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A brand is an organization’s link to its audiences. When the audience is asked to participate in building a brand culture, they are more likely to hold a favorable attitude toward the brand and be loyal to the brand long term. The purpose of this study was to understand the UF/IFAS Extension brand’s image from the perspective of the brand’s stakeholders, specifically focusing on brand awareness, audience groups, and potential future obstacles for the brand. A series of six online focus groups were conducted during the spring/summer of 2021 using Zoom. Major themes identified were a public knowledge gap related to Extension and agriculture, the focus of UF/IFAS Extension was (too) broad, agriculture was not valued in the state, and a disconnect existed between the public and Extension and agriculture. Results confirm the complexity of branding an organization when efforts need to highlight products, such as programming, and services, such as soil sampling, while also embodying unseen values and culture associated with the brand. Results from this study can be used to improve the UF/IFAS Extension brand through increased marketing, determining appropriate focus and communicating that focus, and continuing to engage stakeholders in the co-creation of branding.
Zagonel, A. M.,
(2023). Building Buy-in: A Qualitative Study Seeking to Understand Stakeholder Perceptions of a University Extension System Through the Lens of External Branding.
Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 11(2), 2.
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