. Consistent color palette
  43. 49. Design © Sametz Blackstone Associates
  44. 50. <ul><li>Consistent typography, composition, and signature design gestures </li></ul>Graphic design © Sametz Blackstone Associates
  45. 51. Distinctive design cues
  46. 54. Whoa! What does this mean?
  47. 58. Working with little space
  48. 59. … and even less space
  49. 60. Processes © Sametz Blackstone Associates
  50. 61. <ul><li>Requirements versus coordination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where is the most powerful influence? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where are the greatest chances for success? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If any one of the above is centralized, better chance of achieving brand strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Central archive of strategy documentation, direction, and assets helps </li></ul><ul><li>Staff training, vendor requirements and audits </li></ul>Commission / approval / production process © Sametz Blackstone Associates
  51. 66. <ul><li>Based on your institution’s strategic goals, which brand strategy / strategies should you use? </li></ul><ul><li>What distance do we need between brands to get the right credit? </li></ul><ul><li>What level of inter-operability do we want to imply to build a bigger picture? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the value of the whole vs the parts ? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the practical implications (and possible consequences ) of a strategy? </li></ul>Questions to consider
  52. 67. For your reference