Page 1


Girls’ Schools Brand Development

BlackDog Strategy & Brand


ALBANY BOSTON BUFFALO 518.621.2686 617.671.0431 716.898.0874 email:

SHOUT OUT We are thoughtfully requesting the opportunity to hone your Girls’ School brand (purpose) if you’re ready to be unequivocally specific about who you are, what you stand for, what you do, and why anyone should care. Some people wait for the phone to ring; not us. We’ve reverse engineered the RFP (Request For Proposals) process. This is a Request For Work. It’s a call to committed leadership, engaged administrators, and dedicated staff to excavate their brand to thoughtfully communicate the environment of care they provide. If you are a Girls’ School with gumption and gusto, this Request For Work is for you. If you’re ready to build something bold, and say something real, we’d love to have a conversation.

WHY BLACKDOG Who develops your brand is as important as the decision to invest in brand development. We get it; we activate, represent and enliven a spirited brand of our own every day. Never trust a bland “brand mill” to position you for brand insistence. All brand houses are not equal. Many brand houses seek projects. BlackDog seeks partnerships and accepts challenges. As a matter of fact BlackDog has only accepted 31% of the opportunities that we have been offered since 2009. Who we work with is as important to us as how we work. Results matter. We double dog dare you to find any with the talent, references, and results that we have. Check out our not-for-profit, Serious Play for Serious Girls, and read our “Case for Girls’ Schools”: You can find our Girls’ School Brand Workshop, “Girls’ Schools: The Solution Not The Alternative”, which debuted at the National Conference on Girls Education, via YouTube: Ver. 101

WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU Quite simply a BlackDog brand aligns working cultures and buying markets around a Big !dea* that enthuses and compels. *Big !dea: Your humanized and relevant strategic advantage captured in a simple concept that connects with decision makers.

A BlackDog Brand… -Elevates Brand Awareness and Stature by explicitly articulating your school’s core competencies, differentiators, powerful benefits, cultural contribution, and meaningful relevance. We’ll hone and identify distinctions that broaden your market, enthuse awareness, woo students, compel donors, and create powerful benefits. -Expands your Market by amplifying your relevance. We’ll identify Experience Strategies in the form of out-of-the-box and into the hearts “business development” initiatives consistent with your brand purpose and legacy. It’s going to take more than a logo and a website to position your Girls’ School to be recognized as a trusted authority on the lifelong well-being of girls and women. -Overcomes the Roadblocks hindering your strategic plans, and your longterm, and short-term goals. Isn’t it time to go after the developments that have long been on your school’s wishlist? -Engages Alumnae by invigorating relevant and meaningful relationships (beyond giving campaigns and reunions). Invigorating connections has unparalleled short and long-term benefits. -Creates New Funding Streams and revitalizes existing funding supports that underwrite scholarships, faculty and staff salaries, research, new programs, and campus renovations. -Innovates Education Programming (classroom innovation) that engages students, WoW! parents, ignites thinking, creates opportunities, supports positive cultural shifts, tackles the Threats to Girlhood, and gets well-deserved attention (and accolades!). -Owns a Visual Identity and Unique Marcomm Strategy that definitively and vibrantly captures the spirit of your brand purpose and legacy, reflects your student experience, and translates what you really do and why you matter in the life of a girl. -Improves the World Beyond the Walls by tackling broader issues impacting the lifelong wellbeing of women. Finding your voice, a cause, or a niche that reinforces your values and clarifies your intentions to advance change is critical to raising your prominence. ©2012 BlackDog Strategy & Brand

What Makes

BlackDog Credible?

People are our business plan. BlackDog is financed by customers. We are outsiders. Want to know why so many brands look alike? Well-

intentioned people hire the same industry specific firms, over and over and over. We refuse to “own” an industry niche. We have ears to hear what everyone on the outside wants to know and needs to hear.

We’ve taken an oath to do no harm. We aren’t part of the spin and hype, empty promises, noise-making problem. We’ll leave you better than we found you.

We are holistic, multi-disciplinary systems thinkers who anticipate

natural consequences and keep a weather-eye out for the unintended ones. We are always asking “what could go wrong if this social experiment were to fail”?

We DO NOT brand efforts that do not and will not contribute to the world that we want to live in 20, 30, or more years down the line. We choose our clients carefully. We both have everything to gain by your success. Results matter.

We align and engage working communities that get things done, with

We eschew “cookie cutter” approaches. We don’t have any “swanky”, self important, trademarked names for our brand building processes. We haven’t settled on one sure brand generating method. We’re not convinced that anyone should given that every brand initiative that we’ve ever wrangled is so remarkably different than every other.

We are good eggs; genuine and real. We make a habit of bringing our

humanity to work every day. There isn’t anything haughty or indifferent about us. We are prepared to contribute positively to healthy exchanges and the professional work culture.

We humanize brands. Brands that connect with people are inspired by

people. We take the time to talk to all the right people. The people that make it, sell it, buy it, and don’t buy it. Our projects evolve and take shape through exploration and dialogue.

We know that the better you are the better you look. We

operationalize brand experiences. We are strangers to the social constructs, systems, processes, and language that organizations accept and often can’t see past. Our fresh eyes synthesize robust and scalable next practices; signature innovations, and emergent solutions that create new approaches to delivering your unique, people-centric, brand promise.

We are bold, daring, vulnerable, open-minded, and forwardthinking; because selling out, mimicry, and the good ‘ole tried and true method of doing things the way they’ve always been done just isn’t for us and mediocre should never be for you.


We will never leave you hanging or wanting more. It’s not our way.

We’re invested. Once we are on, we are all in. We work thoughtfully,

We don’t brand bullshit. Expressed explicitly, our fearless position ensures

passionately, and generously. We aren’t coasting on anyone’s laurels or riding on yesterday’s victories. We are fully engaged at every phase.

We never lose sight of the fact that as we are building your brand, we’re amplifying ours. What we say about you says everything about us.

We stay ahead of the curve and stand behind our work. We aren’t your

average merry band of creatives. We double-dog-dare you to find a brand house with the breadth of capabilities that we have. Or the results. Or the references.

that your brand will never be confused for shallow, disingenuous, or irrelevant bullshit.

Going To Church Doesn’t Make You A Christian Anymore Than Going To A Garage Makes You A Mechanic. Lawrence J Peter

“I tell you all of this to tell you this - you need BlackDog. I'm not in the practice of doing commercials for my "vendors". But BlackDog is not just a vendor. They have so surpassed my expectations and hopes for this project. And they have made a significant impact on the future of our company. And these are things that I want for you, too. I encourage you to reach out to Gloria and BlackDog Strategy today. You won't be sorry.”

“BlackDog doesn’t just create strategies; they create new.” Thomas R. Ulbrich, Executive Director UB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL)

Josh Bouk, Senior Vice President, Strategic Services Veramark Technologies

“BlackDog has a passion for breaking down barriers and for guiding your organization to be the best in the business.”

“BlackDog made (and continues to make with ongoing support) the "big idea" of Sustoil a reality. Many of you in academia, government, and private industry have dreams that you would like to begin living. As such I feel I must share my high praise for Dr. Gloria Zemer and her firm, BlackDog Strategy & Brand. If you are interested in brand clarity, brand centric unity, and brand driven innovation this is the firm to call. I am grateful to the BlackDog team.”

Gretchen Galliford, Patient Experience Director, Catholic Health

“BlackDog Strategy & Brand successfully designed and implemented energetic strategies in the spirit of “One World One Dream” that respected the complex and diverse interests, markets, human services, investments, expectations, and experiences at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. BlackDog inspired consensus within the hearts and minds of the many interests and people in place to execute and express the designed strategies. BlackDog’s strength is a savvy business acumen, warm hearts, and helping hands.” 祝 建康快乐 Lui Yang Vice President, BOCOG

Dr. Malcom Nevens, Environment and Energy Policy Manager, Sustoil

“Their work is not about developing a new logo or tagline; it's about tearing off layers to expose the core, the very soul of your firm. What really matters? Why are you in business? How are you different from everyone else? How does the rest of your team perceive this? How do your customers perceive this?”

David Fiegel, President Blackbird Asset Services, LLC