Brand Manifesto

The Purpose of Branding
“An orange…is an orange…is an orange. Unless, or course, that orange happens to be a Sunkist.”

“Salt is the ultimate commodity. All salt is made the same. All salt tastes the same. Yet Morton Salt charges a premium for its product and gets it. We’ve fallen in love with the little girl on the box.”

“From a business point of view, branding in the marketplace is very similar to branding on the ranch. A branding program should be designed to differentiate your cow from all the other cattle on the range. Even if all the cattle on the range look pretty much alike.”

Every organization has a brand, whether by design or by default. In dealing with the outside world, it is the reflection of reputation signaling to all the world the underlying strength, character and promise of whatever product or service the company may offer. An effective brand message (or promise) makes you believe you know something about an organization when, in fact, you may know very little. It is that belief that we seek to influence through our message creation.

Internally, this same brand message is a potential source of pride, confidence and hope. It reflects the energy and coherence of a powerful culture.

Externally, your brand is a promise that requires you to consistently deliver on specific expectations. It is a relationship between your organization and everyone it touches at every contact point. So, taking a strategic and proactive stance on managing your brand position makes a lot of sense. In fact, it’s critical.

A strategic branding program is a highly leveraged investment – an opportunity to provide enduring benefits to the public perception, recognition and stature of an organization for many years to come.

Why Engage in Branding?
You are already engaged in branding because you are the brand. As a credible institution of higher learning or Future 100 business leader, your brand holds a perception value that is unique to your clients, your prospects, your faculty, your alumni, and to your peers.

So, the question isn’t, “Do we have a brand?” It is, “How well are we managing our brand?” In other words, are you presenting an accurate, and emotional viewpoint.

An increasingly competitive education or business environment requires that institutions must take a proactive role in managing their brand in order to achieve their business or enrollment objectives. Properly supported and managed, a brand can strengthen loyalty, attract better students, attract strategic business partners, and provide a point of commonality for all employees. Furthermore, an effective brand message supplies knowledge, fuels emotion, and increases desire among its supporters and prospects – all critical elements in influencing human behavior.

The best organizations have the best brands because they know who they are, where they are going, and how they are going to get there. They know that Brand Drives Everything. From development to enrollment. From recruitment to placement, their brand is central to their strategy. Every strategy.

The Real Reason for Branding
An effectively managed brand is a great friend of any organization. It provides guidance and a unified voice at all levels of contact. Following through on its core promise builds trust and creates loyalty – even love – for an organization. Possible? You bet. Just ask any user of an Apple product, or anyone who rides a Harley.

When you are actively managing your brand, you are making promises. Hopefully, they are promises you can keep. Because when you keep them, you build emotional connections. With these connections, you create respect. And trust. Without trust and respect, there can be no long-term brand loyalty. Period.

Brands that tap into the key emotional needs of their prospects, and work to deliver on the promises they make, are well on their way to creating a loyalty that goes beyond reason. This is what we desire to bring to you.