‘Go Green for Good’
This week’s reading assignments provided a vast amount of information on brand strategy and awareness. With several articles highlighting slightly different pieces of information, all articles were in agreements that branding is critical. Absolutely critical.
As Entrepreneur’s article, ‘The Basics of Branding’ puts it, ‘branding is your promise to your customer.’ You brand tells your customers what you do, how you do it, and what to expect. Your brand tells a story and defines who you are. Throughout college, journalism professors in CAS have always put emphasis on our individual brands as a person and professional. When we create our portfolios and resumes, what brand are we communicating? When we interview for a job, what message is our personal brand communicating? And far as business goes, you are only as strong as your brand.
Fortune’s article, 4 Ways to Create a Marketing Strategy for Your Small Business gives us a breakdown in strategy:
- Determine objective
- Create and document strategy
- Get personal
- Remember content is (still) king
A marketing strategy begins with asking yourself questions. Who am I targeting, what do I want to accomplish, how will my strategy accomplish such? Fortune tells us that in each step, you should work smarter not harder to achieve desired outcomes.
These particular two articles of the assigned five brought RISE in the forefront of my mind. What is RISE’s brand and how are they implementing a strategy to accomplish their goals?
RISE provides a living-learning community for MSU students that share common interests and goals in environmental sustainability and healthy living. RISE has a vast amount of learning outcomes including the hope to enact change, value collaboration, and form opinions. RISE’s goal is to enhance and enrich the undergraduate learning experience, strengthen the community, and build a network for students based around environmental stewardship.
A real-life product formed from the principles which RISE stands, is Land Grant Goods. Program director, Dr. Laurie Thorpe gave us insight to a project kick-started by students of RISE. Land Grant Goods is a student-run agricultural business that produces high-quality, organic goods. Their largest component of business comes from Bailey Tea, which is driving their business and putting Land Grant Goods on the map.
Land Grant Goods strategy began their business by making just a few relationships with key vendors, in particular, Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. After making a sale to the hotel, the business was conscious of keeping their scope minimal, as they needed to keep up with demand and were just beginning to touch the risky waters of business.
The students pushed their brand in the way that they knew best: social media. Laurie explained that students would share through Instagram posts and Facebook, spreading the brand further within the MSU community. As the Inc. article explained, often social media is no longer an option, but priority. One in three Americans receive their news from Facebook, and 40 percent social more on social media than face-to-face (pretty sad, but apparently true.) With limited dollars and resources, social media was a perfect fit for Land Grant Goods marketing tactics early on.
Land Grant Goods has expanded their business to other colleges within MSU, as well as up-and-coming local grocers. They’ve expanded their product line as well, creating cosmetic products and have interest in making candles as well. Despite moving beyond tea, Land Grant Goods has not abandoned their original brand. They are still providing high-quality, sustainable items that are good for the earth and good for you embodying their slogan in every venture, ‘Go Green for Good.’ As Land Grant Goods grows, customers won’t be returning just for products, but for the promise the brand can deliver them.