Augustana College, a private liberal arts institution in Illinois, came to Carnegie with a need for unified messaging and more effective and impactful recruitment marketing. Facing shrinking market share and an enrollment plateau, Augustana needed to unify its voice and establish a foundation for growth. Internally, personal preferences and anecdotal information were largely driving marketing decisions. The College also sensed misaligned perceptions in markets immediately surrounding campus, making enrollment growth in those markets challenging.
We facilitated live workshops with more than 650 Augustana stakeholders—faculty, staff, alumni, leadership—to build consensus around its differentiators and brand personality. We also collected external perception data from surrounding DMAs and conducted an in-depth analysis of Augustana’s messaging and that of its competitive set. This research confirmed a gap in perception between internal stakeholders and the public and also revealed unclaimed opportunity space in Augustana’s market for more imaginative and expressive storytelling. Leveraging this research, we delivered a message platform that clarified Augustana’s authentic personality and formed a strong basis for ongoing marketing, internal communications, and beyond. Grounded in this message platform, our Creative team delivered a campaign concept and on-campus multimedia shoot, arming Augustana with resources to communicate powerfully and cohesively across traditional and digital marketing, print materials, and more.
Augustana has experienced remarkable growth in the first year of implementation of its brand message and positioning strategy, including 24% growth in key counties within 100 miles of campus (against an original goal of 10% growth) and approximately 20% overall first-year enrollment growth. Armed with data to manage enrollment marketing and a unified toolkit for messaging across marketing, admissions, public relations, web, and more, Augustana now has an actionable toolkit to speak with one voice, train its team, and communicate authentically to its audiences. As Augustana continues to pursue goals of growth and enrollment diversity, our partnership has continued through a digital campaign to elevate awareness in key markets, personality-based enrollment audience segmentation, and year-round prospective student engagement through CollegeXpress.
“Our brand personality solution has been in so many ways a game changer for Augustana—for our campus, our team, and our outcomes. Carnegie has empowered our team to be successful, which then positions our College to be successful.” KERI RURSCH
Assistant Vice President, Communication & Marketing,
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