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Revisiting great campaigns – inspiration for 2013

Posted on Categories BrandonomicsTags

It has been a great year full of great marketing advice. There is plenty to get the wheels turning for 2013! This week Robin Tooms reviews a couple of great moments from Lisa Gordon Yunus, Director of Brand at Waste Management and Mark Rudkin, Executive Director of Marketing at the Jones School, at Rice University.

Robin: Hello and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I’m Robin Tooms, Vice President of Strategy at Savage. And for this edition of Brandonomics we’re going to look back and share two of our favorite exchanges from earlier this year. So, first up, Lisa Gordon Yunus, Director of Brand at Waste Management. Lisa had previously shared with us that the company’s extensive brand development process had led to the brand positioning statement around “environmental performance”, and really working toward a vision of a future without waste. These are bold statements, but just words on paper without action. So we enter the discussion now where I asked Lisa, for an example of what they were doing today to make that real.

Lisa: Sure. So we’re modifying environmental performance and we’re really tying proof points to it to make it easier for everybody to understand.

Robin: Great. So what is an example of one of these proof points?

Lisa: The largest example of environmental performance is the Waste Management Phoenix Open. We’re a title sponsor of the largest-attended golf tournament in the United States. In the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open, we developed the Zero Waste Challenge and the goal for everyone; Waste Management, all the attendees, as well as all the vendors, to create zero waste. We had amazing results where we diverted 97 percent of the materials collected at the tournament. What that means is 97 percent of all materials did not go to a landfill, which is an amazing feat for any event. So my job now is to make sure all of our customers understand that what we did at the Phoenix Open we can do for them as well.

Robin: That is truly amazing, Lisa. Thank you so much for sharing that.

Robin: Ok, and on our second Brandonomics exchange from earlier in the year that we’re going to share comes from Mark Rudkin, Executive Director of Marketing at the Jones School, at Rice University. So asked Mark about his marketing strategy and everything that went into their really provocative new admissions campaign called MBA DNA.

Mark: So it’s a departure for us. In the past it’s been somewhat straightforward, but it kind of evolved in my living room back in April. Creative Manager, Kevin Palmer, had the idea and was kind of sitting on it for a while. And Weezie Mackey, who is our content manager, and John Paul Estrada, who is our Web manager, all of us sort of put our heads together and kind of put this thing into a movement forward.

The DNA concept, I like it because what we do is we explore the DNA that exists within each and every individual as they’re considering getting an MBA. In the brochures and on the website we list some of the characteristics, some of what makes everybody different, some of what makes them the same, and then kind of evolve that into a conversation about the Rice MBA itself and how its DNA is different and we hope better as a choice for someone who is furthering their education.

Robin: I’m so glad that Mark shared that with you all. I think the MBADNA Campaign is certainly worth checking out. So go visit . And hopefully you’ve enjoyed both of these excerpts from Brandonomics. Tune in next week for another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.


Waste Management, Inc. is North America’s leading provider of integrated environmental solutions. It partners with customers and communities to manage and reduce waste from collection to disposal while recovering valuable resources and creating clean, renewable energy.

Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business is committed to developing principled innovative thought leaders in global communities. It offers the Full Time MBA, MBA for Executives and MBA for Professionals degrees, as well as a full schedule of non-degree, open enrollment executive education and business courses.

Learn more about building your brand

Robin Tooms is a consultant for brand, marketing and communications strategies for B2B and service companies. Expertise includes corporate branding, investor communications, employee communications, social media, and marketing with emphasis on effective online marketing and use of technology.

Contact her at or reach her by phone at 713-522-1555.

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