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What Branding Can Do for Your Robotics Team

What Branding Can Do for Your Robotics Team

If you're like I was when I was on a FIRST Robotics team, branding is a weird concept in your mind that honestly doesn't make a whole lot of sense; you might vaguely know what it is but can't truly explain it. 

For this post, my goal is to explain what branding can do for your FIRST Robotics team, hopefully showing you just how important it is: and why you need to pay attention to it. 


What is Branding? 

First, let's define branding. According to thebrandingjournal.com, branding is: 

A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.
— American Marketing Association

Focus on the words "or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or services...from those of other sellers." A brand is not just a name (your team's name), term (your team's slogan), design (your team's graphics), or symbol (your team's logo), it's anything else a business does that comes into contact with its customers. 

For example: Imagine your team is at a regional competition getting ready for the next qualifying match. Two members from another team visit your pit in hopes to speak with your drive captains - they are your alliance partners during the next match and want to discuss strategy. One of your drive captains immediately comes up to this team and rudely informs them there is nothing to discuss because "we are the best team at this regional. Just stay out of our way and everything will be fine." How do you think the other team reacted to this? "What a cocky and stuck up team!" they must have thought. And just like that, that small interaction will begin to spread like a virus throughout all of FIRST and your team's reputation will slowly create negative perceptions. 

You see, a brand = reputation. Your FIRST Robotics team does not create it's own brand. Your audience - other teams, parents, sponsors, the public, etc. - create it for you based on their experiences and exposure with your team. Whether your audience visits your website online or talks with a member of your team at a regional event, your reputation is being portrayed and inspected closely. And if your FIRST team has a good brand, one that is highly focused, bold, and deliberate, you can expect massive advancement. 

What Can Branding Do for Your FIRST Robotics Team?

Here is a simple list of all the benefits a good brand can do for your team: 

  1. Gain more public recognition
  2. Aquire high quality and high paying sponsors
  3. Recruit talented team members & mentors
  4. Accept more awards at regionals
  5. Make it to the world championships 
  6. Build a more solid team camaraderie
  7. Create more team spirit within members
  8. Enable team members to sacrifice and work harder for the team
  9. Instill a passion for all those who have an affiliation with the team

A FIRST Robotics team with a good brand/reputation can see growth and improvement in many areas. Why? Because teams that are bold and deliberate in what they do stand out, and you'll be loved for it. You'll be portrayed as a professional team with veteran status, paving the way for a bright and successful team future. 

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