August 12 2020
Ordinarily for any organisation promotion or reach is primarily through advertisements, celebrity endorsements, collaborative projects and similar campaigns that quite evidently situate them in the context of boosting outreach.
I think that every brand needs to explore the opportunities of working with a university. Partnerships with universities hold a lot of untapped potential in terms of growth for the brand and opportunity for the universities to provide students with practical work knowledge. A lot of brands have already forged a path in this aspect to outsource their research and development especially the tech giants of Silicon Valley. For new brands or start-up ventures too, this a lucrative avenue to pursue as it increases your credibility in the eyes of a potential consumer pool that can also pave the way to contributions and unexpected innovations enabled by student engagement and curiosity.
There are a number of brand representatives who take up visiting professor opportunities in universities wherein they use their organisation modus operandi as case studies to explain the subject matter. This piques interests of the students in knowing more about the brand while also allowing them to make their own pitches that could translate into a working opportunity for them and growth for your services. Moreover, it also lets your brand gauge consumer reaction to your products and services based on feedback from students who are guaranteed to offer honest suggestions and recommendations on what they think could work more effectively.
Active participation in research panels, relevant industry discussions will benefit your organisation increasingly in raising awareness and showcasing the depth of your brand ethos. The key is to forge long-standing partnerships as opposed to one-off projects to gain consistent results. Student research is a great way to preempt potential critique and consumer needs and this only begins if they are interested in the brand opportunities and see the services as valuable and essential. Of course, not all brands may have the resources to fund research by students and the alternative is to test the waters with smaller crash courses offered by your organisation experts. Self-learning websites like Coursera have wide-ranging courses wherein some are certified by universities but the teaching faculty is in fact working professionals with real-time experience. For instance, Copyblogger- the content marketing website’s co-founder Sonia Simone, offers a Content-Writing course that is certified by the University of California, Davies. While the course is to instruct students on the technique of being a good content creator, course objective is achieved by explaining how Copyblogger has grown into a successful website and how they operate; with every chapter citing examples or articles from Copyblogger as reading material. Consequently, anyone who takes the course is bound to browse Copyblogger multiple times and perhaps even use it as reference material to learn techniques that are content-related. In shorts, both brands and the students or universities stand to gain through this synergetic relationship.
Therefore, delving into academia is simply an effective route to reiterate your brand impact and relevance while broadening your reach. Open yourself up to the student community and help them learn from your journey and see the tangent take off on your brand discourse in literature, dissertations, projects and so much more. How do you think this will translate in real time for you?