'Ready' For it All: Ithaca College Launches New Branding Effort
ITHACA,NY — Ithaca College is proudly sharing the message that its students are “Ready.” This week, the college launched a new brand identity and marketing campaign to increase awareness and ensure a consistent image. The integrated campaign, dubbed “Ready,” will be extended to all the college’s communications and promoted through a comprehensive advertising strategy.
“In higher education, a brand is how you are perceived by your audiences based on the information they receive through channels that include conversing with peers, visiting campuses and viewing advertisements, direct mail and websites,” said Rachel Reuben, associate vice president for marketing communications. “This branding effort will focus all of our messaging and allow our audiences to easily recall the unique attributes and experiences that our students graduate with.”
Mindpower, Inc. developed the Ready concept, which was inspired by market research conducted by SimpsonScarborough and an ever growing collection of student, alumni and faculty success stories. The stories will serve as the main content for the branding campaign, showcasing a variety of ways that Ithaca College has prepared its students and alumni to be forward thinking, professional, well-prepared and ready for the future.
“The Ready concept is a natural fit for the college because a good brand promise is founded in truth,” said President Tom Rochon. “Ithaca College has for decades prepared students to enter the workplace and successfully pursue their passions. Our faculty give our students the experience, competence and confidence to make their way in the world.”
“As soon as the Ready idea was suggested, we were all shocked by how simple it was and yet how perfectly it represented Ithaca’s unique strengths,” said Reuben. “The concept has received remarkably strong endorsement from our internal constituents.”
“From day one, the hands-on experience I received at Ithaca College made me more ready than I ever knew I could be,” said student Jimmy Knowles, now in his junior year at the college. “The truly unique social and learning environment encouraged me to lead several student organizations, and the personal mentorship I garnered from my professors prepared me to land my dream internship. Because of Ithaca College, I absolutely feel ready to embrace any and all challenges in my life ahead.”
An updated logo, color palette, website and new Ready-themed microsite (/ready) were unveiled this week as part of the brand identity launch. Advertisements are planned to run in multiple media platforms over the next year.
A 2009 alumni opinion study; a series of focus groups conducted with students, faculty, staff and alumni in the fall of 2010; and a survey distributed to over 20,000 administrators at other higher education institutions, prospective students and Ithaca College faculty and staff helped spark the Ready concept and identify the college’s unique strengths and level of awareness in the marketplace. The first series of Ready-themed advertisements was tested in March through a survey sent to current students, prospective students, peers at other higher education institutions, alumni, faculty and staff. Suggestions and feedback from the survey were used to further refine the Ready concept and its visual representation.
As a result of the greater visibility brought about by the branding effort, the college hopes to strengthen relationships with alumni, boost the attractiveness of the college as an employer for faculty and staff and proactively prepare for the increased competition for college-bound students in the Northeast.