For the past three years of my academic career, professor after professor has stressed the importance of interning. “Grades are important, but experience is what is going to get you a job.” Taking my professor’s advice, I landed a dream internship at Tag Strategies where I’ve had the opportunity to see what I’ve learned in school come to life, which in turn has allowed me to learn above and beyond the classroom. I’ve gathered a list of four important lessons about branding that I couldn’t have learned anywhere else.
Consistency is key
Your brand image is how the public views you, which is why it is so important. If done right, a brand doesn’t just describe what you do, it describes who you are and why you do it. So if your messages are inconsistent, you’re going to confuse your customers. Consistency will allow them to understand who you are as a brand and why they should connect with you.
Internal aspects are important
Before interning here, I only thought of the public-facing aspect of branding; the advertisements, logos, commercials, etc. I never considered the internal functions, which I have come to learn is a crucial factor. In some cases, the most interaction a customer will have with your brand is through the employees. If employees don’t understand and believe in the brand or the brand message, neither will the customers.
Don’t be afraid to stand out
In today’s over-populated world, there is a large volume of information constantly being thrown at people. In order to be noticed you have to be different, which is why having a unique selling point will give you a great advantage. For example, in a market where all of your competitors focus on the age of the company (“Family Owned Since 1930!”), why not try focusing on your outstanding customer service? You’ll stand out and people will remember you.
A brand is more than just what you do
Think about the famous brands out there: Nike, TOMS, Coca-Cola, or Disney. Notice their logos, taglines, and commercials don’t just describe what they do, they create an emotional connection by also describing why they do it.
Coca-Cola’s Open Happiness campaign sends a message that it is not only selling soda, it is spreading smiles and happiness. Nike, an athletics company, is all about motivation, as seen in their Find Your Greatness commercial. TOMS sells shoes, but also wants you to know that being charitable is what drives them. State Farm is not just an insurance company, but your friend and neighbor.
There’s so much more to branding than I had ever realized, but my internship at Tag has given me the opportunity to learn from the best. I can say with certainty that Tag definitely is the “it” place to be, and I’m so thankful for my time here.
Temple University 2015
School of Media & Communications
Advertising, General Business Studies Minor