Savannah Swix

The importance of personal branding

By Savannah Swix

After our meeting with RISE at Michigan State University last week and learning more about its student-run company, Land Grant Goods, paired with the readings about marketing and strategy, I understand why it can be effective to make a brand personal and authentic. John Williams said it in “The Basics of Branding”: “Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.”

I think one of the key features of RISE’s brand that supports what I just mentioned is that the program is fueled by the work and enthusiasm of college students. What’s notable, too, is that not all of these student volunteers specialize in horticulture or food science, etc. The products they create take time, thought and effort and it’s evident that they all care about what they’re producing and want to get it on the market for people to enjoy.

Their branding is consistent down to the packaging, from the creative logo to the rustic, natural cardboard tea bags and boxes. One of the tips that Williams gave in his article was to “Get a great logo. Place it everywhere,” and RISE has done that.

I did some research into the social media presence for Land Grant Goods and I noticed that they are fairly new to the digital scene, but the content they are promoting is very on-brand. I think it’s a good step for them to be on those platforms. It will help them with spreading their name and products to people.

I think with more promotion on their social media, like Twitter and Facebook, they’ll be able to attract the attention of alumni who could pass it along to their own networks of friends or co-workers, potentially driving sales and future collaborations. So many connections await in the social media world. It’s one of my favorite things about it and something I look forward to working with more in my own career.

The range of the materials and products created by Land Grant Goods also makes it marketable in a variety of ways, which I find unique and exciting. With multiple products, you can try a lot of different ways to sell it. However, this might make it more important for you to maintain your brand’s “voice” and remaining consistent across the various platforms you use to promote and share news.

It’s very cool to know that MSU students are able to work on a project like Land Grant Goods and gain the experience we have been talking about all semester. I look forward to seeing where Bailey Tea and the other products will go next!

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