Friday, October 10, 2008

Going Out With a Purpose Driven Brand

Jim Stengel, Global Marketing Officer for Procter and Gamble, officially retires from the company after a 25-year ride on October 31st. He treated more than 200 attendees of the first ever University of Cincinnati College of Business Marketing Summit to the tricks of creating what he called a purpose-driven brand. No tricks really. He defined a brand as

the collective intent of people behind it (a product, idea or service) manifested in actions they take.

I particularly like the example he used of Goldfish. He said it's not simply a snack but is described by creator Peppridge Farms as existing to instill optimism in children. When I think about how excited my nine-year old used to get about buying and eating goldfish (notice I said used to--adolescence is creeping lower and lower as the years pass by), I can begin to appreciate this take. Imagine how a statement like that would motivate your employees who seek a nobler purpose than just collecting a paycheck.

I'll leave it to the mainstream local media to dissect the rest of Stengels's comments.

I was very impressed with UC's faculty at today's event. Although in talking with organizers they are already worrying about how to top this year's successful launch. A number of teachers/administrators made the effort to walk around to the different tables making guests feel welcome. I also learned more about the schools's Masters in Marketing Capstone program, a two-quarter experience where students diagnose a business challenge, then solve it using the head knowledge gained in the classroom. One example outlined in UC's literature was the development of a comprehensive marketing plan for the American Sign Museum which moved from Walnut Hills to larger quarters in Camp Washington. The program which can utilize a maximum of 400 student hours, runs from January to June. A one- to two-page proposal can be submitted by for-profits and non-profits. Deadline is November 14. All they ask is a description of your entity, the issues you are facing and a rundown of how students would benefit from helping you. Details:

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