Re-branding an institution

A few months ago I interned for the Communications Department of my college and I have maintained a very close working relationship with the entire department.  The college, under the direction of a new president, has created a new strategic plan.  A heavy component of that plan is re-branding the institution.

While interning, I played a small role in choosing the organization that would roll out our new advertisement and branding campaign.  After several weeks of compiling quantitative and qualitative information about the school, the re-branding campaign was introduced.  Sitting in on this unveiling was very interesting and there was a lot to take from it. Here are key things I got out of this meeting that my professors have been stressing all along.

1) Comprehensive understanding of an organization. FUSEAcademia was hired to take on the re-branding project of Iona College.  They conducted an extensive amount of research of the students, alumni, prospective students, existing marketing materials and publications, faculty, and parents. They compiled all of this information and used to to see the strengths and weaknesses of the brand.  Using this information, they came up with a concise message to explain Iona which absolutely nailed it.  As someone part of the community, it was very interesting to hear a third-party perspective on what the culture of the campus is.

2) Delivery is key. Most of the crowd was very impressed by the person who delivered the report.  Although he was older and not overly animated, he spoke with confidence and passion about our school, the plan, and the research.  He sounded as if he were part of our community.  He KNEW what he was talking about.  This is the most important skill to have while speaking to the public.

3) Emotional Value. In order for something to resonate with a group of people it must strike an emotional chord.  No one will buy into an organization, or a change in an organization, unless it coincides with their needs.  FUSE crafted a new tagline for Iona.  Although the tagline is three words long, there was a deep thought process that went into it.  The two main words correlate to emotion and the values of Iona.

I feel like I am in a really unique position to watch the beginnings of a real re-branding campaign unfold.  I enjoy looking at every decision critically while simultaneously looking at other college campaigns.  I get a bit of a rush during situations like this because it proves that I am definitely perusing a career in a field that I love! I only wish that I could be remain on the inner circle for the next five years to see how effective the campaign really was.

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