Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Difference Between Branding and Bonding

Walking out of the Broyles Center today, I see a classic Razorback scene. Red tee-shirts, father and son, in the opening of the northeast corner of the stadium. He's taking his kid's photo with the iconic "HOME OF THE RAZORBACKS" sign on the press box behind him.

"Excuse me," dad says, "is that building open?" He points to the Broyles Center. "I want to take him inside."

Yes, absolutely, the museum's open.

Here's the difference between branding and bonding; between public relations and social media.

I ask him, did you take a picture? I did of him, and I've been working on him to be a . . .

And it hits the dad, "Would you mind?"

Not at all. Let me see your iPhone. No move over a bit, let's get the Hog and the sign in the background. Let's take a couple more.

Dad -- who now makes sure I know his oldest is in orientation, he brought his son to the Alabama game, gosh wish we'd won that, and thank you, thank you, thank you for stopping to help us.

Not a problem, and Go Hogs.

Son -- lights up at that. The grown up who works here just told me Go Hogs.

The tee-shirts they wore weren't current vintage with the "right" logos. They could have just walked into the museum and walked around by themselves and been bombarded by all the correct symbols and messages.

But because someone stopped and took no more than 90 seconds out of his day, there's a bonding moment. Dad appreciates. With any luck and the right set of future circumstances, the youngster -- I'll guess he was 8 or 9 -- will pull up that picture he took with his dad that day and remember the kind Arkansas staffer.

For no other reason than that, he might put Arkansas on his ACT score recipient list. Or be more willing to listen to a call from a recruiter.

Sure, they might be life-long state residents, and locks to attend and support the school. If so, the affirmation of their feelings strengthened the connection. If not, maybe that made one.

I'll bet my next paycheck that picture ends up on Facebook. Where friends and family will see it. Some other parents will think, hey, next time I'm in Fayetteville, I want to go by there and get that same picture.

Call it Butterfly Effect. Pay it Forward. Chaos Theory.

I just call it good business.

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