All winter I cared for a hibiscus plant, keeping it warm and well watered. Because this past winter seemed much longer and harsher than winters past, I appreciated what became a monthly bloom cycle during those months. However, after the first of the year, the plant went into a dormant stage. Apparently it agreed with me that winter had outstayed its welcome. There were no blooms in January, February or most of March. Then, one day last week a bud formed overnight. Two days later, morning glory!

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Big. Bold. Beautiful. It was absolutely perfect. I did a little research and discovered that the hibiscus is a complete flower, which literally makes it perfect. My experience with my hibiscus reminded me of the strategic branding process that UCM managed. For three years, we conducted research, engaged in conversations, and took note of our discoveries. Then, we went dark. Heads down. Focused. Determined. A small team worked on the nuts and bolts of the initiative for a little over a year, which included creative design, a messaging strategy, and roll-out plans. Our bud was the teaser sent to the university community last spring. The strategy bloomed fully this past fall, with the brand launch of “it’s you.” Apt. Accurate. Authentic. According to a current student, “It embodies OU perfectly!”



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