Archive for June, 2010

| posted by Joe Hice |

Beware Higher Ed’s ‘Mad Men’

There have been some great posts on university marketing and branding recently.  I plan to share a few over the next few days.  The first from Inside Higher Education.

By Michael Armini

Inside Higher Education

In 1981, Grey Poupon took the nation by storm. Although the little-known Dijon mustard had been manufactured for more than a century, in the early ’80s it went from a minor six-figure business to a retail powerhouse.

Most people remember the famous TV ad in which one Rolls-Royce pulls up next to another. An aristocratic-looking passenger rolls down the back window to ask, “Pardon me. Would you have any Grey Poupon?”

In the cities where the ad ran, sales of Grey Poupon shot up 40 to 50 percent — a remarkable leap in the largely static condiment sector. Today, the Grey Poupon success story is frequently invoked as a highly successful “rebranding,” and an example of a singular advertising triumph.

Within the retail world, plenty of products have had their sales driven up, and their images buffed, through focused ad campaigns and catchy slogans: Don’t Leave Home Without It (American Express), Just Do It (Nike), and Got Milk? (California Milk Processor Board).

These successes — reinforced today by the hit cable TV show “Mad Men— have led to an onslaught of branding consultants currently setting their sights on American universities. Many of these firms, battered by the recession and seeing higher education as a wealthy untapped sector, are coming to a campus near you. (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

N.C. State Trustee Norris Tolson on Sustaining biotech’s growth

By E. Norris Tolson, president and CEO N.C. Biotechnology Center

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK This year, of all years, North Carolina needs to hold fast to its commitment to bioscience as a jobs-growth engine.

Even through the economic crisis, North Carolina’s bioscience sector maintained a respectable 1 percent growth in employment. That’s a stark contrast to the double-digit unemployment figures elsewhere. State support of the bioscience sector and of the business-building programs of the Biotechnology Center creates jobs. Excellent clean, dignified, $30-an-hour jobs.

North Carolina remains the third-largest bioscience state, behind only California and Massachusetts. If we fail to keep fueling this reliable jobs-growth engine, however, we could be overtaken by Maryland, Massachusetts and other states that are growing their bioscience industries by making billion-dollar investments. They want our jobs.

Here are some relevant North Carolina bioscience facts: (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

What about a simple logo re-design has people all up in arms?

From the quality logo products blog:

When Michigan State Spartans confirmed that they were moving forward with a re-branding effort which included a new logo (featured on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site) the outcry from students, alumni, and fans was deafening.

Before long, online message boards began filling with negative opinions on the new design. In fact, by the time of writing this post, more than 18,100 fans had joined a Facebook page entitled: “JUST DON’T — No new Nike-influenced Spartan helmet.” One alum even admitted he’s part of a grassroots Web effort to flood the e-mail inboxes of MSU officials and coaches to stop the logo change.

Tom Izzo, the Spartans men’s basketball coach, supported the new logo stating:

“For all of you out there that are complaining, shame on you, because … we are trying to do what’s best for Michigan State University, our athletic department and the great people that we associate with and Nike’s done a heck of a job …We are going to be moving into that new century here in the proper way and I’m excited about it.”


New logo is on Right

As a fan of many teams (none of which are the Spartans) I’d have to agree with Tom. Shame on students, alumni, and fans that would turn their backs on the organization they support so easily. Just take another glance at the two logos and see if these minor changes are worth so much fuss. It’s just a logo after all. (more…)