A week ago, our oldest daughter graduated from high school. The following Sunday, this milestone was celebrated with family, friends, and classmates. It was a beautiful event. The house, yard, and deck were as perfect as we could make them. The weather, food, and invited guests were delightful. We could have stopped right there and be left with all the wonderful memories this rite of passage has to offer. But no, that wasn’t enough for her graphic designer parents. This needed to be a branded event—with the proper messaging, colors, and tchotchkes!
There were the prerequisite and strategically placed streamers and balloons, pictures from birth through her 18th birthday, and various trophies with academic achievements from grade school on up. But we just had to special order and display her future school’s branded materials. And we couldn’t be without those custom-colored M&Ms featuring the guest of honor’s miniature likeness, favorite sayings, and her college’s color scheme.
Even the custom event T-shirts were important. They featured the names of her close-knit circle of friends along with their universities of choice. Fortunately, we considered the demographic (and high GPAs) and opted for the bright lime green shirt color. As it turned out, her high school friends and their parents loved the free giveaway (many could be seen wearing them throughout the evening). This, of course, only goes to prove the value of branding. After all, there really is no better testament to this than hearing an 18-year-old scream, laugh, and nearly cry over a shirt with her name on it.