The National Extension Branding Initiative: Let‘s Get Going !. Elizabeth Gregory North Co-Leader, Brand Value CoP eXtension.org. Is Extension the best-kept secret in your state?. Did you say yes? If not, you should have.
The NationalExtension Branding Initiative:Let‘sGetGoing!
Elizabeth Gregory NorthCo-Leader, Brand Value CoP eXtension.org
Is Extension the best-kept secret in your state?
Did you say yes? If not, you should have. Research shows that only 27% of adults nationwide have heard of Cooperative Extension.
It’s time to let the cat out of the bag!
It’s time to change. It’s time to strengthen Extension’s brand. It’s up to us, to each one of us.
Will Extension be recognized and valued in the 21st century, or will it just fade away? The future is in our hands.
How do you build a strong brand? Building a strong brand takes: a clear and compelling message. validated by research. focused on the audience. consistently and repeatedly communicated,delivered, and experienced.
Key Lessons from the Brand Research People who know us, love us. Very few people know us. Even those who do know us don’t know much about us. We must do a better job of linking our name and our brand messagesto our positive brand experiences.
For more detail on research findings Presentation by SohelKarim of Copernicus and Elizabeth Gregory North, focusing on research design and data analysis:http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/p10317030/ Presentation by Elizabeth Gregory North for Virginia Cooperative Extension, focusing on implications for action. Click on “Extension Brand Value”:http://www.intra.ext.vt.edu/staffdev/2012_VCE_Annual_Conf.html
General Market Research Motivating Power of Extension Attributes* Trustworthy Source Great Staff Convenient Access Highly Motivating Current/Reliable Info. Expert Review Quality of Life Change Agents Scope of Work Moderately Motivating In-person Support University Connection Less Motivating Experience *Motivating power on a 0-100 scale where 0 = ‘Not Motivating’ and 100 = ‘Extremely Motivating.’ Needs have been grouped into highly (MP score = 70+); moderately ( MP score = 40-69); and less motivating (MP score <40).
Stakeholder Research Motivating Power of Extension Attributes* Trustworthy Source Great Staff Highly Motivating Current/Reliable Info Convenient Access In-person Support Quality of Life Moderately Motivating Expert Review Change Agents Scope of Work University Connection Less Motivating Experience *Motivating power on a 0-100 scale where 0 = ‘Not Motivating’ and 100 = ‘Extremely Motivating.’ Needs have been grouped into highly (MP score = 70+); moderately ( MP score = 40-69); and less motivating (MP score <40).
The two sides of brand perception Brand communications: what you promise.How you present your brand through communications tools and media. Brand meaning: what you deliver. Consumers’ perceptions and understanding of your brand, based on their experiences. If the two conflict, customers believe theirexperience, not your communications.
Our Brand Responsibilities From the inside of the organization, three elements are essential to building a strong brand: The name. The message. The experience.
The Implementation Phase GoalTo build a strong, lasting, and inspiring brand for Extension among all the people we contact.
Objectives Increase awareness and familiarity with Extension among prospective clients. Turn current clients into advocates for Extension. Send clear messages to legislators and other funding groups about the value and impact of Extension and its programs.
Strategy To empower Extension employees, volunteers, and clients with knowledge, tools, and tactics to become compelling ambassadors for the Extension brand.
Extension’s Brand Platform The brand platform was developed drawing on all elements of the earlier phases of the initiative: Results from quantitative Brand Value Research conducted by Copernicus. Extension Communications Review by Copernicus. Ideation Sessions with ECOP Marketing andCommunications Task Force and Copernicus. Extension Qualitative Research conducted by Copernicus. Evaluation and Input from Copernicus and members of the Task Force.
Extension’s Brand Value Proposition Extension is a resource people can trust. When you use Extension, you can be confident that experts have reviewed and developed programs to ensure that you get the best information for your needs. Through Extension, you have access to programs developed by a network ofuniversities throughout the country. Extension employees and volunteers work hard at improving the quality of life for their communities.
Extension’s Brand Personality Extension is a trusted friend whom clients can turn to for support when they need reliable information and advice. Extension is friendly, caring, trusted, committed, approachable, down-to-earth, practical, informed, and knowledgeable. Relaxed and friendly but also knowledgeable and informative. Use everyday language that everyone will understand.
Extension’s Brand Promise Extension provides practical education you can trust, To help people, businesses, and communities Solve problems, develop skills, and build a better future.
Campaign Theme EXTENDING KNOWLEDGECHANGING LIVES
Messages Extension’s Brand Promise. Your Elevator Pitch. Your Brand Story.
Extension’s Brand Promise Extension provides practical education you can trust, To help people, businesses, and communities Solve problems, develop skills, and build a better future. Memorize it! Use it verbatim. Even just the first phrase is a powerful statement about Extension!
Your Elevator Pitch Introduce yourself. Say, “My name is [your name!], and I work for [your Extensionbrand].” Deliver your message. Say the Brand Promise. Payoff with your slogan.* And say it with gusto! If you don’t have a slogan,use the campaign theme: extending knowledge, changing lives!
Your Brand Story The nameI work for [the name of your Extension Service, NOT just the university!]. The message“Extension provides practical education you can trust,to help people, businesses, and communities solve problems, develop skills, and build a better future.” Your roleIn my role, I work with [your audience] to help them [their goal]. The experienceIs there a problem you need to solve? OR Is there something you wish you knew more about? ORWould you like to get involved as a volunteer?
Tools and Templates
Tools and templates overview Print Materials Brochure template Bookmark template Pushcard template County accountability report template County leadership pushcardtemplate County leadership one-pager template Presentations and Events PowerPoint presentation templates Banner-stand exhibit/display template, clientsand potential clients Banner-stand exhibit/display template, county leadership Advertising Magazine Ads 8” x11” Magazine Ads 10” x 12” Newspaper Ads Cinema Ads Interior Bus Ads Exterior Side Bus Ads Exterior Tail Bus Ads Web and Social Media Guidelines Hashtags for Twitter E-newsletters, e-postcards, web ads Video (not funded, not yet completed) 3- to 5-minute Brand Essence video 4 to 6 30-second PSAs Guidelines/rubric for states, counties, etc., to create their own videos to expand the collection
County Accountability Report, outside
County Accountability Report, inside
Banner Stand Displays
Key points about these materials These materials can be used as they are, with just the addition of your institutional logo. Or, they can be adapted as much or as little as you wish, to fit with your institution’s branding guidelines and marketing plans. This campaign focuses on shared messaging, building on the common truths about Extension that are independent of subject matter, role, or region. No universal logo or slogan is recommended. Adapt the materials to fit your institution’s guidelines.
Protocol for use and distribution Communications staff download the files and customize as needed to meet your institutional branding guidelines. http://create.extension.org/node/92257 Communications staff re-save the files and distribute via intranet, print, or other means to staff in your state. Local staff download files or order hard copies, customize with local addressing, if necessary, and distribute to clients, potential clients, stakeholders, and other audiences.
Ways states are already using the research results and messaging New Hampshire Extension used the research results in their tagline and brochure copy
Brand Ambassador Training Moodle-based course through eXtension. Participants receive a certificate for successful completion. Great professional development opportunity! Link directly to the course:http://campus.extension.org/course/view.php?id=542
Brand Value CoP
Brand Value CoP Coordination, collaboration, and communication about the initiative using the resources of eXtension. Goal: two CoP members from each institution—one communicator and one subject-matter specialist, mid-manager, or support staff member. CoP information, including current membership list: http://www.extension.org/people/communities/222 CoP area in Create, locus of distribution, sharing, and support:http://create.extension.org/node/321
The future of the initiative If you are an Extension director/administrator and have not done so already, please nominate two people from your institution to serve on the CoP.Send names and contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tools, templates, and training available within eXtension on November 1, 2012. The research, messaging, and all other assets will remain within eXtension. Future leadership and coordination will be conducted through the CoP and ACE, the Association for Communications Excellence.
So what do I do next? If you are a member of the Brand Value CoP, make sure your Extension director/administrator and Communications Head are aware of the initiative. Share our URLs, slide sets, and other resources as appropriate. If you have not done so already, work with other CoP members from your state/institution to set up a planning meeting with your Extension director/administrator and other interested parties. Plan how you will promote the use of the messaging by all employees, how you will adapt the tools and templates, and how you will encourage all employees to take the Brand Ambassador course.
For communicators If you are a communications professional, make sure your Communications head is aware of the initiative. Share our resources as appropriate. Work with others in your communications unit to adapt the materials appropriately and to ensure that the brand platform is reflected in all the materials you produce. Take photos, collect client quotes and success stories, create new materials that infuse the brand platform with local and state relevance.
For all Extension employees Take the Brand Ambassador course. Memorize the Extension Brand Promise. Create your own Elevator Pitch and Brand Story and commit them to memory. Use the Campaign Theme and Brand Promise everywhere you can, in your e-mail signature, on handouts, in conversation! Make sure that you communicate consistent messages and deliver consistently great experiences to everyone you work with!
Strong brands create many benefits Brands are often the only source of unique and sustainable competitive advantage.Others can duplicate everything you sell or do or undercut your price, but they can’t copy your brand and its relationships. Brands lower the cost and risk of entering new categories, new markets, and new channels. Brands are a rallying forcefor employees, aligning their efforts and attracting stronger job applicants.Debra Semans, Polaris Marketing Research
It is not its slickness, polish, uniqueness, or cleverness that makes your brand a brand. It is its truth.Live your brand.Harry Beckwith
Thanks The Task Force/Implementation Team and the Brand Value CoP Leadership are very grateful for the vision, encouragement, and support of the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) and the National Extension Directors and Administrators. Without their support, this initiative would not be possible.
ECOP Marketing & Communications Task Force/Implementation Team Douglas Steele, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Ann Bailey Berry, West Virginia Robin Adams, formerly withNorth Carolina A&T Rick Atterberry, Illinois Dan Cotton, eXtension Liz Felter, Florida Andy Ferrin, National 4-H Council Ellen Frank, USDA NIFA Frankie Gould, LSU AgCenter Elizabeth Gregory North, formerly with Texas AgriLife Extension Service Tracey Huston, Penn State Ray McKinnie, North Carolina A&T Terry Meisenbach, eXtension Scott Reed, Oregon State Ex-officio Members Jane Schuchardt, ECOP Linda Kay Benning, APLU/NCED