The Big East And The Importance Of Branding
Last week it was reported that the Big East, arguably one of the most well known conferences in college sports was considering selling its name. The reason for this is that the sports conference is splitting, with the Catholic Universities (St. John’s, Seton Hall, Marquette, DePaul, Georgetown, Villanova and Providence) forming their own conference. The question everyone was asking was who gets the Big East name and whom would it benefit more?
For those not familiar with NCAA sports, the Big East has a long history, specifically in basketball. Much of that history revolves around the schools now being referred to as the “Catholic 7.” In fact, only one member remains form the original lineup of the Big East conference, the University of Connecticut, while four founding members are moving to the new conference. The Big East as is stands now, spans from the East to West coasts, and North to South, no longer only focused on East Coast membership.
At the forefront of this realignment is the brand of the Big East. How important is the name? Does the name recognition carry weight? Well, yes, the brand is a big deal. There’s history, tradition, recognition around the name. The name evokes thoughts of a historic basketball conference. For a new conference, this recognition and history is key (ESPN agrees in an article titled Big East brand a win for departing schools). This is the reason that the new league will be taking the Big East name.
The takeaway here is how valuable a brand can be. Whatever your business, your branding it key. It’s your story and how people perceive you. You must build your brand. You must protect your brand. You must grow your brand. And if you need some help, we’re just a click away.
The Big Money of the Big Game
Each year the Super Bowl is one of the most watched television events in the world. There’s millions of eyes on the game, and millions upon millions of dollars behind it and tied to it. A Super Bowl ad has now become the most expensive 30 seconds on TV, at more than $3.4million per spot.
There’s more to take into consideration than simply the cost of the ads though. A recent survey by Lab42 revealed the following:
- 39% of people prefer the ads over the actual game (one of the reasons we created Big Game Advertising Bingo)
- 64% said that more than half their game related conversations the next day revolve around the commercials
- 69% have re-watched a Super Bowl commercial online
- 72% believe the game commercials are funnier than “regular” commercials, while 57% consider them more creative, and 21% say they’re memorable
Clearly, there’s a lot expected of the ads, and the benefits extend both before and beyond the game. Toyota’s “Wish Granted” commercial starring Kaley Cuoco has garnered over 10.6 million views before the game, with many others reaching millions of views as well. Advertisers can also expect a 20% increase in web traffic as well.
Influence extends well beyond ads during the game. Some restaurants and bars are seeing an increase in foot traffic and orders. And the food people by for parties? Figures from 2012 show that 16 million chicken wings were sold during the game, as was 4 million pizzas (not counting frozen pizzas), while spending over $10billion on beer. Dominos pizza drivers alone will drive over 4 million miles on Super Bowl Sunday (revenue for transportation, fuel, etc.).
Advertising, food, and beverage categories are still only a small piece of the pie. There’s events, the hospitality industry for the host cities, and apparel and merchandise sales for the teams, which affects the retail industry. And of course there’s the teams themselves. Any way you look at it, the “big game” is big money, affecting in ways you might not even have noticed. So, how’s does the big game affect you?
The New Bag Ladies
I’m part of the new wave of high-end bag ladies. Brand conscious collectors of luxury items and the shopping bags in which they are wrapped. They’re more obvious than the labels, larger than the insignia, cartable and seem to be an unpretentious way of being just that. This is brand marketing at its best.
Long gone are the days when brown paper shopping bags were used simply to carry your purchased items. Smart marketers have been using them to tout their brands for years. But the shopping bag seems to have taken on a life of its own, not only making a statement about its carrier but having intrinsic value separate and apart from the Prada shoe, Apple iPad or gourmet food item it toted. Now, I can get excited about the purchase and also how I might use and re-use the brand bag. My mom who would never pay the price tag of designer clothing proudly uses and reuses my bags to carry her lunch. They’re actually the only designer items that she owns.
Sometimes the brand is so strong that the wow of the bag is better than the gift. It doesn’t really matter what’s inside that Tiffany blue bag. I was retail-shamed by the Abercrombies who sneered and held out their bag when I asked for a gift box. Bags are a reflection of lifestyles and values. My collection is from all over the world, none are brown and many are no longer paper. They’re beautifully designed with cords, ribbons and glitter. But on days when I want to believe that I am grounded, there are also eco-friendly bags made from 80% post consumer waste and the lululemon bag which can double as a gym bag and shouts of serious yoga intent.
The bags may be different but bag collection is trending across generations. How will brands best merchandise this new trend? We could see new lines of branded paper bags. Imagine owning an authentic Coach, Tumi or Louis Vuitton bag for $25.
by Linda Passante, CEO, The Halo Group
The Five Things You Shouldn’t Have Missed This Week - Halloween Edition: Friday, November 02
Brands’ Special Halloween Treats (Print) - Branding Magazine
Don’t Haunt Me Bro - via Nestio
10 Classic Logos Re-imagined for the Zombie Apocalypse - via Inspiration Feed
USA Luge Team To Dress Like Superhero X-O Manowar - via Bleeding Cool
The Five Things You Shouldn’t Have Missed This Week: Friday, August 24
Volvo Ballerina Stunt with Faith Dickey - via I’d Rather Be Slacklining (see video)
China’s Green Pedestrian Crossing - via m0iety
Vibram mobile ad succeeds in driving viewers to online store - Mobile Marketer
Naked Harry scandal a watershed moment for UK press - via CNN
Microsoft gets a new logo for the first time since 1987 - via Seattle Times
Inspiration from Unlikely Places: The Walking Dead
Inspiration can come out of nowhere. Without warning you can experience a flood of ideas. Other times you know exactly where your inspiration came from––you were listening to a song or reading a book, watching a movie or even reviewing plans. Inspiration can even come from something as simple as an apple falling from a tree.
One unlikely source of inspiration is The Walking Dead. No, not the TV show (though that can serve as an example as well), but the novel…the graphic novel. Let’s take a look at some of the lessons we can glean from that book, and see how they might serve to offer inspiration in business, and especially marketing.
- Adapt or die. It could be the mantra for this book, and the same could be said when it comes to marketing. The world evolves around you, and to stay competitive, you must evolve with it––learning new skills, forging new partnerships, developing new plans. In a world where everything changes so fast, the ability to make quick (and correct) decisions is key.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses. By knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are, you’ll be better equipped to deal with challenges. You’ll also know when you should seek help and surround yourself with those who can aid in your goals. By knowing everyone else’s particular strengths and weakness, it will be easier to assign tasks to the proper individuals.
- Things may not always be what they seem. Something that looks too good to be true just might be, but something that appears to have no value may have more value than you think. Always keep your eyes peeled for opportunities and obstacles. Situations change and when they do, you make need to look at your surroundings with a new perspective.
- Never give up. Always strive to move forward. If you have the best product or service, you need to let people know. If you have a great idea, make it happen. Tell your story and follow through!