The Long-Term Benefits of Promotional Branding: NOT Just a Flash in the Pan!

By Mack, John | The Agricultural Education Magazine, September/October 2009 | Go to article overview

The Long-Term Benefits of Promotional Branding: NOT Just a Flash in the Pan!


Mack, John, The Agricultural Education Magazine


The long-term benefits of promoti onal branding: Not just a flash in the pan! Every good journal article that I have ever read includes a "views you can use" section. Since my thoughts on Program Branding are limited to my experiences in the same program for the past 25 years, I can only present "views that we use." We depend heavily on the concept of Program Branding and I hope you will find something of value in this article.

Since the Beginning......

Agricultural education came to the North East Independent School District in 1976 under the direction of Rodger Welch, a visionary who was one of the first in our profession to brand his complex as an Agribusiness Center. From its beginning, agriculture in the North East ISD would have an identity and a vision where, someday, we would stand out as a quality program. In 1 997 we were designated by our school district as a magnet program. This meant that interested students from around the North East ISD came to us to study agriculture. Under the leadership of various Advisory Council members, who were dynamic marketing professionals, within the year, we were branded the North East Agriscience Magnet Program (AMP), Home of the James Madison FFA.

Our Need for Branding....

The program was, and is, located on 20 acres of the James Madison High School campus in the midst of the urban sprawl of San Antonio, Texas. In a school that serves more than 3,200 students each year, it is difficult for individual students to develop an identity. In the same light, in a school district with seven 5-A high schools, it is a challenge for individual programs to stand out. I believe that the use of program branding has worked to create an identity for both students and the program. To me, branding your program is simply marketing your students, program, products and services in order to develop a "pro-agri" culture within your school district and community.

Types of Branding...

Our "brand" displays the emphasis we place on science and engineering, as well as our co-dependence and affiliation with the James Madison FFA. Here are some examples of where we place our brand :

* Correspondences - Brochures, website, stationary, email, mail outs

* Inventory - School trucks, trailers, capital inventory items

* Facility - Complex entrance, classrooms, arenas

* Community - Fundraisers, bumper stickers, window decals

Under the AMP brand umbrella, we encourage sub-branding to create interest and ownership in the various facets of the program. …

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