As Higher Education is being scrutinized from multiple directions, it is more important than ever before to focus on solid branding and marketing in our institutions. SUNYCUAD hosted a panel discussion with local Rochester communications leaders to pick their brains about what makes for great brands.
- Tod Martin, President and Chief Creative Officer, The Martin Group
- Michael Doyle, Regional President of Entercom Communications
- Karl Withers, Associate Vice President of Marketing for the University of Rochester Medical Center
- Lisa Feinstein, Vice President for Advancement at The Strong
Here are our biggest takeaways:
- Being relevant is the first piece, and the next piece is to tell stories. Tell a story, don’t make a claim.
- Define your brand strategy and positioning first. Tactical implementation will be derived from them later.
- You have to figure out how to take your position message and implement it for each of your audiences.
- Technology sometimes blinds us to the core strategy and positioning. Don’t think about tools first.
- You have to be consistent across all channels.
- Audiences respond to authentic stories.
- Value market research – it helps understanding of how people perceive you, and can determine differences based on demographics and location.
- It’s harder and harder to pick the medium. You need to start with the message.
- The University is a fortress. What are we all about? What binds us together? It becomes very rich once you find the answer.
- The brand challenge is internal as well as external. You need to sell the brand to those who work at the organization just as much as those who are outside.
- The creative should answer back to the strategy and positioning. The brand story and creative messaging lead into the tactical implementation.
- The rebranding of Strong Health to the University of Rochester Medical Center to UR Medicine. took 6 years, and that’s a huge undertaking in that short a time.
- Your brand strategy needs to reflect your business strategy.
- Cool and different is great as long as it matches the business strategy.
- How do you convince senior executives that this isn’t going to happen overnight? Sell it like you’re running for office. Use metrics to back up your claim.