The National
Let‘s Get Going!
Elizabeth Gregory North
Co-Leader, Brand Value CoP
 Is Extension the best-kept
secret in your state?
 Did you say yes? If not, you
should have.
 Research shows that only 27%
of adults nationwide have
heard of Cooperative Extension.
 It’s time to let the cat
out of the bag!
It’s time to change.
It’s time to strengthen
Extension’s brand.
It’s up to us, to each one of us.
Will Extension be recognized
and valued in the
or will it just fade away?
The future is in our hands.
How do you build a strong brand?
Building a strong brand takes:
 a clear and compelling message.
 validated by research.
 focused on the audience.
 consistently and repeatedly
communicated, delivered, and
The Research
Key Lessons from the Brand Research
People who know us, love us.
Very few people know us.
Even those who do know us don’t
know much about us.
We must do a better job of linking
our name and our brand
messages to our positive brand
For more detail on research findings
 Presentation by Sohel Karim of Copernicus and
Elizabeth Gregory North, focusing on research design
and data analysis:
 Presentation by Elizabeth Gregory North for
Virginia Cooperative Extension, focusing on implications for
action. Click on “Extension Brand
General Market Research
Motivating Power of Extension Attributes*
Trustworthy Source
Great Staff
Convenient Access
Current/Reliable Info.
Expert Review
Quality of Life
Change Agents
Scope of Work
In-person Support
University Connection
*Motivating power on a 0-100 scale where 0 = ‘Not Motivating’ and 100 = ‘Extremely Motivating.’ Needs have been
grouped into highly (MP score = 70+); moderately ( MP score = 40-69); and less motivating (MP score <40).
Stakeholder Research
Motivating Power of Extension Attributes*
Trustworthy Source
Great Staff
Current/Reliable Info
Convenient Access
In-person Support
Quality of Life
Expert Review
Change Agents
Scope of Work
University Connection
*Motivating power on a 0-100 scale where 0 = ‘Not Motivating’ and 100 = ‘Extremely Motivating.’ Needs have been
grouped into highly (MP score = 70+); moderately ( MP score = 40-69); and less motivating (MP score <40).
The two sides of brand perception
 Brand communications: what you
promise. How you present your brand
through communications tools and
 Brand meaning: what you deliver.
Consumers’ perceptions and
understanding of your brand, based on
their experiences.
 If the two conflict, customers believe
their experience, not your
Our Brand Responsibilities
From the inside of the organization,
three elements are essential to building
a strong brand:
 The name.
 The message.
 The experience.
The Plan
The Implementation Phase
To build a strong, lasting, and inspiring
brand for Extension among all the people
we contact.
 Increase awareness and familiarity with
Extension among prospective clients.
 Turn current clients into advocates for
 Send clear messages to legislators and
other funding groups about the value and
impact of Extension and its programs.
 To empower Extension employees,
volunteers, and clients with
knowledge, tools, and tactics
to become compelling ambassadors for
the Extension brand.
Extension’s Brand
Extension’s Brand Platform
The brand platform was developed drawing on all
elements of the earlier phases of the initiative:
Results from quantitative Brand Value Research
conducted by Copernicus.
Extension Communications Review by
Ideation Sessions with ECOP Marketing and
Communications Task Force and Copernicus.
Extension Qualitative Research conducted by
Evaluation and Input from Copernicus and
members of the Task Force.
Extension’s Brand Value Proposition
Extension is a resource people can trust.
When you use Extension, you can be confident
that experts have reviewed and developed
programs to ensure that you get the best
information for your needs.
Through Extension, you have access to
programs developed by a network of
universities throughout the country.
Extension employees and volunteers work hard
at improving the quality of life for their
Extension’s Brand Personality
 Extension is a trusted friend whom clients can
turn to for support when they need reliable
information and advice.
 Extension is friendly, caring, trusted, committed,
approachable, down-to-earth, practical,
informed, and knowledgeable.
 Relaxed and friendly but also knowledgeable
and informative. Use everyday language that
everyone will understand.
Extension’s Brand Promise
Extension provides practical education
you can trust,
To help people, businesses, and
Solve problems, develop skills, and build
a better future.
The Campaign
Campaign Theme
Extension’s Brand Promise.
Your Elevator Pitch.
Your Brand Story.
Extension’s Brand Promise
Extension provides practical education
you can trust,
To help people, businesses, and communities
Solve problems, develop skills, and build
a better future.
Memorize it! Use it verbatim. Even just the
first phrase is a powerful statement about
Your Elevator Pitch
1. Introduce yourself. Say, “My name is [your
name!], and I work for [your Extension brand].”
2. Deliver your message. Say the Brand Promise.
3. Payoff with your slogan.* And say it with
If you don’t have a slogan, use the campaign
theme: extending knowledge, changing lives!
Your Brand Story
1. The name
I work for [the name of
your Extension Service, NOT
just the university!].
2. The message
“Extension provides
practical education you can
trust,to help people,
businesses, and
communities solve
problems, develop skills,
and build a better future.”
3. Your role
In my role, I work with
[your audience] to help
them [their goal].
4. The experience
Is there a problem you
need to solve?
Is there something you
wish you knew more
Would you like to get
involved as a volunteer?
Tools and Templates
Tools and templates overview
Print Materials
display template, clients
Brochure template
and potential clients
Bookmark template
Banner-stand exhibit/
Pushcard template
display template, county
County accountability report
County leadership
pushcard template
Magazine Ads 8” x11”
County leadership one
Magazine Ads 10” x 12”
pager template
Newspaper Ads
Cinema Ads
Presentations and Events
Interior Bus Ads
PowerPoint presentation
Exterior Side Bus Ads
Exterior Tail Bus Ads
Web and Social Media
Banner-stand exhibit/
Hashtags for Twitter
E-newsletters, e-postcards,
web ads
Video (not funded, not yet
3- to 5-minute Brand
Essence video
4 to 6 30-second PSAs
Guidelines/rubric for states,
counties, etc., to create their
own videos to expand the
Brochure, outside
Brochure, inside
County Accountability Report, outside
County Accountability Report, inside
Banner Stand Displays
Key points about these materials
1. These materials can be used as they are, with just
the addition of your institutional logo. Or, they can
be adapted as much or as little as you wish, to fit
with your institution’s branding guidelines and
marketing plans.
2. This campaign focuses on shared messaging,
building on the common truths about Extension that
are independent of subject matter, role, or region.
3. No universal logo or slogan is recommended. Adapt
the materials to fit your institution’s guidelines.
Protocol for use and distribution
1. Communications staff download the files and
customize as needed to meet your institutional
branding guidelines.
2. Communications staff re-save the files and
distribute via intranet, print, or other means to staff
in your state.
3. Local staff download files or order hard copies,
customize with local addressing, if necessary, and
distribute to clients, potential clients, stakeholders,
and other audiences.
Ways states are already using
the research results and messaging
New Hampshire Extension used the
research results in their tagline and
brochure copy
Brand Ambassador Training
 Moodle-based course through eXtension.
 Participants receive a certificate for successful
 Great professional development opportunity!
 Link directly to the
Brand Value CoP
Brand Value CoP
 Coordination, collaboration, and communication about
the initiative using the resources of eXtension.
 Goal: two CoP members from each institution—one
communicator and one subject-matter specialist, midmanager, or support staff member.
 CoP information, including current membership list:
 CoP area in Create, locus of distribution, sharing, and
support: http://create.extension.org/node/321
Next Steps
The future of the initiative
 If you are an Extension director/administrator and have
not done so already, please nominate two people from
your institution to serve on the CoP. Send names and
contact info to [email protected]
 Tools, templates, and training available within
eXtension on November 1, 2012.
 The research, messaging, and all other assets will
remain within eXtension.
 Future leadership and coordination will be conducted
through the CoP and ACE, the Association for
Communications Excellence.
So what do I do next?
 If you are a member of the Brand Value CoP, make sure your
Extension director/administrator and Communications Head
are aware of the initiative. Share our URLs, slide sets, and
other resources as appropriate.
 If you have not done so already, work with other CoP
members from your state/institution to set up a planning
meeting with your Extension director/administrator and
other interested parties.
 Plan how you will promote the use of the messaging by all
employees, how you will adapt the tools and templates, and
how you will encourage all employees to take the Brand
Ambassador course.
For communicators
 If you are a communications professional, make sure
your Communications head is aware of the initiative.
Share our resources as appropriate.
 Work with others in your communications unit to adapt
the materials appropriately and to ensure that the
brand platform is reflected in all the materials you
 Take photos, collect client quotes and success stories,
create new materials that infuse the brand platform
with local and state relevance.
For all Extension employees
 Take the Brand Ambassador course.
 Memorize the Extension Brand Promise.
 Create your own Elevator Pitch and Brand Story and
commit them to memory.
 Use the Campaign Theme and Brand Promise
everywhere you can, in your e-mail signature, on
handouts, in conversation!
 Make sure that you communicate consistent messages
and deliver consistently great experiences to everyone
you work with!
Strong brands create many benefits
Brands are often the only source of unique and
sustainable competitive advantage. Others can
duplicate everything you sell or do or undercut your
price, but they can’t copy your brand and its
Brands lower the cost and risk of entering new
categories, new markets, and new channels.
Brands are a rallying force for employees, aligning
their efforts and attracting stronger job applicants.
Debra Semans, Polaris Marketing Research
It is not its slickness, polish,
uniqueness, or cleverness that makes
your brand a brand.
It is its truth.
Live your brand.
Harry Beckwith
The Task Force/Implementation Team and
the Brand Value CoP Leadership are
very grateful for the vision,
encouragement, and support of the
Extension Committee on Organization
and Policy (ECOP) and the National
Extension Directors and Administrators.
Without their support, this initiative would
not be possible.
ECOP Marketing & Communications
Task Force/Implementation Team
Elizabeth Gregory North,
formerly with Texas AgriLife
Extension Service
Tracey Huston, Penn State
Robin Adams, formerly with
North Carolina A&T
Ray McKinnie, North Carolina A&T
Rick Atterberry, Illinois
Terry Meisenbach, eXtension
Dan Cotton, eXtension
Scott Reed, Oregon State
Liz Felter, Florida
Andy Ferrin, National 4-H
Douglas Steele, Texas A&M
AgriLife Extension Service
Ann Bailey Berry, West Virginia
Ex-officio Members
Jane Schuchardt, ECOP
Linda Kay Benning, APLU/NCED
Ellen Frank, USDA NIFA
Frankie Gould, LSU AgCenter