Jon Carson Consulting- October 2019

October 2019



Is Your Branding as Powerful as the Blue Turf?

Years ago, when I traveled around the country, people would ask me where I was from. Of course, I said Idaho. Their response to me was either, “You guys have the potatoes,” or, “Iowa ... isn’t that in the Midwestern part of the United States?” Since 1986, that has all changed. When I tell people where I am from, or they see some version of an Idaho state map, or if I say “Boise,” their response goes something like this: “You guys have the blue turf, don’t you?” Gene Bleymaier, a long-time Boise State University athletic director, is the man whose idea became the first blue-turf football field in history. He told me about his reasoning. “If you are going to make an investment in your property of seven or eight hundred thousand dollars, and no one notices that you made a change, it might not be a very good investment.” Gene was referring to replacing old green turf with new green turf, a difference that would be completely lost on most fans and players. “I remember getting the go-ahead for the idea and then discovering how many different shades of blue there are on the color spectrum. I was really worried when they started laying the turf down that it might look horrible,” Gene remarked.

think about the “got milk?” campaign or Geico’s commercials. I understand that you don’t have the budget to work like those giants, but Boise State was a small, 1-AA school in the Big Sky Conference when the blue turf idea came to fruition. Remember to differentiate your brand from your company logo. The easiest way we coach people on finding their business’s brand message is by dialing their customers. We ask simple questions: “What do you like best? If you were to recommend us to a friend, what would you tell people about us? What would you like us to do more of? What could we do better?” The blue of Boise State sends an amazing branding message. It means fun . It means the little engine that could. It means a Statue of Liberty play and a marriage proposal. It means, “Don’t adjust your television set.” Most of all, it means Boise State! DAVE’S SECRET TO MARKETING UTOPIA IN ANY OF YOUR MARKETING MESSAGES: Urgency — “Deadline to buy is this Friday at 5 p.m.” Theme — “15 minutes could save you 15%.” Offer — “Buy three tires and get the fourth one free.” Price — “Starting at $19.95 per shock.” Item — “Our double-stuffed cheese pepperoni, this month only.” Action — “Buy your season tickets today and get a piece of the blue turf.” If you are looking for marketing, branding, or public relations help, reach out to Claudia Weathermon for one-on-one or group coaching today. Request a copy of her white paper, “Press Releases That Always Garner Earned Media” at Is your branding as powerful as the iconic Boise State blue turf? -Dave Tester

Nearly 30 years after that fateful decision, Boise State University not only has the market cornered on blue, but it also has a federal trademark registration for “the color blue as applied to artificial turf.”

Is your business branded with a single color or a single slogan that says, “We are here”? Branding strategies are very powerful. Just


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