brand align

Brand Alignment chart

Graphic courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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Branding OHIO through shared experiences

A strong brand is a reflection of the mission and vision of an organization and agrees with the perceptions of its internal members and external stakeholders. With such a complex entity as a University, it is sometimes difficult to find alignment because of the many mini missions throughout the organization and because of the depth and breadth of the services offered.

However, when you think about the brands you encounter everyday, there is an emotional tug or connection that draws you to that brand and guides your decisions about trusting and supporting it.

Whether you must have your favorite brew of coffee from a particular boutique coffee house or will trust your information technology needs only to one provider and not another, there's a reason for that.

It's branding (click for a larger view of the chart in the left column).

Not only is it important for a brand to communicate its promise, it is also important that every encounter you have with that brand is in alignment or the promise that the brand is trying to convey is broken. Whether your role is in serving students or engaging with alumni, there should be common experiences that say OHIO.

Through research, we've discovered a few things about ourselves that align with our key audiences, including current and prospective students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Our personality as an institution is open-minded, engaging, and independent. Students and alumni alike describe OHIO as the place that has shaped them into the persons they've wanted to become. Students also say that no matter who they want to become, they can fit in here when talking about the University.

Because of the richness of their experiences, our students stand out among others and can become their best selves. As we embody a culture of exploration, creativity, innovation and collaboration, our students, faculty and staff, whether on a campus or online, will be able to personify the Ohio University brand.

Renea Morris is executive director of Communications and Marketing at Ohio University