Creating a Digital Signage Network (14. Branding)

                                                                         Branding                                                                                                       

Digital signage is quick, nimble, changeable and versatile! Too often we take a cursory look at the concept of digital signage and see it merely as a fancy TV that we can tell people what time lunch is going to be served.  Yet there is so much more you can do with your digital signage!  Everyone is selling something if they are working for someone else.  Be it goods, services or ideas.  Your organization’s brand has tremendous value and you want to maximize that brand in your marketplace.

West Virginia University has a number or branding icons that draw instant recognition everywhere in the world that triggers emotion from Mountaineer alumni!  The Flying WV, the Mountaineer statue image, the football helmet with our insignia, Woodburn Circle, the Pylons at the Health Science Center or The Coliseum all muster affection in our graduates.  It’s the same way in the corporate world.  Such examples as The Golden Arches of McDonalds, the Nike swoosh, the red-white-blue of the Pepsi logo, the YouTube button and Facebook emblem all rivet us to some entity at the speed of thought.  In reading the last sentence I am confident that just the words themselves conjured the vision in your mind of those corporate brands.  It is all about marketing your best product… YOU!  It evokes pride in the organization… and it instills loyalty to the brand.

Branding is your major marketing tool and must be thought about as you design your content for display on your digital signage.  We have specific approved branding elements that can only be used in our content design for any media pieces that carry the WVU brand.  Elements such as exact color values, special designs, university icons, logos and images are available to our designers in a “tool kit” or branding manual that is approved for use by our administrators.  Some items are even trademarked, copyrighted and registered!  Someone might think that is a little “overboard” in such protective measures… but that is the point!  You must protect and promote your brand!  I am relatively certain that any Mountaineer graduate who saw “The Flying WV” university logo in any colors other than the official Old Gold & Blue would be apoplectic!  Make sure people understand how important the brand concept is for your organization!  I saw a recent tweet that summed it up very nicely, Make sure people understand how important the brand concept is when developing your brand manual!  I saw a recent tweet that summed it up nicely… “A brand manual must help people understand ‘why’ the guidelines exist, not just what they are #amahighered“.  Another tweet said, “When trying to get cooperation to follow campus brand manuals, I think engagement is much easier than enforcement #amahighered“.

In our digital signage content design and creation, every page in our loop carries some consistent element(s) of the general WVU branding elements so that pedestrians on our campuses KNOW, without any doubt, they are in Mountaineer Country!  Then, for specific clients we add touches of a sub-brand that gives that client a unique identity in our loop of information that is broadcast 24 hours a day.  For instance, the College of Business & Economics carries a sub-brand that looks “business-like” and the WVU Arts & Entertainment department conveys a “show business” aura.  This is by design!  Every client WANTS their own identity and we want them to be happy and to add additional digital signs in their facility to get their marketing message to their audience.  In the following sections you will see some of our pages of information and get a sense of the power of the main brand and the subtleness of the sub-brand.

The term “Millennials” is used to describe todays college age youth generation.  Make no mistake, you want to make a great impression on your students while you have them traversing all over your institution for four or more years.  You have the opportunity of burning your brand of excellence, and the associated goodwill, into their minds that will last a lifetime!  Any university marketing administrator understands that it is just not about tuition and fees for four years of education; it is also about the perceived goodwill that the student gains from the brand during that special time that can potentially equate to loyal donations to their beloved institution for generations.

Take a look at this video… it says a lot about branding through the eyes of a 5 year old…  http://thenextweb.com/shareables/2012/01/31/this-5-year-old-interprets-famous-logo-designs-and-its-absolutely-adorable/

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About swgraham2

Mountain Mists is an opportunity to develop some thought processes individually as I journey through this wonderful world; as someone who values highly effective management techniques and the art of leading teams; and through my association with West Virginia University as a professional technologist and network manager specializing in digital signage.
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