Developing a brand platform starts with an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Or if you love acronyms: a SWOT.
This is a multi-faceted endeavor that includes both primary and secondary sources and gathers both qualitative and quantitative data. It included a survey of the overall landscape of higher education to better understand our position in the market; and a brand perception study to compare awareness and perception of IC and other colleges and universities among key demographics.
Interviews with key stakeholders and target audiences provided broader and deeper insights into different experiences with IC. These groups included current students and prospective students, current parents, alumni, senior leadership, faculty and staff, and other stakeholders across the campus community.
This discovery phase guides our strategy and informs brand platform development and narratives. Other resources that were consulted include:
- Vision and Mission statements
- Ithaca Forever (our 10-year strategic plan)
- Enrollment strategy and data
- Philanthropy & Engagement strategy and data
- SimpsonScarborough Brand Perception Studies from 2015 and 2020
- External marketing, communications, and web audits (conducted by Ologie and CarnegieDartlet)
- Current higher ed trends and industry analysis
This graphic is a good example of the sort of information we uncovered. It illustrates IC’s market position in the context of other higher education institutions: