College Identity Makeover for Universities and Higher Education Institutions

Higher education institutions occasionally turn to Elliance to revitalize their identity. Motivations vary: some want to shed an old skin and put on a new one, while others aim to sharpen their focus and distance themselves from their competitors; some simply seek to modernize their image to align with evolving market trends, and a few aspire to broaden their market reach.

Here are examples of stories from four colleges and universities that enlisted Elliance to enhance their brand identities. These stories showcase a spectrum of experiences, from evolving institutional brand identity to making transformative changes.

Capitol Technology University

Capitol Technology University is part of the job-rich pipeline supplying human capital to America’s most technologically advanced government agencies and their private sector supply chains around greater Washington DC market. While many college graduates struggle to find meaningful work with their degrees, Capitol Tech provides a launch pad to a better life, especially for first generation in college students. To grow its enrollment and reputation, Capitol Tech turned to Elliance to create a new brand position, build a new website and execute digital marketing campaigns. As part of the overall marketing campaign, Elliance modernized its logo, elevating its star trek command ship inspired insignia, while emphasizing “Capitol” to strengthen its ties to the Washington DC market. The new brand has emerged as a leader in STEM education in the greater Washington DC and Maryland market.

The Catholic University of America

For forty years, Pope’s only university in the United States, The Catholic University of America, grappled with the tension between its founding Catholic principles and the secularization of society. The university leadership sought Elliance’s brand identity expertise to guide the institution back towards its Catholic heritage. We refreshed the identity to bring a sharper color focus on “Catholic University”, and highlighting its unique place among the pantheon of Catholic colleges in the US by underlining “The”. To lay a firmer claim to its Catholic roots, Elliance further recommended that the university change its domain from cua.edu to Catholic.edu. Our recommendations were embraced by the campus community, implemented, and have stood the test of time. Enrollment grew by 25% within a year of relaunching its new brand identity, domain and website.

William Woods University

For over 145 years, William Woods University had faithfully served students in the state of Missouri. However, faith in higher education had been slowly eroding specially amongst the first generation in college students. Under the specter of declining enrollment, the leadership at William Woods called upon Elliance to turnaround the institution. Our student conversations revealed that in high school many of them had reservations about attending college, and had actively debated whether they should go straight to work or join the armed forces instead of going to college. However, when they came to William Woods, they not only thrived but as alumni, they grew into fully reflective professionals. Elliance rebranded the college promising the students that they would “flourish!” if they attended William Woods. We also changed the logo to symbolize organic growth. It worked! Undergraduate enrollment stopped declining, graduate enrollment started growing and online enrollment doubled. Students started applying to William Woods from across the nation and across the world.

Hartford Seminary

Due to a changing competitive landscape, persistent enrollment challenges, dependency on endowment returns to support operations, and a desire to broaden the communities it serves, Hartford Seminary had restructured its revenue model, its degrees/programs, and needed a new approach to outreach. To this end, Hartford has already begun to shift its focus from offering a diverse collection of religious studies and interfaith programming to initiatives that emphasize interreligious & peace studies, executive and professional education, religion research and global & community partnerships. To reflect this transformation, Elliance renamed the university, reimagined its logo as the ascending dove, articulated a new position, redesigned its website, and launched a new blog titled “Religion & Peace”. The institution is now on the path for attracting students from across the country and across the world.

In all the identity makeover projects, of course we also define an institution’s primary and secondary brand colors, fonts, photography styles, communication guide, web style guide, and brand guide.

If you are seeking a team of talented higher education brand strategists to evolve your institutional identity, please contact us.