How to Build a Super Bowl Brand.
With Super Bowl XLVI being hosted here in Indianapolis, we’ve had some unique insight into the time and energy it takes to plan and execute the Super Bowl experience. Similar to building a Bold and effective brand strategy, Super Bowl prep is no simple task. Here are a few similarities that the two share:
1. Planning Starts Early.
Indianapolis won the bid to host the 2012 Super Bowl in May 2008. That means it has taken roughly 45+ months of preparation. Although the game is being held in Lucas Oil Stadium, there is much more that comes into play such as hotel accommodations, way finding, parking, etc. which required the city to evaluate the impact of hosting beyond just the stadium.
Whether you’re in the early phases of hiring a branding firm, building a brand intentionally or you’re maintaining a strong, existing brand, it’s important to make time to evaluate the big picture. How is our web presence impacting our brand? Is our internal culture consistent with the brand we’re trying to establish? Every decision you make has an impact on the brand to some capacity.
2. Defining Roles is Essential
The Indianapolis Super Bowl Host committee consists of 32 staff members and 3 legacy project members. Each member has specific responsibilities that are required if the event is going to be successful. If one or two committee members slack off, it’s going to make it harder to achieve the level of success the city is aiming for.
Metaphorically speaking, your brand has a committee too. You have a number of players that, when working collectively, can maximize the perception and success of your brand. Instead of people, your committee is made of your logo, your voice, web presence, print collateral and internal culture. Defining brand elements will keep you in control of your brand rather than your brand (or lack there of) preventing you from greater success.
3. Connecting on an Emotional Level
Game day is quickly approaching and downtown Indianapolis has been transformed into Super Bowl Village. From a local perspective, excitement in Indianapolis has reached a whole new level. Now we know which two teams will be competing for the championship, and excitement is gaining momentum on a national level too.The local and national buzz regarding the Super Bowl only adds to the anticipation but also contributes the Super Bowl brand.
What are people saying about your brand? Most of what’s being said is emotionally driven—it’s positive or negative. Emotions play a role in “business decisions,” and if your prospect can’t find an emotional connection with some aspect of the brand, it’s going to be an incredibly difficult sell.
4. Commitment and Follow Through Are a Must
Not only does the Indianapolis Super Bowl Committee have specific roles but they also have commitments. Without the commitment of following through they are left with only great ideas. Unfortunately, great ideas aren’t enough to successfully host the Superbowl.
Some of the strongest and most well-known brands that exist today are successful because their companies are committed to the integrity of the brand. They understand the importance of identity and have taken time to plan, define roles, and connect emotionally with their audience. Most have extensive brand guidelines that map out exactly how to handle the visual aspects to the brand. Every decision that impacts their brand is made intentionally.
5. Always Seek Out Ways to Improve
Over the past 45+ months, I’m sure tweaks were made to the Super Bowl Planning process to enhance the experience. We are just days away from the big game, and already Indianapolis is receiving great reviews nationwide. When you plan early, you’re giving yourself time to adjust along the way. This is also true for your brand. It’s imperative in a competitive market to be continually improving your message and awareness.
We’re only 30 days into the new year, and you still have plenty of time to plan and develop your bold brand. Choosing to build your brand with these five similarities in mind will result in a brand strong enough to withstand our rapidly changing world. It’s not a quick and easy task, but it’s never too early to start the conversation.
Have you been downtown to see the Super Bowl Village? Which element had the greatest impact on your experience?