Capella University brand

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Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

2 December 2019

Capella University brand understands brand basics others don’t

It’s sad, really, that so many brands fail to realize the world has permanently changed. A failure to see the customer is in charge is what’s driving retailers into bankruptcy. There are other examples. But the Capella University brand gets it.

“Remember when dating sites seemed unseemly? Now, they’re redefining a very personal behavior. The Capella University brand recognizes that our lives have changed.”

The university understands two things: 1, What we used to do (like getting a degree) has been replaced by doing it through technology; 2, We like being associated with being smart (being a winner).

So many brands in so many categories could successfully steal market share by just understanding those two things. But so many still cling to old ways, including identifying their brand as being about the company and not the user.

In fact, I detailed the lack of that understanding last week. Pointing out eBay trotting out a TV spot openly mocking retailers for their failure to recognize a permanent change in the market.

The Capella University brand leverages our universal understanding that packages are now delivered by drone. That Uber and Lyft are more than just fads. And self-driving vacuums clean up cat hair.

So what’s so different about getting a degree online? Nothing.

Capella University brand is sadly unique

In fact, Capella’s making the argument that everywhere we look doing things through a tablet or phone or even an old-fashioned laptop is simply the way things are now.

Remember when dating sites seemed unseemly? Now, they’re redefining a very personal behavior. The Capella University brand recognizes that our lives have changed.

Capella University brandMost importantly, Capella’s brand is identified by the customer. “Learn smarter” is about a student being smarter by using Capella. So many times brands market themselves as identifying what’s unique about themselves. Not what’s unique about their customers.

But, as I’ve said more than once, Nike’s “Just Do It” and Apple’s “Think Different” are the best brand positions of all time. And neither is about who Nike and Apple are. They are definitions of their customers.

The Capella University brand gets all that, and serves as a lighthouse among a sea of brands that just don’t get those basics. Those brands could stand to learn smarter.

See more posts in the following related categories: Branding


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