Monday, May 23, 2016

Credibility Versus Visibility

A close friend was recently talking with me about where her daughter was considering attending college. She had before talked about her daughter attending Wake Forrest or Duke and a few other schools highly accredited for their academics. Her daughter now, was looking at a more local school that had, over the past few years, become such a huge in presence that to many locals it felt as if the school had become a big monster that had swallowed up the once smaller, more quant town. The downside was you couldn’t visit anywhere from a car wash, to a bank, to a taco stand that wasn’t recognizing the students and their patronage, you couldn't get away from the school mascot or colors, and the shininess of the predominant gigantism of the school made everything around it feel old, grubby and small. The good side, is that it had given the town a ton of exposure and therefore put it on the map.

A few years ago, I was involved in a community program that had you learn everything about your town. It was wonderful and something that really stuck with me. I remember studying and visiting the school. I was at first wow’d by how beautiful it was. The young energetic staff. The brand. I quickly was bothered by being wow’d by the brand instead of by the quality of education so I started asking about the academic part. That wasn’t nearly as focused on, or talked about, as the size of the dorm rooms, the on-campus eateries, the free car washes on Saturday. Oh there went the wow. Isn’t school, education about credibility and not visibility? Back to my conversation with my close friend, I was reminded of my impression of the school those years ago and started to ask her about the schools this and that in regard to academics. My friend pointed out how large the school was, how they’d been awarded this and that. I asked her again about the quality of their academics. She wasn’t so sure. The visibility had overshadowed the institution’s credibility.

I’ve thought of that a lot since then. Our business CCS is small. It’s not nearly as visible as it should and needs to be and that’s something we’re continuously working on. I’m not proud of where we are in regard to visibility. What I am proud of though instead is our credibility. We’re often referred to new clients by Editors, which is an amazing compliment. Our clients are long-term clients that truly trust and have faith in our work and abilities. We don’t over promise and we always over deliver.

No, we’re not rocking the visibility. We’re rocking the credibility and if I had my choice, I don’t want our brand and persona to be shiny. I want it to instead be meaty and meaningful.

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