The Branding Process
Excavating Our Brand
- NIU needs to develop and "own" our own brand identity
- Must be authentic and represent the real experiences NIU offers
- Best brands are also aspirational – illustrate what NIU can be
- Define NIU brand attributes
- Develop a positioning statement (clear, concise dominant “selling” idea – NIU’s “specialty”)
- Write the NIU brand story (combines attributes, values and positioning)
- Develop elevator speech (a few sentences)
- Develop value proposition for use by development, etc.
- Determine brand architecture (how all units relate to core brand)
- Develop message architecture (themes)
- Develop university tagline(s)
- Develop a new university logo
- Extensive surveys and focus groups were conducted with faculty, staff, students, alumni, guidance counselors, parents and prospective students to identify a tagline for the university.
- Marketing and Branding Subcommittee established with representation from every college and major department (Foundation, Alumni Association, Athletics included)
- Advertising Committee established (Foundation, Alumni Association, central administration creative staff, communications staff in COB and COL)
- Branding exercise developed for use with every group – objective is to surface words and phrases that resonate with all stakeholders
- Extensive review of all previous branding/ marketing/ planning documents, including student surveys, strategic plan, college & department branding materials, mission statement, Baccalaureate Review documents, graduate satisfaction studies, etc.
- Extensive research into the attitudes and opinions of all our stakeholders: students (current and prospective), parents, alumni, faculty, staff, coaches, high school counselors, etc.