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Developing a Brand Strategy

What a brand strategy is, what it isn’t, and six steps to developing a brand for your institution.

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Developing a Brand Strategy

  1. 1. Developing a Brand Strategy for Your Institution Defining Branding February 20, 2008 © Lipman Hearne 2008. This material cannot be copied or reproduced without permission
  2. 2. Defining Branding Agenda: Defining brand Branding in the higher education context The role of identity in branding Brand Claims Steps to brand development Brand Positioning A Case Study
  3. 3. Brand: YOU
  4. 4. AT BIRTH
  5. 5. IN COLLEGE
  9. 9. Brand is NOT:
  10. 10. Defining Branding Brand is not: The next project after the website Your mission statement Cooked up in the cabinet meeting “Category” attributes
  11. 11. Defining Branding Brand is not: A logo Color scheme/look and feel A rule book Advertising
  12. 12. Brand IS:
  13. 13. Defining Branding Brand is: Every association and experience Functional and emotional Intrinsic and original Contextual and positional Active and intentional
  15. 15. Are championed by everyone Pay attention WINNING BRANDS: Are responsive Change with the times Move to meet goals
  16. 16. Meet a compelling need (beyond “a degree”) Inspire loyalty WINNING BRANDS: Create a premium Facilitate choice Insulate against competition Are ‘money in the bank’
  17. 17. The Challenges of Brand-building
  18. 18. Why the angst?
  19. 19. Defining Branding Brands are abstract and metaphysical Perceived as a ‘Zero-Sum-Game’ Perceptions affect brand—the ‘truth’ is vulnerable ‘Consumers’ are not rational Come from commercial models Requires collaboration and collusion
  20. 20. The role of identity in branding
  22. 22. Distillation of experience Essence IDENTITY IS A REFLECTION Reflection of value OF THE BRAND Impression of associated qualities Frame of reference
  23. 23. Defining Branding What identity can’t do: Can’t tell a story Can’t fix a brand Doesn’t drive the brand
  24. 24. Defining Branding What identity does best: Reflects a personality Expresses an abstract notion Establishes an organizing architecture Provides the ‘brand collateral’ for product extensions Establishes benchmarks and standards for consistent visual expression and naming conventions
  25. 25. Positioning the Brand Checklist for brand claim: Can we really make this promise? Distinctive in market Relevant to constituents Credible and supportable with evidence Consistent with brand heritage Feasible and executable
  26. 26. Reverse-engineering Some Brand Claims
  28. 28. Understand presenting 1. concerns Define the need. Use evidence Consider the past
  29. 29. 2. Determine shared ambitions Prioritize audiences Capture objectives. Set realistic goals
  30. 30. Conduct constituent research 3. Explore the competitive and Analyze the world issue environment outside. Constructively engage with findings
  31. 31. Capture brand characteristics 4. Formulate a competitive Draft beta brand brand claim platform and strategy. Consider how to best deliver
  32. 32. Determine credibility and “gap” 5. Explore emotional connection Test and refine. Listen for audience preferences and habits Refine platform and claim
  33. 33. 6. Develop marketing plan Develop brand tools. Check identity and architecture
  34. 34. Brand Positioning
  35. 35. Staking Your Claim
  36. 36. Brand totality of associations and experiences
  37. 37. Brand totality of associations and experiences your brand in the competitive + Positioning environment
  38. 38. Brand totality of associations and experiences your brand in the competitive + Positioning environment = Brand claim the turf you stake and defend
  39. 39. Positioning the Brand Checklist for brand claim Strong and distinctive Relevant to constituents Credible Consistent with brand heritage Feasible
  40. 40. Positioning the Brand Developing a brand claim Blending science and insight Holistic and strategic thinking No single formula Choosing how to focus now
  41. 41. Positioning Challenge #1 Getting beyond Distinguish between “category” “points of parity” and unique attributes
  42. 42. Positioning Challenge #2 Strength v. Balancing what you Relevance are best known for against what you learn to be the most important “decision-drivers.”
  43. 43. Brand Positioning Priorities
  44. 44. Positioning Challenge #3 Motivating Understanding what Desire audiences want from your brand beyond a degree or other functional benefit
  45. 45. Positioning the Brand Motivating desire Asking the right questions Ethnographic research Cultural understanding
  46. 46. A CASE STUDY Case Study: Fielding Graduate University Fielding Graduate University
  47. 47. Positioning the Brand Fielding Graduate University Founded in the early 70s as an “alternative” to traditional in-residence graduate programs “Human development” fields of psychology, org development, education For place-bound adult students Now competing in for-profit online environment
  48. 48. Fielding Competitor Positioning Landscape
  49. 49. Positioning Priorities: Fielding Graduate University Academic quality Institutional reputation relative to for-profits and prestige relative to “traditional” universities Top accreditation Specialized institutional focus Flexibility Reputation in disciplines relative to for-profits Technology Commitment to social justice Non-profit status
  50. 50. Brand framework BRAND REWARD BRAND VALUE BRAND PERSONALITY EMOTIONAL Emotional benefits Principles Character and style Ideals BRAND ICONS BRAND FEATURES BRAND BENEFIT Tangible symbols Defining attributes of the Functional benefits to institution’s brand: relevant, constituents tangible, verifiable FUNCTIONAL FOUNDATION University GOALS Institution’s stated mission
  51. 51. Validated Brand Platform: Fielding Graduate University BRAND REWARD INSTITUTIONAL VALUE BRAND PERSONALITY EMOTIONAL “The Ph.D. that I was Respect for the individual Smart, creative, caring, meant to get and that generates creative solutions independent earns others’ admiration” and enlightened practice BRAND ICONS CORE ATTRIBUTES BRAND BENEFIT • Exclusive focus in inter-related fields of Psychology, Human & Organization Affiliation with/degree from FUNCTIONAL Development, and Educational Leadership • Top professional accreditation respected graduate • Dialogical/distributed learning model enabling customized degree paths university in human • Attracts self-directed professionals development fields • Demonstrated research excellence • Collaborative scholar-practitioner community • Committed full-time faculty members Mission: Fielding Graduate University prepares its students to serve as reflective professionals through its innovative doctoral and master’s programs, collaborative learning model, and continuing professional education. We support professional and personal transformation through a learning model which integrates theory, research, and values with high integrity practice and scholarship in Psychology, Human & Organization Development, and Educational Leadership & Change.
  52. 52. Fielding Brand Claim: A specialized graduate university providing all the quality—plus the flexibility of on-line delivery—to draw the most self-directed and creative human development professionals
  53. 53. Positioning the Brand Fielding strategy: Play on ground competitors can’t Specialized nature Institutional solidity Quality guarantors (APA accreditation) Third-party endorsement
  54. 54. Positioning the Brand Fielding strategy: Show students as agents Independent ways of thinking Students as colleagues Breakthrough solutions in disciplines
  55. 55. Positioning the Brand Fielding strategy: Don’t dwell in self-actualization space Emotional appeals Supportive culture (reads as remedial) Soft imagery