Carol Elliott | January 22, 2017
As a brand strategist and marketing adjunct professor at Notre Dame, Carol Phillips is always on the lookout for challenging projects for her MBA Brand Strategy course.
“Brand strategy is easy to talk about,” says Phillips, the founder of a consulting firm called Brand Amplitude. “We all know what brands are. We know why they matter. But it’s a lot harder to think about how to build a brand.”
At a social event in 2014, Phillips met Perri Irmer, the president and CEO of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, and asked, “So what do you do?”
Irmer described the DuSable and its marketing challenges, and Phillips sensed an opportunity for her students to work with an outstanding institution at a crucial time. The DuSable sits just a few miles from the forthcoming Obama Presidential Center, which is predicted to attract an additional 800,000 visitors annually to the South Side and provide the opportunity to dramatically expand the DuSable’s influence.
Further, the DuSable was recently named a Smithsonian Affiliate, a designation that allows the museum to bring Smithsonian artifacts and exhibits to the local community and to showcase its own collection through the Smithsonian’s network.
So the chance meeting between Phillips and Irmer came at the perfect time for the museum and the MBA Brand Strategy course.