Better living through brand

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The big news this week for people in the marketing and advertising world is that Virginia Commonwealth University has changed the name of its venerable graduate program from Adcenter to Brandcenter.

The program is one of the most respected in the country for producing creative, innovative professionals in ever corner of the field.

But what exactly is the field? Is it advertising? Marketing? PR? Social media networking?

Yes. Plus much, much more, including the design of everything from your business cards and your office place to the way you communicate with clients and other members of your professional community.

In a word: Brand.

The day of launching an ad campaign is over. This is the era of brand.

According to Advertising Age:

“The scope of the school has grown, and the business is changing, so if we’re going to prepare people for that bigger and more complicated world that is branding today, it’s probably limiting to think about it just in advertising terms,” said Mike Hughes, president and creative director at Interpublic’s Martin Agency, Richmond, who is also a member of the Brandcenter’s board of directors.

What implication does this have for the average business?

Businesses of all sizes need to shed the ad mindset and get into the brand mindset.

Ad mindset: Telling your audience who you are.
Brand mindset: Listening to your audience’s definition of you, and responding to their needs.

Ad mindset: Short-term campaigns.
Brand mindset: Long-term strategies.

Ad mindset: Short-term gains.
Brand mindset: Long-term returns.

Ad mindset: Putting a good face on your business for the outside world.
Brand mindset: Understanding that if you build a good internal culture, your employees will become your biggest evangelists.

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