Target. Starbucks. Disney. They all have strong brands, which tell the story of the company. Companies and organizations with good brands evoke trust and loyalty. Those with bad brands…well, have you ever heard of any? Neither have we…

This Tiger and his team develop, communicate and protect Clemson’s brand and ultimately, its story.

Meet Dave Dryden.

Title: Associate Vice President for Marketing and Brand Strategy

Years at Clemson: 28 years

What I do at Clemson: I oversee marketing and brand strategy (advertising, brand management, creative content development, web/digital development, social media). Reporting to the vice president for University Relations, I serve as Clemson University’s chief marketing and branding officer, responsible for the strategic direction of Clemson’s marketing and branding efforts, in alignment with the recently implemented ClemsonForward strategic plan.

What is a brand? A brand is a promise between an organization and the individuals who interact with it. Those customers understand up front what they are going to get with a strong, authentic brand. It is a combination of personality, look and feel. It’s what we say. It’s what we do. It’s how we look. It’s head and heart. Branding is a long game. It is something that is built over years, not weeks and months. A strong brand can weather economic and societal changes. Even with a strong brand, though, it takes time, money, consistent execution and hard work to protect, maintain and grow.

What I love about Clemson: I am excited to have the opportunity to serve the university in this new role. I truly believe nothing touches families and changes lives like higher education. This is a special place, and it’s an honor to have the chance each day to tell the world Clemson’s story.

Accomplishment I’m most proud of: I am most proud of my team. It starts with people. The main reason I have been successful over the years is because I have been blessed to work with incredibly talented and committed people.

What goals do you have in this position? My immediate goals are to begin building the organizational structure under Marketing and Brand Strategy that will integrate the creative, marketing, video production and social teams. Another immediate goal is start development of the strategic plan for University Relations in support of ClemsonForward.

My long-term goals are to establish University Relations as the go-to resource for strategic communications, marketing and branding… to make it a relevant resource for partners across the University. Another long-term goal is to create sustainable processes that ensure strategy is driving all creative output. We need to make sure that we continue to build and improve on our already strong brand position.

 One thing most people don’t know about me: I am passionate about cooking. I seriously considered going to culinary school, but design school won that deliberation. I still spend a lot of free time cooking though. After sitting behind a computer for hours at a time, it is therapeutic to do something tactile that employs all your senses. Nothing gives me more pleasure than cooking a great meal or serving up beautiful food for friends and family.

Related: AVP for marketing and brand strategy named

Want to nominate a colleague to be featured in Meet a Tiger? Contact Jackie Todd at jtodd3@clemson.edu.