Sip N’ Go Product Review

Recently featured in the Magellan Collegiate Promotions Webinar, the 20oz. Foldable Water Bottle has become a favorite of student orientation, recruitment, and resident life departments accross the country.  Sip N’ Go is a collapsible reusable water bottle that allows customers to save money and is the perfect alternative to plastic water bottles.  When you finish your water, Sip N’ Go folds and snaps flat small enough to fit in a purse, briefcase, or drawstring bag.

Sip N' Go Foldable Water Bottle

While we do have other foldable water bottles, we chose to highlight the Sip N’ Go because of its easy snap closures and improved eyelet strength over other bottles.  Another great feature of Sip N’ Go is that it is freezer and dishwasher safe.  The bottles are made of BPA free, FDA approved material making them safe and durable.  The water bottle also includes a carabiner, an easy way to clip the bottle to a backpack or workout bag.

The foldable water bottle is a creative way to promote your department or group.  There is a large imprint area to place logos and the 20 ounce bottle comes in 5 vibrant colors: Red, Pink, Blue, Green, Black, Clear.  Sip N’ Go is an excellent retail brand – watch as Cassy talks about why she recommends the bottle to her clients.

If you have any quesitons or comments please feel free to call (414)831-0184 or email us at info@magellanpromotions.com.

Find more on the Sip N’ Go here!

First Step to Branding a Collegiate Department

Branding is a hot topic on college campuses.  Colleges are working to create identities and differentiate themselves from other higher education institutions. However the difficulty of creating a unified brand across a university is that there are many factors that can control how one feels, experiences and learns about the brand.

Branding is the culmination of experiences that one has with the department, college, program or service.  A brand is intangible; it exists separately with each individual.  Thus everyone has their own thoughts on how they feel about the brand.

So university wide, a school’s brand can be defined by academics, athletics, staff, incidents or the many other ways individuals learn about/experience the college.

So is it worth branding an individual department or school on a campus?

The simple answer is yes.  While the Chancellor’s office works to achieve a consistent university wide brand, an individual school or department cannot control how one feels about the entire school’s brand.  So the goal as a department is to control what you can control.  With my experience working with so many universities, we know campuses are often decentralized.  While operating under the university umbrella, the departments have their own budgets, staff structures and missions.  The feel and leadership styles can vary greatly from school to school, program to program, across the campus.  The feel of the School of Arts is often (and should be) different than the feel of the School of Business.  The Career Services office has a vastly different mission and role than Student Affairs.

The schools, departments and programs need to speak comfortably and authentically with their users.

This decentralization allows the individual schools, programs and departments to create their own brands. So where do we go from here?

Well the first step to branding a department is to learn what individuals think about the brand.  To do this, it is necessary to interview/survey all the users who come in contact with the brand. So talk with students, faculty, staff, deans, the chancellor’s office, parents, businesses…, anyone that uses or comes in contact with the department/school/program.  For example the School of Engineering can even talk to individuals in the School of Education and other academic on how they perceive the school and what brand signals are being sent out.

Each school/department/service has been sending out brand signals, whether on purpose or not, and in order to shape future signals, it is best to understand what signals have been shaping the brand.

To learn where a brand stands, send/e-mail our surveys, meet with people in small focus groups or meet one on one.  I always feel the best way to accomplish this is to get out of the office and meet with individuals in person, especially the ones that you value their opinions the most.  To really get to best understanding of how your brand is perceived, nothing beats the give and take in personal conversations.  The goal is to put together a sketch of how the brand is perceived and learn how effective the department has been in branding itself.

I once received a survey from a college. There were about eighty questions, many of them rating how I felt the college prepared its students for the working world.  However what I thought the most important aspect that they should be teaching was not even included in the survey.  So instead of filling out the survey, I spoke individually with the person in charge of the survey and explained my thoughts.  This way I was able to much better articulate my feelings on their performance than through a survey.  So instead of sending a long survey, I think the school would have learned a lot more about how they are doing by having twenty to thirty conversations, either on the phone or in person.

So before putting together a brand strategy for a department, the first step is to learn where the brand currently stands.  Since the brands exist in other’s minds, it is necessary to do the homework and learn what brand signals the department has been sending out.