What’s in a Brand?

It sometimes feels as if marketing, whatever it may be, is spin, yes?

Clever phrases and colours calculated to force a purchase outcome.  Well, any outcome, really.

The counter-movement is a dogged determination to speak plainly or to state only facts.

My thought this week is there’s a difference between telling a complicated barrage of facts and telling a resonating truth.

A resonating truth is elegantly simple. It doesn’t bog down in details busy people won’t read or hear.

Resonating truths tell a short story, they teach us to be brave and bold. They share the spirit of our goals and let our listeners create their own paths based on our intent.

If you find yourself somewhere trying to lead, and you find your followers are not in fact following, it is time to share resonating truths.

I could tell my students every rule I expect my class to follow – making a syllabus filled with legal gibberish. Or, I could say, “I want us to share amazing ideas and craft everyone’s expertise in maths. I know it’ll take hard work, and I’m trusting each of you to help me.”

I could email my colleagues minutia about SACSCOC policy changes and detail each move we will take to demonstrate compliance. Or I could say: “Victoria College is and will be an accredited learning institution, and I know how vital that is to each of us.”

It’s the difference between listing all possible crimes or challenging us all to grow into our better natures.

Where do you find the most difficulty getting results? When do people stop doing what you know needs doing?

Try listing out on paper your complicated facts, and then ask yourself: “What are my resonating truths?”



Matt Wiley is a tenured, associate professor of mathematics with awards in both mathematics education and honour student engagement. He earned an assortment of degrees in computer science, business, and pure mathematics from the University of California and Texas A&M systems. He is the director of quality enhancement at Victoria College, assisting in the development and implementation of a comprehensive assessment program to enhance institutional performance outcomes. A programmer, a published author, a mathematician, and a transformational leader, Matt has always melded his passion for writing with his joy of logical problem solving and data science. From the boardroom to the classroom, he enjoys finding dynamic ways to partner with interdisciplinary and diverse teams to make complex ideas and projects understandable and solvable.

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