I would say the most common question I get working in IMC is “Can I have a logo?” The answer I give to this question is generally not the answer the person is hoping for. I generally respond with “You already have one, it’s the University’s wordmark.” While I know this can frustrate people I wholeheartedly believe this is the best answer for the department or unit who wants to build their brand.
A brand, or a sub-brand in this case, is not a logo. In fact, a logo is a tiny part of what builds a brand identity. A brand for a unit, department or college is built on messaging. If you can answer the question “Why would somebody want to be affiliated by my department?” or “Why would a student want to be accepted into my program?” you are on your way to building a brand. A brand is what sets you apart from other schools. It’s the words you use to describe yourself, and the stories we tell that demonstrates it. This should be the focus when building an identity.
Once the key messaging has been identified then you can begin to look at visuals that support and enhance the message. Here is where we look at colors or photography that can visually differentiate a department while still leveraging the UW Oshkosh identity. This is so important. UW Oshkosh as a solid reputation that gets better every day. As a member of the UW Oshkosh community you can leverage that reputation to gain the attention of the people you are trying to reach. If a department had a logo of its own it would lose the recognition that goes along with being a part of UW Oshkosh, and therefore be more likely to lose the attention of those they are trying to attract. Let the UW Oshkosh brand get their attention, then wow them with the greatness of the department or college.
IMC can help a department, college or unit build a sub-brand. Let us know if you need help!
The core functionality of smart phones is essentially the same. They come pre-installed with an operating system and a stock set of programs or applications. These applications generally include an e-mail client, an address book, a calendar, a program for taking notes or saving text, a Web browser. With that it would be easy to assume that people look for app availability when making a decision on what phone to buy. This does not seem to be the case. According to the chart below, the primary use of phones is currently texting (Hubspot, 2011).
When looking at the chart you can see that the functions of the phone make up the primary usage, versus only 5% of a users time is spent using apps. A person’s mobile phone has become a critical part of our daily lives. With this, the daily functions we perform has to be easy and intuitive. I have no doubt that app availability is a factor, we discuss this on a regular basis in my office. I believe the reason Blackberry is losing market share is because the lack of availability of apps. Looking at the chart below, you can see the RIM is losing market share as Google and Apple are continuing to gain (Hubspot, 2011).
Ease of use and app availability are key factors, but not the primary decision factor. The final chart below shows the key factors in making a purchase decision on a mobile device. The brand, model and look/feel are the top reasons, followed by the operating system. The operating system relates directly to the functions available, while app availability tied (Hubspot, 2011).
Hubspot. (May 2011). More than Talk: Action in Mobile Marketing. Marketing Charts Data Insights.
To get the IMC blog going I’m going to discuss some reflections having just come back from a conference. For the last several years I’ve been on the planning committee for the HighEdWeb conference put on by the national HighEdWeb Association. This conference is always fantastic, and a good reminder of how web has really shifted the way we communicate. At UW Oshkosh we have truly embraced the evolution of the web and incorporated it into our daily lives. Areas across campus are using social media, blogs and websites to engage students, to connect with alumni and the community, to collaborate with faculty and staff, to enhance learning in and out of the classroom.
I attended many sessions at the conference last week where I could sit in pride knowing that UW Oshkosh is already leveraging these powerful tools on a daily basis. Our next goal is to continue to grow our usage and learn how to collaborate and make the best use of these tools. In November IMC will be hosting a Champion Chat to begin conversations around how campus can begin to work together with our online presence, learn from each other and find ways to help each other and the University reach its goals.
Here is a look at some of the ways UWO is using social media: http://www.uwosh.edu/stay_connected
The IMC website has a list of upcoming Champion Chats, hope to see you there!