Branded for Life

To most people in Texas, September means one thing: football season.  Football fans proudly sport their team’s jerseys and hang flags from their windows. Fans develop deep-rooted love for their team and an intense hatred for rivals. When you hear about “brand ambassadors,” there are probably no better examples than in the sports arena. Football teams can teach us a lot about brand loyalty and separating your product from the competitors on the field and in our hearts. While it has been proven that colors can produce certain emotions, it is unlikely you will see two people get into a heated debate over which is the best color in the spectrum. When asked your favorite color, you probably consider the question for a few seconds and then give a couple of different options.  However, show OU’s crimson and cream to any football fan sporting burnt orange and white, and tempers will flare. Colors that would not usually be put together in any kind of fashionable way suddenly represent something much bigger than the colors themselves.

Red River Rivalry

Football teams are nothing if not consistent with their branding across all means of communication. The same colors, logos and messaging are consistent from team uniforms to fan newsletters.  This messaging brings fans of all ages and stations together with the same goal: supporting their team. Students who rally for their school, alumni who support their alma mater and children who have inherited their loyalty from their parents all identify with the same colors, logos and slogans.  The brand becomes a household name that becomes easily identifiable to those with even a passing interest.

University of Texas Longhorns

The University of Texas is easily one of the most recognizable brands in sports. The longhorn logo has undergone few changes over the years and has strict guidelines about how it may be printed, ranging from acceptable colors to the use of graphic filters. These guidelines ensure that all representations of UT are uniform. A sustainable logo helps create a brand identity that will be recognizable for years to come. Quality and recruitment of top talent are also critical elements to success; as in the case of UT (Editorial note: Some of us at 20K Group would prefer to use the proper moniker - “t.u.”). A legacy of top rankings in the polls, bowl game wins, Heisman Trophy winners and national championships is far more likely to spurn fervent loyalty than the team with losing season after losing season. However, a brand with a strong base can withstand slumps. True football fans will remain loyal even without the bragging rights from last week’s game score, because it’s not just about the numbers- it’s a lifestyle. Children become fans of a certain team because it’s a family tradition. Friendships are forged between strangers from matching jerseys. Like-minded individuals are brought together under the same name as fans.

hook em

A strong brand identity will make your company stand out in the crowd and, hopefully, gain you clients and fans as fervent as UT’s. Or A&M’s. Or Alabama’s. (You get the idea.) Consistent messaging, branding and communication ensure that you will be recognized and remembered as a member of the “big leagues” of your industry. In the spirit of the season, we've started a fall Pinterest board. Happy pinning!

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