We have been actively expanding in the education space over the last few years, working with a range of colleges and universities, independent schools, online education providers, and thought leaders. We are constantly in the field talking to students, parents, faculty, college counselors, admissions officers, and administrators as they navigate the rapidly changing education landscape.
Setting a Foundation for Success: A Truly Collaborative Process in Brand Platform Development
A year before Holy Cross launched its brand platform and unveiled a new visual identity, tagline, and messaging, a highly intentional process was underway. The insights, surprises, and lessons learned from this foundational work helped ensure that a new brand voice would resonate for the 170-year-old Jesuit liberal arts college —and be embraced by internal constituencies. What made this a success?
- In an atypical approach, Holy Cross engaged the Edge team to conduct audience and messaging research after a group of marketing experts — all alumni — developed a set of distinguishing themes to test encapsulating the Holy Cross experience.
- Through qualitative and quantitative research among multiple audiences, clear findings emerged around messaging and pride points. The findings gave the College and the creative team rich material to mine in developing the brand voice.
- Key stakeholders were engaged and consulted along the way. The President and senior leadership received early research briefings. A Trustee champion dramatically unveiled the brand platform to the full Board. Holy Cross, along with Edge, held small group meetings with faculty, departments, students, and alumni, deliberately seeking input on how the campus community could incorporate the messaging into their own programming and communications. This approach, while not without challenges, resulted in more integration and alliances across divisions (including Athletics and Advancement), and more opportunities for community members to recognize how they, too, could serve as brand ambassadors.
- The Holy Cross brand platform will publicly launch in mid-August 2014, and the work, excitement, and campus buy-in is proceeding on schedule.
We are still basking in the great reviews of your research presentation, and are now kicking off this branding initiative with the support of the President and the Cabinet. We are so glad to have had the opportunity to work with you on such an important project for Holy Cross. Thank you for the care and attention, creativity, and intelligence you put into this work. It’s been a pleasure and we look forward to more to come!
Ellen Ryder, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, College of the Holy Cross
College of the Holy Cross
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