09/10/2013 12:18 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

How Leading Brands Are Teaching Students A Thing or Two

Students have many options when it comes to education, to study online, at a university or even through an apprenticeship but what you may not have seen coming is everyday brands teaching a student a thing or two. A successful business brand can teach on sales and leadership, a creative brand can teach on innovation and marketing, a sports brand can teach on motivation and goals; this list can go on. But what continues to evolve is the World Wide Web and innovation, and this is where students can pick up a few tips to promote their skills in courses, in apprenticeships or even set up their own business career.

Learning From The Best

Firstly, what you should know is a well-branded company with a well-branded website is vital to a company's online presence. A good brand is a symbol of everything a company or organization stands for, and becomes a means of setting customer expectations and creating a positive experience for users, so they will retain a memory of the brand and revisit it often. This is exactly the same for a student looking to progress into a successful career. With a good name for yourself with your skills you can become memorable like a brand and unique too. A good brand doesn't just mean a name, a logo, or a well-placed positioning statement -- while all those elements are a good start to powerful and relevant branding, they are only the first steps in a much longer journey. Students can take inspiration from this and adapt their steps and follow in their footsteps.

It's All About The Colour

Students are often told that colours can improve learning, that certain colours can make them smarter. Choosing the right colour can be an important first step in education and brands have adopted this approach to help them become a success. Colour has been proven to have a psychological effect on emotions and memory, so choosing a colour that sends the right "message" can be every bit as vital as the message itself. For example, take a look at the Cancer Research brand, the colours for the Cancer Research Charity Giving UK website are clean, warm, professional without being cold or sterile. The pinks and blues of the web page tailor to female and males, and gives a nurturing, support and hopeful element which is exactly what the brand is about. Cancer Research actually uses this colour theme throughout all of their brand marketing and events and has raised awareness by the numbers; people remember them. As you can see, the right colour branding should create an atmosphere and an environment for a person; one they will find pleasant and want to return to often. Students can brand themselves around the right colours too, design their resumes around what attracts attention - gravitate the recruiters to you just like brands gravitate visitors to their website and brand.

Brand Consistency And Student Skills

Many large brands are showing that consistency matters. Whether it is through a website online or product selling off a shelf, consistency is key and students can learn from this. Consistency means repetition, and repetition will build a brand in a user's memory. Consistency not only applies to colour, but also performance, layout, iconography, and re-using content such as positioning statements. Apple for example, one of the most recognizable brands on the planet, maintains a consistent feel between their website and the user interfaces of its products. The Apple content is consistent in what they deliver and students can learn well from Apple. Do you want to be the next Steve Jobs? Then consistency is key. Students need to develop their all-round skills like Steve Job as he was a marketer, entrepreneur, inventor; a recognized pioneer of technology.

Value, Tone And Positioning

User attention for brands is the most valuable currency there is for their website, and if a user doesn't immediately see what they have to learn or benefit from visiting the site, they'll simply click elsewhere. If students do not represent the right value or tone in their job applications then recruiters will also click away from employing them. Keeping a consistent and appropriate tone is critical to both brand and student, maintaining the integrity and offering a welcoming feeling.

When it comes to value, tone and positioning some of the brands that students can take inspiration from are as follows:

- Coca Cola - take inspiration from their visionary, innovative and creative methods. They created awesome moments of happiness with friends through their award-winning "Share a Coke" campaign. This campaign put consumers' names on bottles and cans and reinvented the meaning of sharing, bringing value to their product line.

- Mercedes-Benz - take inspiration from their traditional positioning to forward thinking. Responsive and focused in delivering, and recognizing the broader audience. Already forecasting for 2020, introductions of their new models will be under the theme "heartbeat of a new generation", the tone has been set.

- Disney - take inspiration from their strong horizontal and vertical integration - film, television, property, entertainment, merchandising; this brand is certainly not the lone ranger or the quiet student. Disney always finds a way to dig deeper and deliver ideas for the future.

- H&M - take inspiration from their high profile partnerships. Partnering with success and icons - David Beckham, Beyoncé, and Kanye West, forming strategic alliances to help in marketing and product development. This brand is the world's largest user of organic cotton and H&M has furthered their sustainability efforts by joining forces with the WWF - World Wildlife Foundation. Take further inspiration from their ethical commitment and appealing to an eco-friendly global audience; the future is positively green.