Blog | May 10, 2017

How Higher Education Aims Higher

by Lola Catero in Brand Management

Higher education is an increasingly competitive field. Each year, nearly 5,000 public and private institutions in the U.S. compete for the best faculty, brightest students, research funding and philanthropic support. Against this backdrop, articulating a compelling message about a university’s value becomes essential and gives marketing a critical role in advancing its business objectives.

One particular university with almost 200 years of heritage, an academic medical center and eleven schools, many at the top of their respective fields was having a particularly tough time. Each school had ongoing communications needs and with dynamic content and marketing collateral for their respective audiences, but little that brought them all together.

With a culture that valued the autonomy and diversity of these many schools, little value had historically been placed on developing – and leveraging – an overarching brand for one of the most iconic universities in the United States. Without a clear set of brand standards to help guide the thousands of audience-specific marketing materials being produced, communications materials coming from the University did not reflect this united or cohesive university profile.

Luckily a Deputy Chief of Marketing came on board and recognized the University had strong brand awareness but lacked a consistent, compelling way to tell its story. They got to work. The first objective was to define and express the University’s core value proposition in collaboration with the many schools and departments. Out of this process came a full brand strategy and creative approach – including a flexible visual language that formed the basis for brand guidelines and identity. That framework was used to create a full brand guidelines document.

The intention: create a robust toolkit to support the university’s institutional marketing strategy while allowing its many schools and stakeholders to more easily adapt the brand in ways that allowed them to contribute to a collaborative message.

Find out how they used technology to unite their marketing efforts under one standardized style – read the rest of their story.

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