A scan in the printing press in our industry can paint a troubling picture for any high-quality marketer. As Scott Pansky wrote to Inside Higher Ed“The responses of many of our leaders to the pandemic – both in words and in deed – have been miserably neglected, causing a serious erosion of confidence that is growing daily.”
Trust isn’t all that’s eroded. All in all Post-secondary enrollment has decreased by 3 percent – Traditional freshman enrollment accounts for approximately 69 percent of this decline. And the more academic programs that go online, the more Advertising dollars. Universities are aims to increase spending on digital marketing, with non-profit colleges not far behind. It’s no secret that nonprofit colleges continue to do so Boost online ad spend, also.
Why differentiation often fails
As marketer, our natural inclination is to differentiate our institutions from our competitors. However, the more we find out how this applies to online environments and consumer behavior, the less reliable it becomes in practice.
For example, most brands share image attributes, which means that what we perceive to be different is rarely held consistent by all buyers. Higher Ed brands are no different. What Search suggestions is that most brands share patterned attributes These brands indicate a “brand prototype”. As much as we want to position our brand as authentic and innovative, there is the possibility that many of the attributes will be kept uniform by our competitors.
Use the power of distinction versus differentiation
In most cases, our differentiation efforts also fail to take into account how consumer decision-making is evolving.
The more brands compete for attention across platforms, the more people develop heuristics to reduce cognitive loads. As more educated marketers, we’d like to believe that spreadsheets determine college search, but college students are more likely to be The familiar is used by default, reduce their experiences and interactions to a feeling and then post-rationalize the decision.
The truth – and why we have to Focus on becoming more memorable – Is it easy to think about what we are buying – or as part of college search, which potential students to research first? The more difficult it gets to be different, the more important it is to focus on how we communicate our brand. To be memorable, marketers need to build and invest in distinctive character in all promotional activities.
How to Build Distinction
Special assets should be viewed as brand elements in which an organization makes a concerted effort to invest over the long term. Logos, tag lines, colors, design elements, editorial decisions, brand images and trademarks are different elements. The more assets the brand can effectively communicate / use in relation to competitors, the more likely an advertisement will trigger a brand when the consumer reaches for a category – or starts the college search process.
Discrimination is important because people are hardwired to recognize patterns. The more distinctive or memorable our advertising, the more fluid our brand becomes. Not only does this create a multitude of positive advertising effects, but it is also all the easier for our communication to attract attention in an increasingly competitive environment. As Phil Barden argued Decoding: The Science Behind Why We Buy“The signals we send – from colors to shapes to brand logos – are recorded in mental concepts that are based on trained employees in the memory.”
Below are five creative strategies for developing your own distinctive design.
- Brand awareness comes first: There is a lot of truth in “making the logo bigger”. The logo of a brand serves as an anchor for all brand activities and is the single most importantly Context element online. Indeed, people are when they specifically examine online environments Ads can rarely be assigned correctly to the right brand. Always make sure your brand is prominent.
- Choose your colors wisely: As much as secondary colors offer a new creative approach to old news, our advertising doesn’t wear out as quickly as we might think. Colors are next to logos most effective unique asset – provided they are used strategically for all promotional activities. From “Hulu Green” to T-Mobile’s pink, colors can cut through and create easily identifiable markings.
- Find a flowing device: Flowing devices are creative concepts (characters, product designs, sounds) that are consistently used as a substitute for a brand – think Flo from Progressive or the triangular Doritos chip. Flowing devices quickly Create familiarityThis makes it much easier to identify brands. For higher-value brands, different campus elements, unique images or a mascot can serve as a flowing aid for easier recognition in social media feeds.
- Design for distinctive: Whether it is graphic elements or editorial decisions, Targeted design elements can be just as powerful like any logo. Burberry’s tartan pattern, the University of Pennsylvania’s use of font and red strike, and Arizona State University’s use of recruiting imagery to add strength to the site are examples of long-term investments in certain design elements. The types of photos we use, editing choices, or graphic design choices can make our ads unique and easily identifiable.
- Words are important: Slogans, rhetorical devices, and typography through repetition can also help achieve higher education Brands stand out. McDonald’s “ba da ba ba ba” hook, West Virginia University’s main typeface, and Drexel’s use of “Ambition” are all ways advertisers use words to refer to the brand. Whether it’s words or sounds, consistency is always key.
The foundation of good advertising lies in the ability to connect with the brand. No matter how attention grabbing or how much we’d like to believe that potential students are completely focused on our advertising, if there isn’t a strong connection with the brand, it has failed. An investment in certain assets is a long term investment to ensure our brand is memorable and able to perform in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Chris Huebner is a digital strategist at Up up, a branding and marketing agency for higher education in