Live Blogging AMA: Rebranding Tradition with Uncommon Results

By Karlyn Morissette - Tue, Nov 17, 2009-->

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Conferences, General

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.

Timeline:

  • 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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AMA Higher Ed, ama symposium, branding, Marketing, missouri university of science and technology, name change

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This post was written by:

Karlyn Morissette

Karlyn Morissette - who has written 45 posts on .eduGuru

Karlyn Morissette is a thought leader and innovator in higher education. With over 12 years of web experience (half spent working exclusively on higher education web marketing initiatives), she helped pioneer many of the web strategies considered best practice today.

Today as the Director of Marketing Communications at Fire Engine RED, Karlyn works with colleges around the world to execute integrated marketing campaigns as a part of student search. She also teaches courses on Internet marketing and strategy at Champlain College as adjunct faculty. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from Boston University and a Master of Business Administration from Norwich University.

To quote a friend of hers: "Karlyn is a super rad ninja marketing genius who will make your target demographic submit to your every whim through sheer willpower. Oh, and she's smarter than you."  We're not sure about the smarter part, but "super rad ninja" is true enough.

Compulsory disclaimer: The views expressed in Karlyn's posts are hers and hers alone, and do not represent those of any company she's affiliated with. Yes, it's true - the girl has a mind of her own. 

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