Branding is a big deal and it’s not just for big companies anymore. If you want to get the best rush candidates, host the best campus events and maximize your networking and legacy potential you must create a brand for yourselves. The good news is that generations of brothers before you have laid the groundwork for you. You already have a brand name, a logo, a mission statement and so on. Now it’s up to you to apply that to your chapter life.
Where to Start
Your chapter website is probably the most important place to get your brand alignment optimized. These days, your official website will be the go-to resource for everyone from new pledges to alumni. Be sure your color scheme, font choice and overall character of the site are aligned with the nature of your chapter. If you’re focused on philanthropy above all else, don’t let your website suggest that you’re only there for the party. If you’re a very social organization, that’s great, use pictures to tell those stories but do save the funniest pictures for your personal collections. The official website is not the place to commemorate the keg-stand olympics.
Go ahead and publish or link to articles that reflect the values and contributions of your chapter. You want your site to tell a story about who you are and who you strive to be. Recruiting great members starts with providing realistic expectations for them about your fraternity experience and benefits.
Once you have your official website, optimize any other official online accounts. Do you have a Facebook page for your chapter? What about a twitter account? Make a clear social media policy for your members to observe. No one wants to jeopardize their future because of an errant tweet or instagram picture, but it’s easy to do. What is acceptable to share? Remember that once something goes online, it’s difficult to ever truly remove it. And, it’s easier than ever with the pervasive nature of smartphones to post something you might later regret.
Have you branded your physical space? Your fraternity house or official meeting space will say a lot about who you are as an organization. It speaks to visitors and brothers, alike. When you take pride in your space, you also increase pride and commitment to your chapter. Proudly display your colors. Keep meeting spaces businesslike. Clean up after yourselves. If your meeting rooms looks like a freshman dorm room, you won’t be taken seriously. If they look like a conference room in a functional (but fun) business, you’re far more likely to get the results you want.
Stop Reinventing the Wheel
The work isn’t over once you’ve optimized your brand, but you are almost there. Create a brand guide that lists official fonts, guidelines, logo use requirements and so on. Keep a file of quality logos and official image files in multiple formats to ensure you’re always putting your proverbial best foot forward. Don’t let all of that hard work be for nothing by creating a great brand presence and then undermining it with inconsistency.
What branding tips have worked for your chapter? We’d love to hear your feedback.
Joey is a financial aid advisor who lives in Georgia.