Words & Sports

Edge Branding Is Where It’s at | Oregon Ducks and Boise State Broncos Prove It Works

Edge Branding…

We’ve seen it with the Oregon Ducks—exotic and diverse uniforms, and a faster pace of play.

We’ve seen it with the Boise State Broncos—a blue field

The “it” is a different way of going about things.  

A large, multi-decade, established company, team, or brand has some advantages; a track record, history, built-up trust. They don’t have often the ability to be nimble, a definite disadvantage, but given everything else they have going for them, they might be okay with that. But the small brand, the one that hasn’t been around for twenty-plus years, can’t be okay with it—the ability to try something new is necessary for survival. 

Now, your brand is your livelihood. You took it from nothing to where it is now, and I understand why you might get overprotective. I understand why you might feel you’ve taken enough risks just being an entrepreneur, and so you want to go with the methods everybody else is using. Or the methods your long-standing industry experts say to use–because it worked for them–many years ago.

But if you do what everybody else does, how will you ever stand out? How will you compete against companies with better brand recognition and more resources than you have? If you stay in the middle of your industry, how will anyone ever find you? 

It’s time to go to the branding edge

Imagine if the Oregon Ducks had kept their basic green uniforms? They wouldn’t have the same appeal. Sure, some people don’t like the weekly new looks, but it’s not for them, it’s for the people that love it! Of course, uniform style has little direct impact on gameplay, and the gameplay is ultimately what matters—you have to have a good product, or nothing else makes any difference.

The same is true of Boise State’s blue field. But these changes got people talking, it got the teams more attention and more support from fans, and fan support is what allows a program to pull the resources together to build a winning team.

That’s one way to go to the edge. Your way might be something different. The point is not that you should dye the lawn outside your office blue, the point is that you should find your own way to stand out, your own way to try something different, even if that means everybody else in your industry tells you you’re crazy. 

Go to the edge: it works.

Need help getting pushed to do edge branding? We’d like to help.


Image of Oregon Ducks uniforms by Fma12 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons