Higher Ed Branding: The Bold & The Brave

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College and university marketers have to work hard to gather research and build campus consensus around a new brand position. Although the goal is to develop a distinctive position, the reality is that many higher ed branding projects result in some awfully similar creative executions.

Next week, we’ll round up ten recent examples of “One-Word Wonders” – higher ed brands that try to “own a word” in the marketplace. But in this teaser episode, we’ll look at two of them that wind up looking awfully similar.

Brescia University College, affiliated with Western University in London Ontario, is Canada’s only women’s university. In 2009, they launched a new brand position that focused on a key benefit of a single-gender learning environment: young women become more confident and outspoken. Thus “Brescia Bold” was born.

Brescia Bold Teaser (Sept 2017) - https://youtu.be/TDqmcIgOMks

Almost a decade later, a Catholic university in St Louis Missouri, Maryville University (which perhaps coincidentally was also founded as a women’s college back in 1872, although it went coed in 1968) developed a new brand campaign for its online programs, offered in partnership with Pearson. The campaign focused on the bravery of adult students going back to study, and the creative hinged on another “b” word, “Brave”: “Let’s Be Brave Together,” “The Future Belongs to the Brave,” etc.

Maryville University campaign - https://mistress.agency/work/maryville-university-lets-be-brave-together-ad-campaign/

Brescia and Maryville, about 500 miles apart, were both founded as Catholic women’s colleges (although each has adapted and evolved since then). Yet in trying to convey the quality of their students, they arrived at very similar words: “Bold” and “Brave.”

Later this week, Ten with Ken will examine 10 examples of similar “One-Word Wonders” in a full-length episode. To be sure you don’t miss it, take a moment now to subscribe!

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