Making ‘Orange Appeal’ More Appealing- Using Social Media for Branding

Picture this. 17 guys in Converse, and ties dancing around and swinging their hips as they sing kick ass music with nothing but their voices. Sounds pretty sweet, right? Well, for the past 14 years, Orange Appeal, Syracuse University’s only all male A Capella group has been doing just that. Well… originally our uniform was khakis, white shirts and blue ties… ( My only excuse: it was the ‘90’s.) Quickly, that get-up was replaced with dark jeans and a black button down and the Orange Appeal of today was born! That was Orange Appeal’s first encounter with re-branding.

Here comes the second wave.

Unless you’re one of my friends whom I’ve directed to this website via some sort of electronic communication, and you’ve never seen us perform, nor know any of us personally… You don’t know what “Orange Appeal” is.. (and just to clarify… we’re not the Orlando area women’s magazine also called “Orange Appeal.) And, now especially, with all of the furor over NBC’s The Sing Off, Glee and the organic world-shrinking effect that social media is having on society, it would be a travesty to not take advantage of this perfect storm and make damned sure that we can get as many people as possible to know who we are!

So hello branding world! My name is Liam Fitzpatrick and I’m the new President of Orange Appeal for the 2011-12 school year. My vision for Orange Appeal is to give us much more of an online presence, to have a much more streamlined performance style, really bring out the personality of the group in every aspect of what we do, and to make us more accessible to people everywhere so that we can continue to grow, create and entertain people all over the place.

My goals in a nutshell as of right now.

1. More Viability:

I want to make us more accessible than we already are online. Yes, we have a website, a twitter, a tumblr, and we’re looking into basically everything else, but in a way, it’s very impersonal. I want every bit of information we send out into the world to be dripping with the Orange Appeal personality, which is goofy, funny, and fun, with the goods to back it up though. I am looking into blogs every week that lets people know what we’re doing, what we’re working on, and really letting people get to know the guys in the group. Otherwise we’re a bunch of pictures of performance, and some names and videos. You don’t know us. We’re kind of fun… but I want to make the people that follow us feel like they know us. Plus, people love behind the scenes stuff, and it would be an excellent way to chronicle travels and shows backstage.

Also, this is something I set up last summer when a group from SU took a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We had a blog that we could all post to, put pictures up and have a general place where we could direct people to see what we were doing rather than tote a laptop around and go through a photo slide show. I want to set up a blog where the whole group can post and have it be just more of the personalizing of the group, and be a way to know what’s going on inside from every angle.

2. Create an Online Store:

We have T-shirts, we have a CD recorded by the group a few years ago, but currently the only member we have left who is on that CD is our musical director who is graduating this year. So, in two weeks we’re recording a new one. And this one, I want to make available on a café press style web site so that we can sell them not only at our shows, but whenever people want to buy them. I also want to expand our t-shirt and merchandise collection in general, and sell them online as well. This is the screen printing company we trust. Plus, great advertising AND a way to make money to further projects.

But WAIT! There’s more:

We’re also re-structuring our rehearsal process to be more streamlined, but I’ll tell you more about that in a future blog. I gotta leave some stuff to tell you later. Can’t give it all away now.

So until next week as we say in the group,

Peace and Blessings, boos.

Liam Fitzpatrick
[email protected]
Twitter: @LiamThomasFitz