Live Blogging AMA: Rebranding Tradition with Uncommon Results

By Head of Marketing - Tue, Nov 17-->



Speaker: Dr. John F Carney III, Chancellor, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Opening Video:

Rebranding Tradition:

  • Begin with the end in mind
  • Know who you are
  • Know whom you serve
  • Create a conversation to built ownership.

The Results:

  • Record enrollment: up 4%, the largest in 20 years
  • Out of state applications up 27% with out of state enrollment up 9%
  • Pre college summer program participation up 14% with a 24% matriculation rate
  • Corporate recruiter interest up 6%
  • Record fundraising with cash gifts up 23%
  • Alumni participation rate up 6%

Why change the name?

  • Reflect our mission
  • Differentiation
  • Broaden market share
  • Enhance our reputation

The name didn’t say anything about the nature of the university.


  • September 2005: New Chancellor arrives
  • October 2006: Name change proposed
  • April 2007: Name changed approved
  • January 2008: Name change enacted

Started with an assessment: Who are we? Who are our competitors? What is our vision? The result was a focused mission statement.

You have to know who you serve: Who’s your target audience? Campus community, alumni, corporate recruiters, prospective students, high school teachers and counselors.

Didn’t mess with the seal or the mascot. He’s not that crazy.

Name change marketing was funded entirely by private gifts.

Communications staff used flip cams to take videos of faculty and staff at the University, which ended with “I am Missouri S&T”. Made internal community buy in more. Same great faculty and staff but with a new name…proudly stating their mission every time they say the name.

National ranking took a hit when they changed the name.

Played off the idea that there was “something new at Missouri S&T”

Capitalized on a deeply held desire to distinguish themselves from the other Missouri campuses. Encouraged involvement of all parties. No opinions were excluded.

“In higher education, there is a bias toward reflection and not a bias towards action” - this is directly contradictory to what you need to do to be a successful marketer.

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