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Ten with Ken (Video)

Ken Steele is Canada's most trusted higher ed monitor and futurist, and in this webcast he rounds up emerging trends, research data, best practices and innovative new ideas for higher education. (For HD version see YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo or Facebook. Audio only podcast version available separately.)
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Now displaying: September, 2018

For more information about Ken Steele's speaking and facilitation services, an archive of articles and white papers, and a database of bright ideas, please visit www.eduvation.ca

This podcast is also available on iTunes or on YouTube. For exclusive early access to future episodes, please subscribe to our free email newsletter, the Eduvation Loop

Sep 27, 2018

At BC’s Simon Fraser University, “the Engaged University,” the slogan is much more than mere marketing; it’s the focus for the institution’s planning framework. (Although yes, it also helps differentiate the university’s brand.) SFU president Andrew Petter invited Ken Steele for a campus site visit late last year, and this is the first of many episodes that will be the result.

Since the brand launched in 2012, SFU’s Engagement Strategy has articulated how the institution will make a strategic priority of engagement:

Engaging Students through active and experiential learning, community service learning, co-ops and business incubators.

Engaging Research by partnering with people and organizations in the community and worldwide for mutual benefit.

Engaging Communities beyond mere philanthropy. SFU doesn’t just provide value, but gains value in the process.

See “SFU: Engaging the World” at https://youtu.be/QeHcNcdAglo


What’s most striking about the SFU vision is how it has been thoroughly socialized across all of its campuses, from Burnaby to Surrey and downtown Vancouver. Ken heard about engagement loud and clear when he spoke with Howard Jang (then the Director of SFU Woodward’s Cultural Unit), Joy Johnson (VP Research & International), Shawn Smith (Co-Director of RADIUS SFU social innovation lab and venture incubator), Sarah Lubik (Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation), Shauna Sylvester (Director, SFU Centre for Dialogue), and Am Johal (Director of SFU’s VanCity Office of Community Engagement). More from these interviews will appear in future episodes!

SFU students even put the theme to music in this official anthem, created for SFU’s 50th anniversary: https://youtu.be/L1AfIcsDNxU

The vision has taken root across the campus because the commitment to engagement has been “part of the DNA” of the institution for decades. It was not a top-down strategy, but it has helped to focus and motivate faculty and staff efforts -- and as it has started to shape hiring decisions, the momentum for engagement continues to build.

One of SFU’s signature engagement programs is the Public Square, which organizes speakers and events that can be shared, both online and through mass media partnerships, to engage the broader public in dialogue. https://youtu.be/sxVGSFchR2c

SFU also clearly invests the resources necessary to produce top-quality video content for use in the classroom and for the public. And SFU’s commitment to engaging the public includes developing some of the best higher ed April Fool’s videos in the world. (See our episode on “Higher Ed Hijinks” at https://youtu.be/I2v4DnFX_Oo ).

Next week, we’ll look at some even more “concrete” ways in which SFU contributes to community-building, investing in physical infrastructure to engage and even create communities. To be sure you don’t miss it, subscribe today!

And if you would like to host a 10K Site Visit at your campus, see http://eduvation.ca/twk/site-visits/ for further information!

Sep 21, 2018

Ken Steele returns to the Brand Chemistry™ lab to round up 10 recent examples of colleges and universities that have focused their brands on a single word.   It can be a real challenge to get campus-wide consensus, but there’s a growing trend to quite literally “own a word” in the higher ed marketplace.

1) UC System – “Public”

The University of California system launched an online and OOH campaign in 2014 playing with the word “public” to emphasize the value of their research to Californians, and the world.

2) American U – “Wonk”

There are plenty of “policy wonks” in Washington DC, but in 2010 AU extended the idea to all sorts of disciplines, asking “What kind of wonk are you?” (See an extended 10K segment at https://youtu.be/IQJ27h9CtFg).

3) NSCC – “Strive”

Nova Scotia Community College launched a powerful, aspirational, and emotional campaign in 2016 emphasizing the challenges their students overcome, and their hopes for the future. https://youtu.be/P3ZkHOyqi_I).

4) uLethbridge – “Shine”

Southern Alberta gets tons of sunshine, so the University of Lethbridge’s shield highlights the sun and their motto “Fiat Lux” the illumination provided by education. And their latest campaign, launched in 2015, spotlights their talented students, faculty and alumni, who “shine.” https://youtu.be/lN4ojnM4WrE

5) uWindsor – “Promise”

Many branding agencies will tell you that you need to articulate a brand promise, but Ontario’s University of Windsor made “Promise” their brand promise!  https://youtu.be/Zi8oumjX-dM

6) Keyano – “Power”

Keyano College, in Fort McMurray Alberta, serves the labour needs of the Athabasca Oil Sands, and plays a critical role in the global energy sector. So they built a catchy, bold position using superhero capes and the slogan, “You’ve got the power!”

7) BCIT – “Complex”

Likewise, the British Columbia Institute of Technology wanted to empower its students and prospective students by preparing them for a complex world. https://youtu.be/nCmrk3CCArE

8) Brescia – “Bold”

Brescia University College is a Catholic, women-only institution affiliated with Western University, in London Ontario. In 2009 they launched a new brand to highlight a key benefit of a single-gender learning environment: more confident, outspoken students. So they focused on the word “Bold.” https://youtu.be/TDqmcIgOMks

9) Maryville – “Brave”

Almost a decade later, another Catholic (and originally women’s) college in Missouri launched a new online brand based on a very similar word: “Brave.” https://mistress.agency/work/maryville-university-lets-be-brave-together-ad-campaign/

(See an extended 10K segment discussing “The Bold and the Brave” at https://youtu.be/UKHQjuUPKG0)

10) uWyoming – “Cowboys”

The most recent, and controversial, of these “One-Word Wonders” came from the University of Wyoming – an institution steeped in generations of cowboy symbolism. Their new slogan, “The World Needs More Cowboys,” launched in August 2018 and sparked some immediate criticism for potentially reinforcing sexist and racist stereotypes. But the whole point of the campaign was to redefine the word cowboy and emphasize the diversity of “Cowboys” at uWyo.  https://youtu.be/EbJXn_he_sg

(See an extended 10K segment on the Wyoming Cowboys brand at https://youtu.be/W6JweEAeX7s)

  

We’ve been looking at marketing slogans and brand campaigns, but to truly deliver on your brand promise, the institution must “live the brand”, incorporating it into strategic planning, budgeting, hiring and more. Next time, we’re going to visit a campus that has done just that, literally “moving mountains” to embody its brand!

To be sure you don’t miss it, take a moment now to subscribe!  Or sign up for our free email newsletter at http://www.eduvation.ca/subscribe

 

Sep 18, 2018

College and university marketers have to work hard to gather research and build campus consensus around a new brand position. Although the goal is to develop a distinctive position, the reality is that many higher ed branding projects result in some awfully similar creative executions.

Next week, we’ll round up ten recent examples of “One-Word Wonders” – higher ed brands that try to “own a word” in the marketplace. But in this teaser episode, we’ll look at two of them that wind up looking awfully similar.

Brescia University College, affiliated with Western University in London Ontario, is Canada’s only women’s university. In 2009, they launched a new brand position that focused on a key benefit of a single-gender learning environment: young women become more confident and outspoken. Thus “Brescia Bold” was born.

Brescia Bold Teaser (Sept 2017) - https://youtu.be/TDqmcIgOMks

 

Almost a decade later, a Catholic university in St Louis Missouri, Maryville University (which perhaps coincidentally was also founded as a women’s college back in 1872, although it went coed in 1968) developed a new brand campaign for its online programs, offered in partnership with Pearson.  The campaign focused on the bravery of adult students going back to study, and the creative hinged on another “b” word, “Brave”: “Let’s Be Brave Together,” “The Future Belongs to the Brave,” etc.

Maryville University campaign - https://mistress.agency/work/maryville-university-lets-be-brave-together-ad-campaign/

 

Brescia and Maryville, about 500 miles apart, were both founded as Catholic women’s colleges (although each has adapted and evolved since then). Yet in trying to convey the quality of their students, they arrived at very similar words: “Bold” and “Brave.”

Later this week, Ten with Ken will examine 10 examples of similar “One-Word Wonders” in a full-length episode. To be sure you don’t miss it, take a moment now to subscribe!

Sep 15, 2018

Sure, your brand needs to “own a word” in the minds of your customers. But what if some think it’s an insult?

Ken Steele has been a higher ed brand consultant for decades, working with hundreds of institutions across North America.  He’s seen plenty of “one-word wonders” – college or university brands that focus on a single word.  But no doubt, one of his favourites came from American University, in Washington DC, back in 2010.

“Capitalizing” on their location in Washington DC, AU built their brand position around the idea that their students, faculty and alumni are “wonks”.  Not just policy wonks or journalism wonks, but all kinds of wonks. The result was a fun, memorable brand with “legs.”

We feature excerpts from a documentary on the AU Brand, “Get to Know Wonk,” from October 2011. (The original source is no longer available online.)

Another AU branding documentary, appears on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/60581638

We also use an excerpt from AU’s 30 sec commercial, “All the Wonks are Talking”: https://youtu.be/GVzH0v78iYE

 

Whenever an institution tries to distill its identity into a single word, it runs the risk of upsetting campus stakeholders who see it as a gross oversimplification. But in recent years, there have been more and more of these “one-word wonders” in higher ed branding! Next week, Ten with Ken will examine 10 recent examples in a full-length episode.

To be sure you don’t miss it, take a moment now to subscribe!  And if you agree (or disagree) with Ken’s verdict, please comment or like this video!

 

Sep 14, 2018

When maverick university marketers create a brilliant brand, but campus stakeholders feel uncomfortable about potential sexist or racist implications, what do you do?

In the “Wild West” of higher ed branding, the University of Wyoming charged ahead with its new slogan, “The World Needs More Cowboys” – and noted higher ed brand strategist Ken Steele thinks they were right to do so.

The $1.5 million campaign, launched in July 2018, was based on months of solid research that showed the word “cowboy” offered a real opportunity to differentiate uWyo from its competitors. As president Laurie Nichols emphasizes, the brand campaign “redefines what it means to be a cowboy in this day and age” by juxtaposing the word, with its white male settler connotations, with images of diverse students, faculty, researchers and alumni.

Objections from faculty and others are an “undeserved rough ride”. This campaign is bold, memorable, and aspirational. The marketers knew they were “bucking” political correctness, since they built in plenty of explanation in the original brand video.

For the full University of Wyoming brand video, “The World Needs More Cowboys,” see https://youtu.be/EbJXn_he_sg

Whenever an institution tries to distill its identity into a single word, it runs the risk of upsetting campus stakeholders who see it as a gross oversimplification. But in recent years, there have been more and more of these “one-word wonders” in higher ed branding! Next week, Ten with Ken will examine 10 recent examples in a full-length episode.

To be sure you don’t miss it, take a moment now to subscribe!  And if you agree (or disagree) with Ken’s verdict, please comment or like this video!

 

Sep 7, 2018

As Ten with Kenbegins its FIFTH season, we’re adopting some online video best practices and streamlined processes that we think will be big improvements!

 1. New Brand!

We’re using a compressed, 4-second “bumper” more suitable to shorter videos, and showcasing 10K’s first real logo. The icon, simultaneously a stylized “K” and the symbol for “forward-looking video,” nicely sums up what we’re all about.

2. Colour Coding

You’ll see that logo in at least 5 different colours, to identify the topic of each episode and make it easier to browse our channel, which now has more than 100 videos!

  • Blue – Marketing & Branding
  • Green – Teaching & Learning
  • Purple – Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Orange – Interviews & Campus Visits
  • Red – Social Media

 3. Every Friday

Instead of being “almost weekly,” we’re now going to aim to publish new episodes every Friday morning. It’s going to be a real challenge, but it will help people find us if we can be consistent.

4. Shorter Episodes

It’s going to help us publish weekly if we vary the format, from 2 and 3 minute videos all the way up to 10 minute episodes. Instead of comprehensive looks at particular topics, which usually take weeks of research, we’re going to try episodes based on a list of 10 things, or a selection of 10 slides already in Ken’s master deck – which has more than 7,000 to choose from now!

5. Campus Visits

For years we’ve attended the Ontario Universities’ Fair, and gathered enough footage to keep us busy for months!  The problem is that it skewed our coverage towards 4-year universities based in Ontario, while Ken actually spends half his time on 2-year college campuses across Canada, and increasingly in the US as well. This year, we’ve started a new approach, shooting interviews and facilities tours while Ken is already on campus to deliver a lecture or facilitate a workshop or retreat. So far, Simon Fraser University, Brandon University, Lethbridge College, and LaSalle College Vancouver have all generously provided the expertise and talent of their staff or student videographers to assist Ken on campus.

If you’d like us to interview someone on your campus, or feature an innovative program or new facility, you just need to find an excuse to bring Ken to campus! Check out some options at http://eduvation.ca/services/campus-pd-presentations/

To be sure you don’t miss future episodes, join more than 13,000 Ten with Ken subscribers and followers on any of a dozen platforms. Stay in the Loop by subscribing to our free email newsletter at http://eduvation.ca/subscribe/.

And please “Like” or comment on this video to get the conversation going. What do you think of our proposed improvements, and what else would you suggest?

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