Summer 2014: sun, warmth, and my first internship. Throughout my education, it has been drilled into my head that I must get an internship. After a rather stressful search of applying to nearly anything marketing-related on both the internet and my university’s career website, I finally found The Brand Counselors. I decided that interning here would be the best fit for me for a variety of reasons.
This fall, I will be a senior at the University of Delaware studying marketing and advertising. I have taken numerous courses related to branding. While these classes have provided me with great insight on what to expect within the field of marketing, they did not fully explain everything I needed to know. In class, branding is described more as a formula. My professor’s explained the branding process as a procedural step-by-step method that will eventually lead to a certain result- if executed correctly, of course. But over the course of my internship thus far, I have come to the realization that this is far from true. In the real world, things come up and cause the flow of steps in the process to be not so straightforward. For instance, little things such as time- waiting for a client to get back to you, waiting for approval from an employer, all play important factors in the path the branding process will take. It is important to take into consideration the variety of obstacles that may affect the branding process and allot time, money, and resources to overcome them.
To put it simply: branding is an art not a science. It does not follow a strict set of procedures that can then be applied to any form of business. Branding is unique to each business. As a result, there are professionals that make careers out of identifying and implementing the best way to brand your business. How do these professionals become successful in the branding field? Trial and error. Since there is no complete set of steps to follow, the only way to get good at branding is to test out different tactics until one proves to be the best fit for your client. With experience it will become easier to determine how to best cater to the client’s business and target their demographic market.
In college, professors have emphasized the importance of social media in the business world. Until this internship, I did not realize how true this statement was. As a consumer, I was aware that social media was constantly being infiltrated with advertisements. However, I did not grasp the extent to which businesses research, plan, and create unique content to post on multiple social media platforms. My entire internship has been primarily based on the Internet and social media. Over the past few weeks I have been involved in creating content for Pinterest, Polyvore, Facebook, YouTube, and numerous client’s websites. It has become evident just how important online outlets are to building brand awareness. Print media and other forms of advertising are declining rapidly and in some cases becoming obsolete. The way to grasp a consumer’s attention is by targeting them from different angles of digital media.
Although I have only seen a limited amount of branding in action, I have come to the realization that it is a lot more complex than I had anticipated. Unfortunately it is not as simple and straightforward as my professors made it out to be. While many of the principles I learned in my coursework hold true, there is a lot more to be learned in order to truly conquer the art of branding.