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.

One of the unanticipated outcomes of our work with ED. Marketing was the level of internal buy-in that was fostered through their process. Our team felt heard, respected and reflected in the final creative work.
Christian Robin,
Director, Marketing and Web Presence, Red River College

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
Brandcamp™
Focus testing and market research
Leadership and board of governors buy-in
Presenting findings, insights and strategic recommendations