NSights Blog

Marketing is everything – and everything is marketing

From branded email signatures to business cards and beyond, find marketing tips and tricks from the University's Creative Director.

In 1997, Fast Company magazine published its now-legendary “The Brand Called You” issue. As creative director for marketing and communications here on campus – missioned to champion the University brand and to help elevate the personal brands of our researchers and scholars – the lessons in this seminal article still resonate today. One of its themes, “You Can’t Move Up If You Don’t Stand Out,” applies equally to you as much as it applies to this fine institution, which is ranked by U.S. News & World Report (#201 out of 225 among National Universities and #109 among U.S. Publics). Here, I’d like to share some of the tricks of the branding trade to help you and the University stand out. Or, to borrow a phrase from the movie Jerry McGuire: “Help me…help you.”

Marketing and Communications is here to help

When my colleagues and I aren’t working on marketing strategies and tactics, we think deeply about what we can offer you, dear colleague and fellow “brand ambassador,” to help you stand out. Here’s a quick list of resources to tap if you’d like to give your personal brand a quick boost.

  • University branded email signatureIf I could wave a magic wand, I would have you and everyone on campus create their own official branded email signature using this amazing tool, designed by our colleague Oz Mendoza. Besides branding yourself to the University and looking both legitimate and reputable, you’ll also make it easy for people to call you back after you email them. Use this tool, and your campus collegiality ranking will soar.
  • University branded business cards. Marketing and Communications has developed a whole catalog of commonly used stationery items where you can create your own proof and order online using your department’s Purchasing card. Best of all, you won’t need to request a print release when you order anything using this method.
  • Professional photography. If you need a great professional headshot, book an appointment with campus photographer Theresa Danna-Douglas in the @One Media Center. If you need a photo shoot with faculty or students for your department or unit, contact Marketing and Communications. If you need access to existing high-quality professional photography for PowerPoints, marketing collateral or other visual presentations, we’ve got thousands of original images online on the University Flickr account featuring excellent photos of the University, academics, buildings, student life and more. 
  • LinkedIn. With 332 million members, LinkedIn is an amazing way to network and build your brand. Best of all, it’s free. And, while you might think you have to have a cookie-cutter LinkedIn profile page, that’s just not true. You can make yours look amazing. Since I’d like to be a marketing resource for you, check out my LinkedIn page as an example – and put a University-themed header behind your profile photo, too.
  • Learn graphic design this weekend. Ever struggle to create a handsome document, presentation, poster, or flier? Grab a copy of Robin Williams’ The Non-Designer’s Design Book, or try one of the great design courses on the free-to-you-and-me Lynda.com. The skills you’ll gain in a weekend will serve you all of your days.

For University branding, please think inside the box

It surprises some folks to learn this, but our University logo is not just the letter N (actually, that represents a certain rosy-hued college in Nebraska). Here, our official logo is the Block N, which is an N in a blue square box. It’s been that way since 2006, and it’s not going anywhere. (We built one in concrete in front of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center to serve as a gentle reminder, and also as a great place to take selfies.) If you are using anything other than the Block N logo on your materials, please take a look at our Downloading Logos page and help yourself to the correct logos. When in doubt about University branding, shoot me an email at dbranby@unr.edu. I’m a marketer, and I’m here to help.

David Branby