After 18 months of development, College of DuPage unveiled its new branding efforts yesterday on campus.
Banners, door decals and other promotional decorations displaying the college’s new tagline, “Welcome to the New School of Thought,” greeted students and faculty as they entered the main campus’ buildings. The rebranding efforts will help communicate the college’s current status to the district, according to Joseph Moore, vice president of marketing and communications.
“Being able to tell the story through this rebranding will definitely allow us to differentiate ourselves.”
The college will also push its new message outside campus on March 25 through billboards, radio spots and other media platforms. The new brand, designed by Ohio-based marketing agency Ologie, included strategic messaging highlighting COD’s “progressive” but “practical” approach to higher level education. COD hired Ologie for $290,000 to conduct a comprehensive survey process through research firm SimpsonScarborough and design the creative aspects of the brand.
According to Laurie Jorgensen, director of marketing and creative services, the college maintained a close relationship with Ologie in creative development. Part of the process included defining COD’s personality which was key to the brand’s messaging. “We’re not afraid of doing things differently or challenging the established way of doing things,” Jorgensen described. “We’re not a quiet little liberal arts college tucked away somewhere with 2,000 students. We’re big. We’re bold. We’re confident but not arrogant or cocky.”
Ologie utilized this perspective and research data to present two creative concepts. Jorgensen said they ultimately chose the more “bold” and “focused” theme. “The other [branding concept] was very complex. It was beautiful and it’d fit us, but it was very complicated…we didn’t think it really reflected the vibrancy of the student population, faculty and staff,” said Jorgensen.
Months of creative work culminated yesterday with a comprehensive launch of the rebranding efforts. Screen monitors, tables, pillars and study tables had some sort of green decal proclaiming the college’s new tagline. The marketing and communications department also celebrated the “New School of Thought” through a launch party and informative public presentations. “Brand Ambassadors” roamed the school giving away promotional items like adhesive notepads and blankets.
While the campaign was clearly evident on campus, some students expressed confusion in the midst of the commotion.
“I thought it was for a club or something,” said student Spencer Pierce. “I don’t know what to think about it. What is the ‘thought’ about?” The rebranding efforts will be reassessed in 2017 through a survey process to determine if the marketing strategy is effective. Moore expected a positive outlook for the campaign. “I think this new brand will help continue to instill a sense of pride in the institution…this will act as a flag or banner to better advertise and tell that story to the community.”
Jorgensen expressed enthusiasm for how the brand will eventually be received.
“This is something we hope everybody feels that they can own and be part of. I hope everyone is as excited about it as we are.”
–Photo by Denton Dooley ©