Looking beyond higher education can be a fruitful source of brand inspiration. I wrote a piece last month for Inside Higher Ed about lessons from Starbucks on moving past features and communicating benefits. Below is a portion of that post. (For a deeper dive, I highly recommend Tribal Knowledge: Business Wisdom Brewed from the Grounds of Starbucks Corporate Culture by John Moore).
There’s one takeaway from Starbucks that is particularly applicable for higher ed—the focus on “communicating the benefit of the benefit of everything it offers.”
With multi-pronged missions, our colleges and universities have endless features to highlight. (A colleague at a peer institution once told me that his university does everything “from canoe rentals to discovering planets outside our own solar system and everything in between.”) Hence, we can unintentionally find ourselves focusing on features instead of benefits.
Avoiding this trap, however, is not enough. As Moore says, “Savvy marketers realize that there are a number of layers separating the product feature from the ultimate experience the customer hopes to achieve.” Thus, we need to convey the benefit of the benefit. This approach brings us closer to the emotional, higher-order benefits that can move people to action.
Read the rest on Inside Higher Ed.