Category :

every sector and global market. Research can tell us a great deal about GenZ as they prepare for higher education. But beyond the statistics, it’s critical to remember that just like every generation, the next generation of learners and leaders is comprised of individuals, each with unique ambitions, goals and personalities. They’re going to be drawn to universities and colleges that fit their individual values and their vision for their life.

Too many institutions are focused on telling their own story instead of reflecting the stories of their ideal students.

At ED, we are driven by helping the right students connect with the right school.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, we can weave a uniquely differentiated narrative that will make your offering resonate with those that will be drawn to and find success at your institution.

In the two years following our introduction of our college’s new brand, our student population increased by 13% – including a 59% increase in our international student population.
Brian Freeman, Fmr. Manager, Marketing and Web Services, Lethbridge College

Here’s how we do it

The services we offer under student recruitment and retention include:
Market research and competitive analysis
Community engagement
Digital marketing strategy and implementation
Media strategy, analysis and placement
Creative concept development and implementation
Focus testing
Pre, during and post campaign testing and optimization

There are two main underpinnings for strategic brand building in higher education.

The first is differentiation. How do you stand out from your competitors and attract the right students, the right faculty, the right donors? We know that the best students and their parents have multiple choices. When everyone looks the same, it’s hard to stand out. 

The second is authenticity. If you’re not telling a believable story you’re sunk before you set sail. How do you get to your truth, and tell your story in a way that is attractive, inspiring yet believable?

Your community is your strongest advocate — their support determines whether your strategy will thrive or stagnate.

There’s only one way to build a differentiated and authentic brand; start with your community. Involving your internal and external communities in your branding and marketing efforts will unveil more than you thought possible. Their collective perspective can help you uncover what differentiates your institution, what stories you should be telling and how should tell them. 

Institutions that value the voices in their community get more buy-in for their marketing initiatives. Their audiences trust that their opinions are valued and taken into consideration in everything the institution does.

At ED, we are experts in consensus-building engagement programs, ensuring communities feel heard and reflected at every brand touchpoint, and that the strategy is sound and authentic to your truth.

Like many higher ed. institutions, our project timeline was tight. ED bought into our critical path, and made their process fit our needs.
David Petis, Executive Director, Red River College Polytechnic

Here’s how we do it:

The services we offer under the umbrella of community engagement include:
Internal and external stakeholder engagement sessions and interviews
Facilitated branding workshops and our proprietary
Focus testing and market research
Leadership and board of governors buy-in
Presenting findings, insights and strategic recommendations

There’s a common trend that we see, from the biggest universities to the smallest colleges: it’s in their nature to play it safe in their marketing. When it comes to branding, the instinct for many institutions is to look to their competitors for inspiration, and put their own spin on what’s been done before. Whether it’s three students under a tree, or snazzy drone footage of your campus, we see the same tropes emerge again and again as these institutions try to differentiate themselves.

Too many institutions are afraid of the risk it takes to truly stand apart.

Discovering your uniqueness in a sea of sameness is key to attracting the attention of prospective students so you can convince them why your school is the right choice for them. At ED., we’re experts at digging deep into who you are as an institution, and helping you conquer your fears to tell a story that’s only yours, and is waiting to be shared.

Through our branding process, we determine where you can stake your claim. We show you ways to think differently about your school and let go of aspirations to be like everyone else, embracing who you truly are instead.

What makes you different is also what creates a sense of belonging, and evokes an emotional response from the people most likely to empathize with your uniqueness.

To have a brand that really encompasses all of our strengths is not easy to do … it gives us an opportunity to tell a new story, and one that we haven’t told before.
Dayna Spiring, Brand Advisory Council Co-Chair, University of Manitoba

Here’s how we do it

The services we offer under the umbrella of managing your reputation include:
Research and community engagement
Messaging strategy
Brand platform and strategy
Brand narrative
Brand vision, mission and values and promise
Visual identity development
Creative platform development