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Moravian Students Developing Brand Campaigns for Five Lehigh Valley Organizations

Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Casa Guadalupe, Touchstone Theater, Turning Point, The National Canal Museum

Brand Identity CampaignsBethlehem, Pa., April 26, 2006—In professor Gary Kaskowitz’s business management course at Moravian College, students are getting a real-life experience in developing brand identity campaigns—and a number of Lehigh Valley non-profit organizations stand to benefit. On Tuesday, April 25, three teams of students conducted in-class presentations of their findings, recommendations, and graphic materials to agency representatives of the National Canal Museum, Touchstone Theatre, and Turning Point. Two teams of students will present their recommendations to Casa Guadalupe and The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired on Thursday, April 27, from 12:50-2:00 p.m., in the Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex, room 102.

The course, titled Campaign Management Project, focuses on the use of storytelling, myth/archetypes, and cultural context to create an image for an organization that resonates with the community and other stakeholders in the organization. During the spring semester teams of Moravian College students have been working closely with local service agencies in developing branding initiatives for the agencies based on these principles.

Since the middle of February, students have been working with the agencies to identify the themes and underlying stories of the organization that can be incorporated into an integrated branding campaign. Specifically, students have interviewed members of the organization as well as the community the organization serves. The students worked with staff at each agency to discuss the goals of the organization and the optimal approach towards creating the brand image. In addition, the student teams are producing a “brand bible” for each agency which contains guidelines that inform the creative development of marketing collateral which can include items such as logos, depictions of brand agents, brochures, pamphlets, ads, flyers, and/or direct mail pieces. The design of these items will be based upon the factors discussed in the brand bible and will help form an integrated, coherent message that can be used by the agency in implementing the branding strategy.

Gary Kaskowitz, Ph.D. is assistant professor of management in Moravian College’s Department of Economics and Business. He incorporates service learning into the classroom because many people think of marketing and branding as manipulation. “I believe that the ideas we teach are neither moral nor immoral and it’s more a question of how they are used which denotes good or bad. Service to others is essential for a well-developed person,” he said. “Therefore, I would like to see students use these ideas and theories that we teach in ethical and responsible ways, and it makes perfect sense for them to use this knowledge in a manner that helps others.”

“The experience of working with these service organizations helps the students actually apply the knowledge they glean in the classroom to groups that often need it the most,” Kaskowitz continued. “The students get to apply ideas that solidify learning and provide experience for the future, while experiencing the concept of service to others. The organizations get the benefit of outside eyes looking at their problems and applying expertise to real-world situations. The community as a whole also benefits through the work done by the service organizations that might have had difficulty in getting their message out. So, basically, I see this as a win-win-win situation.”