On April 18th, the fourth Ross-lead Taproot team kicked off a new project with Ballet Chicago. It is a Brand Strategy and Key Messages project that will run for six months. Having worked with Ballet Chicago last year on their Strategic Plan, we had already decided that BC need to position themselves as a ballet education conservatory to best leverage their strengths in their school.This year’s team includes Anne Bommi (MBA’04) as the Brand Strategist, Neha Mehta (MBA’09) as the Community Manager and Hugh Jedwill (MBA’04) as the Account Director.When it comes to BC’s branding they have classic issues with brand identity and mixed messages. At a basic level many people confuse “Ballet Chicago” with “Chicago Ballet.” In addition, many people think of ballet and dance as the same thing. Even those who consciously recognize the difference typically don’t know that the Ballanchine-style ballet training is considered the most comprehensive, modern style.The first part of the challenge is to create a Positioning Statement that Ballet Chicago can use internally to identify what space do they compete in, what they do, how they do it and what their point of difference is. Then the team will focus on Key Messsages that BC can use in communicating with their key stakeholders.
Ballet Chicago is extremely excited about the project as it comes on the heels of the Ross Student MAP project that created a Marketing Plan for their Nutcracker and Spring Repertory performances. Taken together, BC will have a strong communication plan with tight, consistent messaging. This in turn will help them define themselves in the crowded dance space of Chicago, receive more funding from donors and foundations and recruit more board members.