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Certified Brand Ambassador Program

Unit 101

HISTORY

University Relations


Okay, so what is Branding?

University Relations


Tech


Cal Tech


Georgia Tech


Virginia Tech


Louisiana Tech


West Virginia Tech


South Carolina Tech


  • BMW

  • Microsoft

  • IBM

  • GE

  • Tiffany’s

  • Wal-mart

  • Sal’s Pizza

  • Etc.


When people hear our name, what do they think?

What are your thoughts?

University Relations


Business card images


what is a brand?

Your brand is the idea …

Your brand is the idea …

that you want to own …

in the hearts and minds of important audiences

Bob Brock,

Educational Marketing Group


What is a Brand?

“A brand is how you are really perceived. It’s tied to your reputation so, when someone sees or hears your name, it evokes an image.”

-- VP Marketing, Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)


Rules of Positioning

  • Mindshare governs market share

  • Positioning is overt

  • Positioning is heavily dependent on perceptions

  • Positioning is competitive and comparative

  • Don’t confront an entrenched competitor.

  • Dr. Robert A. Sevier, STAMATS


Integrated Brand Marketing

The process of creating a unique, compelling institutional identity and communicating that brand through all available media to:

Improve audience awareness

Shape audience attitudes

Motivate the desired action


For whom do we brand?

  • Internal (consistency/efficiency)

  • Student prospects

  • Opinion leaders

  • Alumni

  • Donors

  • General public

  • Stakeholders


VT branding development history


Brand Promise

Brand Drivers

Positioning Statement

brand platform

  • An enduring brand identity has four essential qualities:

    • Reflects a position of intrinsic importance to audiences

    • Virginia Tech is uniquely equipped to deliver it

    • Differentiates Virginia Tech

    • Is timeless so that it remains relevant over many years


positioning statement

  • Internal strategy document defining position you want to hold in marketplace

  • How you want audiences to think about you

  • Aspirational


VT positioning statement

Virginia Tech is a high-performing research university with a world-view that advances the land-grant values of discovery, learning, and outreach. We serve and engage the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world. We attract motivated high-achieving students, staff, and faculty who excel in an academically energized, technologically creative, and culturally inclusive learning community. Our bold spirit, climate of innovation and service, open boundaries of study and research, and entrepreneurial approach positively transform lives and communities.


brand promise

  • What you promise to deliver to all your audiences

  • Distills the brand into a short, memorable phrase

  • Captures the essence of the brand identity


brand promise

=

Quality, Innovation, Results


brand drivers

  • Major features that enable VT to deliver its promise

  • Same across all audiences, all colleges and departments, all media platforms

  • Foundation for consistent key messages


brand drivers

  • Nationally and internationally recognized faculty experts

  • Groundbreaking research and eminent scholarship

  • Challenging academic standards

  • Technological leadership

  • Service to community and society

These drive story selection, tone, and message.


Brand Promise

Brand Drivers

Attribute

Attribute

Attribute

Attribute

Key Messages

Features Benefits

Features Benefits

Features Benefits

Features Benefits

Features Benefits

Proof Points

Data points, examples

Data points, examples

Data points, examples

Data points, examples

Data points, examples

Data points, examples

Positioning Statement


brand drivers appear in . . .

  • Key messages

  • Talking points

  • Content outline

  • Speech outline

  • Events themes

  • Web spotlights

  • Guide or focus for story selection and slant


creative strategy


audience insights – focus groups

  • Academically high to very high performing

  • Sensitive to reputation and prestige

  • Motivated by quality of the learning experience

  • Inspired by personal engagement and involvement

  • Self-image as motivated individuals within diverse community of high performers

  • Mix of highly focused students and those who want to explore different areas of study


audience insights – focus groups

  • Academically high to very high performing

  • Sensitive to reputation and prestige

  • Motivated by quality of the learning experience

  • Inspired by personal engagement and involvement

  • Self-image as motivated individuals within diverse community of high performers

  • Mix of highly focused students and those who want to explore different areas of study


brand personality

  • Innovative – ahead-of-the-curve, risk-takers who solve future challenges

  • Honest – strong integrity, self-assured, never boastful

  • Energized – spirited, bold

  • Intelligent – smart, thoughtful, insightful, concise

  • High-performing – experienced, determined, exceptional technical skill

  • Results-driven – get things done, solution oriented


creative strategy

  • Bold typography as design element

  • Branded images that show duality – thoughtful portrait blended with hands-on “doing”

  • Support images that illustrate breadth of opportunity and involved, engaged community

  • Fresh color palette that reflects forward-looking approach

  • Flexible design grid organizes information by type – descriptive, factual, outcomes – to reflect innovative, results-driven organization


messaging strategy

  • Brand drivers are building blocks for key messages

  • Drivers are expressed through images and design as well as headlines and copy

  • Drivers stay the same across all audiences and units, but proof points and outcomes change with context


from driver to key message

  • Virginia Tech faculty members are – literally – known around the world, which means that you’re learning from the very best. A Tech degree will open a lot of doors for you.

  • Proof point: e.g. international award, shown with students


from driver to key message

  • No question, Virginia Tech programs are academically demanding. That means they attract the best and the brightest faculty and students, which plays a huge role in the economic development of our state.

  • Proof point: e.g. In-state start-up by VT graduate, shown with political power player


from driver to key message

  • The idea that we all need to give something back – to our neighborhoods, our communities, our nation – is woven into every piece of the Virginia Tech fabric, from the minute you step on campus. We all benefit from that kind of sense of responsibility for one another.

  • Proof point: Story on student volunteerism, shown in action photo of involved students


Branding Elements


Our Brand

In other words, it’s not how YOU see Virginia Tech . . .

It’s how THEY see Virginia Tech.


The Brand Platform

  • Position statement

  • Brand promise

  • Brand drivers

  • Tagline


Strategic Tagline

  • What is it?

    An intriguing shorthand of your message that exudes your personality and triggers those all important perceptions

  • How is it used?

    As a closer on your publications and media to reinforce the brand and give depth to messages

  • When is it used?

    As part of the institutional signature on publications, advertising, promotional materials, etc.


Strategic Tagline

Invent the Future ®


Differentiation is the Key to a Good Brand


Part 2Implementation


Imagery

Branded Photography


VIEWBOOK

The Brand Inspiration Piece


Faculty Who Excel

  • Safer Drinking Water:

    “Professor highlights failing U.S. water infrastructure in national press briefing.” (1/29/09)


High Achieving Students

  • Saving Wildlife:

    “. . .increase understanding of the lives and habitats of the wild creatures and how humankind is influencing them.”

    2-16-09


Transform lives and communities

  • Better emissions for the world:

    “University shows the world how to burn cleaner coal

    and reduce emissions” (11/3/08)


Exhibitry


Print Ads

Surround yourself with ideas, innovation, and inspiration.


Print Ads

Study with scholars at the top of their fields.


Print Ads

“. . . committed to advancing knowledge and quality of life.”


Television – Fall 2007


Undergraduate

Online Ad

Energize your intellect


Football Program Ad


Home Page Design


Expressing the Brand

Brand drivers rewritten for spotlight messages


SPOTLIGHT

On Achievement


SPOTLIGHT

On Innovation

. . . innovative furniture at German exhibition


SPOTLIGHT

On Impact


Marketing Communications Strategy

Increase awareness and improve positive perception of Virginia Tech as a premier academic quality institution with exceptional research capacity within an environment that is caring and inviting community among high-priority, target audiences.


Expanding the BrandFall 2007


What do we need to do?

  • Keep consistency of brand elements

  • Reserve the integrity of brand message

  • But change with the times and strategy


Advertising

  • Controlled message

    • Copy and imagery

  • Able to reach large target audiences

    • 16.7 million impressions for Fall 07 Admission campaign

  • Essential part of branding process

    • Part of every major university’s plan


Print Ads

Share Your Pride

Friendly student interaction, outside of a lab setting


Print Ads

Create an Experience

Research viewed differently


Print Ads

Celebrate everyday success

Collaboration and student interaction


Online

Share Your Pride


Online


Creative

Cable systems throughout target geographies

Television


Admission Support Fall 2008


Publications


Publications


Publications


New initiatives use the brand elements, but expand the brand with unique creativity


2008 Football program ads reflect research as it relates to the University’s strategic plan


The results are in…

So, has it worked?


Results of Key Opinion Leader Survey


Top Images of Virginia Tech (ASQ)

Top College Images Associated with Virginia Tech by All Admitted Students

2008

1998

Large

Inexpensive

Friendly

Isolated

Fun

Career-oriented

Challenging

Back-up school

Diverse

Highly respected

Intellectual

Comfortable

Partying

Research-oriented

Athletics

Average

Prestigious

Selective

Not well-known

Athletics

Spirit School

Fun

Friendly

Comfortable

Intellectual

Challenging

Prestigious

Research-oriented

Supportive

Career-oriented

Partying

Close-knit

Selective

Isolated

Back-up school

Average

Sensitive

Not well-known


“If you have only identity manuals, logos and taglines and ad campaigns, but no substance or depth in terms of brand experience, you have a hollow brand.”

Last Thoughts . . .


Fall 2009 TV Commercial


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