No Time Like the Present

By The Creative & Marketing Group, April 21, 2021
Why is Ithaca College undergoing the development of a fully formed brand platform now?

Our last post touched on what a brand is (and isn’t) and how a well-formed brand platform serves as a launch pad for effective, compelling, and consistent storytelling.  

If you’re thinking something along the lines of “IC has never had a brand platform before,” you’d be correct. We’ve had campaigns that have been confused for platforms (cough, cough, “Ready,” cough), but never a full brand platform. So why are we creating one now?  

(For those who are already wondering, a future post will explore the relationship between a campaign and a platform.) 

It’s no secret the landscape of higher education is in the midst of monumental change. A few trends include:  

  • Demographic shifts. Projections forecast that the number of high school graduates will peak in 2026 at about 3.6 million individuals, and then decline rapidly. That leads to:  
  • Competitive pressure. Fewer students will only intensify competition among colleges and universities to attract scholars. And those future students have:  
  • Expectations. Gen Z knows what they want: communication, services, and programs tailored to their individual needs.  

These were trends before Covid-19 and have only been exacerbated by the pandemic and its lingering impact.  

As stated in our 10-year strategic plan, Ithaca Forever (PDF): “Continuing the status quo is simply not an option if Ithaca College is to remain relevant as an institution of higher education and thrive in a national landscape that is increasingly challenging and ever-changing.”  

Each of the ten goals that comprise Ithaca Forever work toward ensuring IC is well positioned now and in the future. Three goals specifically relate to our investments in our students, our employees, and the institution.  

"To face the dynamic higher education landscape, we maintain a deep commitment to the financial sustainability of the institution. From a nimble and comprehensive enrollment strategy to an evolving and strategic analysis of our academic and professional resources, we will be positioned to deliver the Ithaca College experience to future generations of students and learners."

Our brand platform work is part of developing that “nimble and comprehensive enrollment strategy.”  

Now more than ever it’s important that we offer our community, and those who may join it (prospective students and their loved ones) a focused, consistent, and sincere view of Ithaca College. 

Stay tuned for a closer look at how “A Place Called Progress” positions Ithaca College for our audiences. If you have questions or feedback, please email