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  • Writer's pictureSHEmerson

5 tips to combat, "Why aren't we doing what (insert other Utah institution here) is doing?”

Updated: Jun 16, 2019

I have lost count of how many times I have been in meetings where someone brings up some marketing or advertising they saw and asks, “So, why aren’t we doing what (insert other Utah institution here) is doing?”

There isn't enough time to educate the group that not everything you read or see others doing is going to work for our institution. There is no smoking gun, there is no one size fits all answer or approach when it comes to marketing and recruiting. But you can familiarize yourself with a few things so you are prepared to respond.

Here are 5 tips to combat:

“Why aren’t we doing what (insert other Utah institution here) is doing?”

1. Know yourself.

Know what you are and what you aren’t. Weber State University is lucky to have an in-depth brand identity. This took a lot of time, energy, and expertise to create these guidelines and resources for us to use. It is pure gold. It lays out everything you need to know about what the institution is.

Our university brand is what people think, and what we hope they will think, when they hear "Weber State University."

*If you don’t have something like this, I suggest that you;

1. go and look and make sure you just aren’t aware of it,

and if there really isn’t a brand identity or guide or anything,

2. assemble a team and get one made.

2. Know your audience(s).

From prospective students and community members to faculty and staff and legislators, universities have a giant audience spectrum. It is important to have the right information at the right time for the right audience.

3. Know the latest trends.

It is important to stay up on the latest trends and know what others are doing. However, you have to be willing to let go of what isn’t working and what is hurting your brand. This way you will be able to discuss the trends and how they may or may not work for your institution.

4. Know what others are doing.

If you know what others are doing, you will be able to speak to why people are seeing what they are seeing. Knowing this information will help you build credibility and trust among your peers.

It's crucial to understand your sector so you can fine-tune your strategy and stay one step ahead.

5. Be your own inspiration.

Look in the mirror and repeat after Jessica:

Now, go back and look at your brand identity for inspiration.

You must stop looking and comparing yourself to others to ignite motivation.

If we constantly try to play catch up and piggyback on what others are doing, we will remain in the shadows. We need to focus on what makes us unique, what do we have that (insert other Utah institution here) doesn’t and what can we do that nobody else is doing so we can stand out. Who knows, maybe then those other institutions will look at us and say, "Hey, why don't we do what Weber is doing?"

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