2013 IBM Award

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Winner

Seth-Odell-2013Seth Odell managed to transform a brand previously focused on affordability and flexibility into a nationally recognized, fast-growing brand that stands for student support, service and intimacy. Mr. Odell’s talent can be seen in the national TV campaign, “See Yourself Succeed,” which revamped and put a fresh twist on humanizing content and student achievement pronouncements that are often considered stale and overused in higher education marketing.

Seth Odell is the 2013 International Brand Master.

Seth Odell

Director of Interactive Marketing, Southern New Hampshire University

To understand SNHU’s brand platform, which undertook a repositioning in 2013, it’s important to first understand where we started the year. SNHU’s brand platform sets the stage for a clear mission, vision, and culture statements, as well as a solid understanding of the role brand plays in growing our business. In 2013, we underwent a  brand repositioning to move from being known for affordability and flexibility to being known for student support, service, and intimacy. As the online edu space gets increasingly crowded – especially with new CBE offerings – there is a coming price war. SNHU’s longterm success depends on not getting caught in that mix. Therefore, despite being low cost by today’s standards, we moved in 2013 to be known as the institution that out-cares the competition, where the student always comes first. Think, “The Zappos of Higher Ed”. To support this we launched an internal brand campaign called “Be The Difference” which set the stage for our staff to go above and beyond to help our students see themselves succeed.  We then launched “See Yourself Succeed” a fully integrated marketing campaign with a brand promise that at Southern New Hampshire University you have a better chance of being successful than anywhere else, which we supported through multi-platform executions all focused on showing – not telling – how we support our students. Much of our brand reposition was focused on humanizing our brand (real people replacing actors and stock photography, real stories replacing scripted copy) so I’d encourage you to explore our work linked below, as I think rich media better delivers our brand platform than more traditional copy-based efforts alone.

  1. “Driving enrollment through social media”
  2. “Paul LeBlanc’s keynote – #AMAHigherEd talk on SNHU Marketing”
  3. “Most innovative companies 2012 – Southern New Hampshire University”
  4. www.facebook.com/SNHU
  5. www.twitter.com/snhu
  6. www.instagram.com/seeyourselfsucceed
Finalists

finalistsThe 2013 International Brand Master Award selection process proved to be a difficult one, with three finalists who demonstrated extraordinary achievements. We offer our sincere congratulations to all three of the finalists below for their outstanding work, distinguished achievements, and dedicated professionalism (in alphabetical order by last name).

It is now up to you! Read each nominee’s supporting statement and review the links they have provided. Vote by clicking the “Vote” button below. You will be prompted to log into your Facebook account. You can vote only once via your Facebook account during the voting period. Voting ends at 6:00pm Eastern Time on Friday, February 14, 2014.

Jennifer Chesney

Associate Vice President of University Digital Strategy, University of Alberta


The University of Alberta brand is Our Promise, taken from the words of our founder, Henry Marshall Tory: “The modern state university has sprung from a demand on the part of the people themselves….The people demand that knowledge shall not be the concern of scholars alone.  The uplifting of the whole people shall be its final goal.” Our Promise is “Uplifting the whole people”  in all the work we do in research, teaching, and administration as a community. Our values are: Excellence, Student Experience, Integrity & Academic Freedom, Diversity & Creativity, and Pride.  The cornerstones or pillars of our Promise are: Talented People, Connecting Communities, Learning, Discovery & Citizenship, and Transformative Organization & Support. As a large and diverse research university, we identified our functional characteristics and attributes as Discovery, Innovation, Local/Global Engagement, Collaboration, Leadership, Service/Citizenship and Stewardship.  We identified our Emotional Characteristics and Attributes as Daring, Creative, Pioneering, Uplifting, Competitive, Rigorous and Passionate.  Our Promise, Values, Cornerstones, Functional Characteristics and Emotional Characteristics are infused in all marketing we create to engage our stakeholders at local, national, and international levels.

  1. “Dinosaur experts launch online university course”
  2. “Dino 101 MOOC opens, offering free tuition in paleontology”
  3. “University of Alberta’s version of Barney will devour your tender mammal flesh”
  4. www.facebook.com/ualberta
  5. www.twitter.com/ualberta
  6. www.instagram.com/ualberta

Seth Odell

Director of Interactive Marketing, Southern New Hampshire University


To understand SNHU’s brand platform, which undertook a repositioning in 2013, it’s important to first understand where we started the year. SNHU’s brand platform sets the stage for a clear mission, vision, and culture statements, as well as a solid understanding of the role brand plays in growing our business. In 2013, we underwent a  brand repositioning to move from being known for affordability and flexibility to being known for student support, service, and intimacy. As the online edu space gets increasingly crowded – especially with new CBE offerings – there is a coming price war. SNHU’s longterm success depends on not getting caught in that mix. Therefore, despite being low cost by today’s standards, we moved in 2013 to be known as the institution that out-cares the competition, where the student always comes first. Think, “The Zappos of Higher Ed”. To support this we launched an internal brand campaign called “Be The Difference” which set the stage for our staff to go above and beyond to help our students see themselves succeed.  We then launched “See Yourself Succeed” a fully integrated marketing campaign with a brand promise that at Southern New Hampshire University you have a better chance of being successful than anywhere else, which we supported through multi-platform executions all focused on showing – not telling – how we support our students. Much of our brand reposition was focused on humanizing our brand (real people replacing actors and stock photography, real stories replacing scripted copy) so I’d encourage you to explore our work linked below, as I think rich media better delivers our brand platform than more traditional copy-based efforts alone.

  1. “Driving enrollment through social media”
  2. “Paul LeBlanc’s keynote – #AMAHigherEd talk on SNHU Marketing”
  3. “Most innovative companies 2012 – Southern New Hampshire University”
  4. www.facebook.com/SNHU
  5. www.twitter.com/snhu
  6. www.instagram.com/seeyourselfsucceed

Rachel Reuben

Associate Vice President, Marketing Communications, Ithaca College


Ithaca College Brand Statement: If there’s one thing we know for sure, it is this: The future is uncertain. At Ithaca College, we’re ready for it. Here, in a college town hailed as idyllic, we prepare students for a harsher reality. No matter what their majors, we teach them to think critically – across disciplines, boundaries and cultures. We make sure they have real-world experience – through practica, internships, jobs, and travel abroad. From day one, everything we do is aimed at helping students develop the competence and confidence they’ll need to make their way in the world. There’s one other thing we know for sure: No matter what the future holds, Ithaca College graduates will be ready. Watch them change the world.

  1. “April 2013 cover of Higher Ed Marketing Report”
  2. “Ithaca College advertising campaign wins gold award”
  3. “Marketing communications team receives national recognition for design and video”
  4. www.facebook.com/ithacacollege
  5. www.twitter.com/ithacacollege
  6. www.instagram.com/ithacacollege
Judges

judgesA blue-ribbon panel of experienced marketers volunteered their precious time and expertise to review each nominee’s impressive body of work. Here are the judges that provided their thoughts this year. Click on the judges’ images to learn more about them (in alphabetical order).

Danielle Beale

Director of Marketing & Communications, Nashoba Brooks School


Danielle Beale

Danielle Beale is the Director of Marketing & Communications at Nashoba Brooks School, an independent school in Concord Massachusetts. She had previously been Manager of Web Communications at The College of New Rochelle, where she was also an Adjunct Professor of Social Media. She has been a guest blogger for edsocialmedia.com, marketing chair for the Junior League of Westchester, New York, and marketing chair for the Baruch Graduate Student Association. She holds a master’s degree in corporate communications from Baruch College.

Hanne Haapoja

Head of Marketing, Aalto University


Hanne Haapoja

Hanne Haapoja is the Head of Marketing at Aalto University in Finland. Aalto University is a new multidisciplinary university, founded in 2010, where science and art meet technology and business. Hanne has created an entirely new international university brand in only few years. She is enthusiastic about digital marketing solutions for international young people and for real time marketing statistics and analytics.

Hanne is an experienced marketing and branding specialist. Previously, she worked as Director of Marketing and Communications at the Helsinki School of Economics, one of the founders of Aalto University. She had an active role in the merger and the fundraising for the new university.

She’s has also worked as a consultant for several brands in different area of the Finnish technology sector.

Tim Jones

Executive Creative Director, North Carolina State University


Tim Jones

As the Executive Director of Marketing at NC State University, Tim provides vision, direction, and strategy at the intersection of marketing, branding, web, design and media to cultivate and implement innovative ideas for NC State. Tim Jones has worked in higher education for more than 12 years, working for six years at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA before joining NC State as the university’s first director of web communications. Tim also spent 9 months as the interim chief communications officer at NC State before becoming the Executive Creative Director.

Emma Leech

Director of Marketing, Communications & Recruitment, University of Nottingham


Emma Leech

Emma Leech is Director of Marketing, Communications and Recruitment at the University of Nottingham.

She chairs the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s (CIM) HE Market Interest Group and is a member of CIM’s Board of Trustees.

Emma started her career in fashion and consumer PR, working in tourism and destination marketing before settling in higher education in 1997.

A Chartered Marketer, Chartered Manager, and a Chartered PR Practitioner, she has won a string of awards over two decades.

Emma’s team won both the 2011 THE Outstanding Leadership and Management Award Communications and Marketing Team of the Year award and the 2012 Heist Marketing Team of the Year Award.  She became the 2011 International Brand Master for her work in higher ed marketing. In 2012, she was awarded both IoD/CIPR Public Relations Director of the Year and IOIC Internal Communicator of the Year.  Emma holds an MBA and various marketing, PR and management qualifications.

Mbali Mkhize

Senior Director of Marketing & Communication, Mangosuthu University of Technology


Mbali Mkhize

Currently the senior director of Marketing and Communications at Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT), Mbali possesses a master’s degree in humanities as well as a business management qualification. She brings more than 11 years of experience from higher education administration and international development. She has established international working partnerships with universities in the US and England which have resulted in staff exchange programs, workplace mentoring and student exchange programs for over 100 individuals.

Mbali has also worked as a Corporate Communications director for the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) managing communications across six offices in various provinces in South Africa.  During her six-year stint at the HSRC, she led the HSRC to win platinum awards in reputation management, culminating in a grand prix award in 2010.

Over the past three years, Mbali’s flagship project on building a higher education brand has been the conceptualisation of the Empowered Administrators Conference (EAC). The conference has been a resounding success, with over 600 frontline staff trained in a modern day office operation.

Mbali has been able to build the MUT brand as a leader in customer care training, hence adding value in building the reputation capital of the University. As a result of this innovative image building strategy for the University, Mbali was in 2013 awarded a merit certificate on Integrated Communications by the highest council in South Africa for marketing and communication professionals, known as Marketing, Advancement and Communication in Education. This is the highest accolade for a University that had never subjected itself for nominations in marketing and communications.

Catherine “Punky” Scruggs

Brand Manager, George Mason University


Punky Scruggs

Catherine “Punky” Scruggs is the branding leader at George Mason University, the largest university in Virginia. She previously served as the Director of Brand Strategy for Strayer University through an intense growth period of the organization from nine campus locations in a single market to 98 locations in 46 media markets across the U.S., producing award winning advertising along the way. With more than 16 years of experience in both for-profit and traditional higher ed marketing, she is passionate about aligning brand strategies to meet business goals. Punky also lends her talents in research, brand building, and strategic marketing as a volunteer for non-profit arts organizations. She was a runner up for the 2009 International Brand Master Award.

Travis Brock

Director of Business Development, Educational Marketing Group, Inc.


Travis BrockTravis has more than eleven years of marketing, social media, communications, and research experience in the education arena. Travis directs the EMG Academy and International Brand Master Award committee. He currently writes for and edits EMG’s Brand Manager’s Notebook (blog), Brand Bounce eNewsletter as well as updates and maintains EMG’s social media presence. As EMG’s research assistant and then as manager of research, he developed and implemented marketing research and brand analyses for more than 20 colleges and universities throughout North America. Methodologies have included secondary research, online qualitative studies, web analyses, quantitative surveys, and focus groups. He graduated with honors from the University of New Mexico with a BBA in Marketing and an MBA in Policy and Planning, and has received numerous honors for his academic achievements. Travis has also worked in a leadership capacity in customer service, creative development, and research in a variety of sectors including merchandising, food service, and education.

Nominees

nomineesThe following nominees (listed in alphabetical order by last name) have exemplified exceptional achievement in higher education brand management and have been recognized by peers and colleagues through their nomination for the 2013 International Brand Master Award. We congratulate all of the nominees for this well-deserved recognition, and for being a part of the International Brand Master Award competition. The judges will review supporting information supplied by the nominees. An announcement of the three finalists will be made on Monday February 3, 2014. Public voting of the three finalists will take place until Friday February 14, 2014, so be sure to check back and vote! The 2013 International Brand Master Award winner will be announced the week of February 24.

Jennifer Chesney

Associate Vice President of University Digital Strategy, University of Alberta


Jennifer leads the digital strategy for creating high-quality massive open online courses (MOOCs) for the University of Alberta (UofA). Our first MOOC, Dino 101, has 20,000+ students from around the world plus 450+ UofA students taking the course both for free, for credit, and for credit by proxy. Dino 101 takes the quality and rigor of MOOCs to a higher level, challenging all other universities to rise to the new bar that has been set. See http://uofa.ualberta.ca/dinosaurs/dino101.

Sarah Finstad

Director of Marketing & Communications, Regent College


Sarah has catapulted the Regent brand from stodgy & predictable to savvy & progressive. She kicked it off with a digital rebrand & launch of award-winning regent-college.edu—one of the first responsive sites in higher ed. The site visually mimics Regent’s dynamic architecture; introduces fresh, smart copy; and includes photos of real students. When unveiled students said: ‘Thank you…you’ve captured who we really are’ She’s also branched out to innovative digital story media.

Claire Holmes

Associate Vice Chancellor, Communications and Public Affairs, University of California, Berkeley


Claire has managed to free up resources and set the stage for a cohesive brand strategy for UC Berkeley. It is a very great institution that is also chaotic, decentralized, low on funds and stubbornly resistant to “corporate”—a.k.a. brand—influence. Claire has gained positive, enthusiastic and egalitarian support for widespread adoption of a clean branding initiative campus wide. See brand.berkeley.edu.

Michelle Hougland

Director of Marketing and Brand Management, Texas Tech University


Michelle embodies the qualifications of an International Brand Master. As the director of marketing and brand management, she is responsible for Texas Tech University’s entire brand, and understands how to use this brand on each necessary level of communications and marketing, whether it be for a department, or for marketing the entire university. Examples of projects Michelle has led: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/communications/awards.php.

Lucy Hutcheson

Webmaster, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor


Lucy completely overhauled the university Web site and mobile app, completely redefining the university brand. Lucy conducted research into consumer habits before utilizing her tremendous talent in redefining the online branding for our school  She is a passionate and amazingly talented person. She goes far above and beyond the call of duty, and she enthusiastically champions the university. Lucy helps other young marketers, and she devotes a great amount of time with our interns. She loves to help others improve.

Daniel Koffler

Founder, New Frontiers in Learning


Daniel created this business, and this brand–both which are in their infancy and growing–from nothing except experience and hard work. While a local entity at the moment, plans are underway for a regional–and ultimately, national–expansion. A big part of our growth to date has been Daniel’s leadership, specifically in the Marketing department. As the resident expert, he is relied on for his knowledge, eye for detail and persistence to touch as many people with the right message as possible.

Janusz Kozinski

Founding Dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering, York University


Janusz is the Founding Dean at Lassonde School of Engineering, introduced in 2013. He lead the way for breaking ground for a new building which was completed in 2015 ($250 million investment that has been called “most ambitious project in Canadian academia at the moment). More importantly, programs are being tailored to attract a new kind of engineering student which fits the branding/trademark of “Renaissance Engineer” perfectly (see “home of the Renaissance Engineer” website here: http://lassonde.yorku.ca/).

Dean Lorenz

Director, Marketing and Brand Strategy, Sheridan College


Dean Lorenz is a highly creative and immensely talented people-leader. He inspires innovative thinking in those who work with him, is generous in recognizing and building the skillsets of his team, and he sees through the eyes of a storyteller. Dean’s leadership of a highly creative and diverse digital marketing team has allowed us to lift Sheridan College’s new brand into one of Canadian (and international!) #PSE orbit! Our brand: http://ourbrand.sheridancollege.ca.

Seth Odell

Director of Interactive Marketing, Southern New Hampshire University


In 2013, under the direction of our CEO, Seth led a brand repositioning for SNHU, moving the university from being known for low-cost to being known for customer intimacy and support. This culminated with concepting, writing, and art directing “See Yourself Succeed” a first-of-its-kind integrated national advertising campaign supporting our online education offerings. Successfully repositioning our brand, SNHU saw record growth and was the fastest growing university in the country in 2013.

Rachel Reuben

Associate Vice President, Marketing Communications, Ithaca College


Rachel and her team have done a tremendous job in defining and refining the brand identity for Ithaca College over the past few years. Her leadership and expertise is evident in the efforts between 2010 and 2012 to launch a new brand identity for Ithaca College. See http://www.ithaca.edu/marcom/aboutready/ for more background.

Mike Sample

Vice President, Public Affairs and Government Relations, Indiana University


Mike has created a statewide branding organizational structure and process to make the entire system more effective and efficient in delivering the Indiana University brand. Simply put, it’s one of the best brand management system’s in the country. Furthermore, available are many brand assets to help communication shops across the organization.

Jason Scholte

U.S. Military & Veterans Program Director, Griffith University


Mr. Scholte has engaged a niche market opportunity for International Higher Education & Griffith University. Since his proposed strategy he has been able to create a massive interest in overseas study opportunities for US Veterans who want to study in Australia. From 2 US Veterans to 18 in less than a year, and now project an additional 30 for 2014. What is most revealing is these are not your traditional “study abroad” program seekers. These students are full degree seeking students.

John Veilleux

Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Texas Wesleyan University


Immediately on coming to the university in 2012, Veilleux began a multi-tiered campaign to define and shape’s Texas Wesleyan’s brand in the DFW marketplace. Through market research he developed a resonant, six-point message strategy and a total rebranding of the university’s academic and athletics image. The first-ever comprehensive brand campaign integrated TV, Web, Billboard, Internet Radio and YouTube and more. The campaign has raised perception, awareness and applications to the University.