Through brand building, strategic communications and creative marketing, Objective Focus provides both time-tested and innovative solutions that separate an institution from the clutter. The goal is increased awareness, interest and value, building trust and support from key stakeholders and audiences.
A robust, professional and creative marketing/communications effort is essential to the success of a 21st century educational institution. Working hand-in-glove with admissions and recruiting, these functions also communicate the mission and image upon which public and philanthropic support is predicated and establish an institution’s position in the larger educational and cultural landscape.
In today’s world, marketing and branding drink from the same well and are a complex kaleidoscope of traditional and emergent technologies. They require up-to-date knowledge of digital communications and draw upon design and writing skills that encompass the application, use and outreach of web design, mobile optimization and social media, along with print and other more conventional approaches.
Assuming there is consensus on goals and mission, an effective marketing/communications program begins with the identification of target audiences. These include potential students, the philanthropic community, and a host of others, depending upon the circumstances and needs of a specific institution. The research that defines these constituencies must be rigorous and realistic, although “stretch” goals are important motivators.
Marketing is crucial, but in a world of so many choices, branding is key. A powerful brand is not a logo, tagline or campaign; it is an identity, a personality and a positive connection. Systematically developed over time, it differentiates an organization from its competitors, building trust and demonstrating why it is worthy of commitment and support.
A successful brand is based on these elements:
Rational: Promises and expectations; how does it add value for me?
Emotional: Generates positive experiences, associations and feelings
Verbal: A clear and memorable message that strongly signals value
Visual: A compelling graphic presentation and an unforgettable image
Great brands do not emerge by chance or happen overnight and must be evident in every element of a marketing and communication program. Nurtured through the consistent management of messaging, engagement and design, they create a powerful bond between an institution, its stakeholders and its public. And every point of contact is an opportunity to signal a brand’s value.
With a track record of effective marketing, Object Focus works with an institution’s internal and external constituencies to build, refresh and communicate its brand. Using data from qualitative and quantitative research, we initiate planning sessions, evaluate messaging, and craft identity packages and style guides. We create staff awareness of marketing/branding principles, providing tools and training to facilitate the communication of mission, image and quality. The goal is to signal value and build trust from key stakeholders and audience, creating a basis for public and philanthropic support, the effective recruitment of qualified students and the establishment of a strong position among peers and the public.