Simpson Storms to top in “Best Brands” Competition

Behold the power of Simpson.

A month ago, when the Lessing-Flynn advertising agency in Des Moines began its third annual “Battle of the Brands,” you likely could have gotten long odds against underdog Simpson College proving victorious.

After all, the 65-brand field included some of the best-known companies and events in Iowa, including Hy-Vee, the Iowa State Fair, A-E Dairy, the Civic Center and Meredith Corporation.

But when the voting ended, it was Simpson who was crowned champion.

By a significant margin.

Lessing-Flynn President Tom Flynn told the Des Moines Register’s “Biz Buzz” column that Simpson collected 86 percent of the 2,174 votes cast in the championship round, defeating A-E Dairy.

As a result, Lessing-Flynn will donate $5,000 in services to Children and Family Urban Ministries, the charity that Simpson chose to play for.

“It was awesome to witness how many of our current students, faculty, staff, alumni and other friends of the college rallied together to support Simpson in this fun competition,” said Jill Johnson, the college’s executive director of marketing and public relations.  “We have a strong and loyal base of supporters, which is essential in having a strong and successful brand.

“I think our support ramped up significantly in the second round when we were up against Central,” Johnson said. “It’s a historic rivalry and Simpson wasn’t backing down. Once we advanced, I believe everyone’s attitude was “why not win the whole thing?”

John Fleming of Lessing-Flynn wrote, “So in many ways, digital media as whole, not just social media, contributed to this year’s winner, as well as the Iowa Clinic winning in 2010, and the Principal Financial Group in 2011. Many of the referring links we see through our web analytics prove this. A strong percentage of referring links to our blog are from email links sent out by the participating brands and the individuals that support them.

“So what Simpson College did, was rally their brand advocates on a greater level than their competitors. Call that great marketing, strong strategy or simply a likable brand finding traction when it needed some love. And so what this year’s LFBOTB should be, is a friendly reminder that the love or advocacy of a brand, and a charity as well, can be harnessed in multiple ways.”

Johnson agrees. “I think the other reason there was such strong support for Simpson was the fact that a charity was going to benefit if we won. Service to others is in our DNA at Simpson and we couldn’t be happier to have a hand in helping Children and Family Urban Ministries.”

As Fleming noted, Simpson joins the Iowa Clinic and the Principal Financial Group as Battle of the Brands winners.

Thanks to everyone who participated and put Simpson over the top. Amazing things can happen when we work together.