2012 IBM Award

Winner

Jason Cook from Texas A&M University is the 2012 International Brand MasterJason Cook has managed to reinvent and reinvigorate the Texas A&M brand, while staying consistent and paying homage to the traditions that make the university such a unique institution. Perhaps the most telling demonstration of Jason’s talent is his work unifying both Texas A&M’s academics and athletics brands, an effort that has presented a united front during a time when the university has had more national exposure than ever before.

Jason Cook is the 2012 International Brand Master.

Jason Cook

Vice President for Marketing & Communications, Texas A&M University

While Texas A&M is one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious universities, our brand was not widely known across the country and the institution was perceived much like it was in the 1970s: a regional, all-male military institution, not the thriving, top-20 research university that it is today. Recognizing that athletics is the “front porch” of a university – providing an opportunity to reach millions of people each Saturday in the fall – I worked directly with the University’s President and Board of Regents to initiate a focused plan in 2011 that would increase the visibility of the Texas A&M brand across the country. This effort culminated with Texas A&M leaving the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference on July 1, 2012. While many ascribed different motives for our departure from the Big 12 and fueled many detractors and skeptics, our plan had three primary objectives: increase the exposure for our student-athletes and coaches, as well as for our world-class faculty and their research; create new revenue streams in the form of TV payouts, licensing, sponsorships, philanthropy and ticket sales; and provide long-term stability for the Texas A&M brand in a period of significant athletic conference upheaval  The SEC is widely recognized as the nation’s top athletic conference, and through its extensive media partnerships with ESPN and CBS, the national exposure generated by the league is unparalleled. The SEC move allowed us to introduce the Texas A&M brand to an entirely new geographic region of the country and expand the national footprint of the brand. What’s more, the SEC’s media platform played a significant role in our campaign for Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel to become the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. Today, because of these efforts, Texas A&M is widely recognized as one of the hottest college brands in the country.

  1. “How Texas A&M Marketed Johnny Manziel”
  2. “Top 10 Facebook Brands by Engagement Rate”
  3. “Top 10 Most Influential Colleges”
  4. facebook.com/tamu
  5. twitter.com/tamu
  6. pinterest.com/tamu
Finalists

finalistsThe 2012 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).

It is now up to you! Read each nominee’s supporting statement and review the links they have provided. Vote by email, by Twitter, or by Facebook using the icon buttons below. You can vote once per email, tweet, or Facebook comment per day. Voting ends at 6:00pm Eastern Time on Friday, February 15, 2013.

Jason Cook

Vice President for Marketing & Communications, Texas A&M University

While Texas A&M is one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious universities, our brand was not widely known across the country and the institution was perceived much like it was in the 1970s: a regional, all-male military institution, not the thriving, top-20 research university that it is today. Recognizing that athletics is the “front porch” of a university – providing an opportunity to reach millions of people each Saturday in the fall – I worked directly with the University’s President and Board of Regents to initiate a focused plan in 2011 that would increase the visibility of the Texas A&M brand across the country. This effort culminated with Texas A&M leaving the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference on July 1, 2012. While many ascribed different motives for our departure from the Big 12 and fueled many detractors and skeptics, our plan had three primary objectives: increase the exposure for our student-athletes and coaches, as well as for our world-class faculty and their research; create new revenue streams in the form of TV payouts, licensing, sponsorships, philanthropy and ticket sales; and provide long-term stability for the Texas A&M brand in a period of significant athletic conference upheaval  The SEC is widely recognized as the nation’s top athletic conference, and through its extensive media partnerships with ESPN and CBS, the national exposure generated by the league is unparalleled. The SEC move allowed us to introduce the Texas A&M brand to an entirely new geographic region of the country and expand the national footprint of the brand. What’s more, the SEC’s media platform played a significant role in our campaign for Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel to become the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. Today, because of these efforts, Texas A&M is widely recognized as one of the hottest college brands in the country.

  1. “How Texas A&M Marketed Johnny Manziel”
  2. “Top 10 Facebook Brands by Engagement Rate”
  3. “Top 10 Most Influential Colleges”
  4. facebook.com/tamu
  5. twitter.com/tamu
  6. pinterest.com/tamu

Justin Roy

Vice President for Communications & Marketing, William Peace University

To achieve our marketing success, we rebranded the university thoroughly so that people understood who and what William Peace is. This went down to handling the changeover of street signs and informing search engines and mapping companies about the new name.

We reviewed each promotional item that had been published and asked, “What is the purpose of this piece?” The result was that everything we distributed to the public was either revamped or scrapped. For example, we reformatted our viewbook (see 12d for sample) for prospective students to learn more about William Peace to an easier-to-read magazine that reduced the cost from $3 to just 59 cents per copy, not counting postage saved. We discontinued many print items aimed for teenagers – they prefer receiving information online – and made sure our online communications and marketing aligned with our print messaging.

At the same time, we retained elements which were offering a positive connection to the university. As many associated the campus architecture as prestigious and identifiable with us, we incorporated the pillars motif as part of our revised logo. This logo appears on the signature of university personnel in emails and other materials.

We kept in mind all of our audiences and how to appeal to their desires during the rebranding. Many students said that they feel at home and enjoyed the friendly atmosphere as much as the academics we offered, so we included language reflecting that belief. Additionally, the faculty, staff and alumnae played a role in contributing their thoughts, which helped us develop the “Your Success. Our Mission” tagline as a selling point.

Although some rebranding was collaborative, I provide final approval on every piece that leaves the school. That includes our fax cover sheet, which provides information on the university as a source of pride and offers the recipient the chance to become a corporate sponsor. Any chance we can promote William Peace, we take that opportunity.

  1. “Pioneering Men Stat New Traditions at William Peace”
  2. “Affordability in Higher Education is Achievable”
  3. “6 Colleges Cutting Tuition”
  4. www.facebook.com/WPeaceU
  5. www.twitter.com/WPeaceU
  6. www.youtube.com/WPeaceU

Dr. David Willows

Director of External Relations, International School of Brussels

Looking back at my time so far at ISB, I am able to identify the following branding-related achievements.  (1) We rebranded the school.  (a) Developing a new school logo and re-launching all school publications and the school’s website; (b) Re-telling the story of the school in clear, simple, jargon-free ways. (c) Designing a series of innovative communication tools that gave clear, timely, and relevant information to a range of stakeholders. (d) Remodelling the visual impact of the Campus. (e) Launching a series of notable and award-winning marketing campaigns; (f) Establishing a series of partnerships with international media that enabled the school to position itself as a global thought leader in international education; (g) Working with school teams and departments to ensure that they were well positioned towards key US and UK colleges.  (2) We brought greater coherence, simplicity, and reach to the brand and story of the school. (a) Developing a conceptual model to demonstrate the ways in which families move through a life-cycle of engagement with the school and highlight the importance of coherence at different stages, from ‘first contact’ to ‘alumni’; (b) Focusing upon sections of this life-cycle where it was possible to identify lack of coherence, ‘message interference’, or simply a lack of quality; (c) Overhaul of the ways we welcome new families into the school; (d) The introduction of several audio-visual and social media strategies that have enabled greater engagement with the ISB story.  (3) We supported the brand of the school by identifying, framing, and maintaining a number of key collaborations with internal and external partners.  (a) Regularly identifying individuals, organisations, and other schools that shared our beliefs and values. (b) Developing and maintaining collaboration agreements and partnerships as win-win, sustainable collaborations with a number of organisations.

  1. “Re-telling the Story of a School”
  2. “The Story Behind an Ad Campaign”
  3. www.davidwillows.com
  4. www.facebook.com/isb.fb
  5. http://www.statigr.am/internationalschoolofbrussels
  6. www.youtube.com/isbexperience
Judges

judgesA blue-ribbon panel of experienced marketers volunteered their precious time and extraordinary 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).

Rae Goldsmith

Vice President for Advancement Resources, Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)

Rae Goldsmith is vice president for advancement resources at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), where she oversees communications, books publishing and product development, CURRENTS magazine, the CASE information center and research.

Rae joined the CASE staff after more than 20 years in educational communications and marketing. She was associate vice president for communications and marketing at the University of Louisville, where she led a nationally recognized integrated marketing program. She was also associate vice president for public relations and marketing at Central Michigan University and director of public information services at Ball State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in public relations.

Kevin Grout

Marketing and Communications Manager, University of Victoria

Kevin Grout is a marketing and communications manager professional with more than 15 years of experience in brand management. He has worked in sectors as diverse as economic development, biotechnology, tourism, and for the past nine years, higher education. He has been involved with brands as iconic as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the City of Niagara Falls, to completely new initiatives, including the groundbreaking “Both Sides of the Brain” campaign of Brock University in Ontario, Canada. He will be taking his skills to the University of Victoria in early 2013.

Emma Leech

Director of Marketing, Communication and Recruitment, The University of Nottingham

Emma Leech is Director of Marketing, Communications and Recruitment at the University of Nottingham, one of Britain’s largest universities with campuses in the UK, China and Malaysia. An award-winning marketer, Emma is active across a range of professional bodies and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Board of Trustees

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 HE 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.

Tim Murphy

President, Fanzlive

Currently, Tim is the President of Fanzlive, a Social Media Platform for live events. Prior to Fanzlive, Tim was a senior marketing executive at Anheuser-Busch (AB) for 28 years. He was promoted through the ranks of brand management, sports marketing and creative development at the #1 global sports sponsor.  Starting as a Brand Manager of Bud Light, Tim played a key role in the development of a new brand positioning with a focus on fun, youth, and social interaction. He developed, implemented, and communicated the new positioning to all internal support groups by creating the most successful brand promotion in Bud Light’s history thereby securing Bud Light’s status as the Official Beer Sponsor of the NHL and promoting the Bubbleboy concept. Additionally, he led the brewery’s Global Digital team and pioneered the development of AB’s overall digital strategy, which included the planning and execution of Brand Management’s digital roadmaps consisting of 45+ websites, creative development to support $20 million in online media, promotions, mobile, social media, and CRM, among others.  While at AB, Tim also worked on several high-profile Super Bowl campaigns.

Finally, Tim assisted in the management of Bud Light’s $100 million creative, production and talent budget. He helped produce concepts such as “Swear Jar” and the Bud Light “Dude” as viral campaigns. Finally, he spearheaded online distribution of AB’s Super Bowl commercials before any other sponsor.

Eilis O’Brien

Director of Communication and Marketing, University College Dublin

Eilis O’Brien is Director of Communication and Marketing at University College Dublin, Ireland’s largest university.  Her career spans the private and public sectors across energy, finance, food, health, Government and higher education.  Her communication specialism is in risk communication and she has handled fatal gas explosions, strikes and public protests, epidemics and food poisoning outbreaks.

Throughout her career, Eilis has spear-headed corporate communication, setting up the function for Bord Gáis Eireann, the national natural gas corporation inIreland, and again for the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, the first such body set up inEurope.  She has a strong background in public relations and political communication at national level.

Eilis has extensive national and international media relations experience.  Her marketing experience ranges from national TV advertising to public health strategies to international reputation campaigns.  She has developed the brand for a number of national organisations, including University College Dublin.

Her primary degree is in Economics and Geography and she also holds an MBA.

Travis Brock

Director of Business Development, Educational Marketing Group

Travis has more than ten years of marketing, communications, and research experience in the higher education arena. He currently writes and edits our blog and eNewsletter, EMG’s Brand Bounce, as well as updates and manages EMG’s interactive social media presence. As EMG 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 2012 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 February 4, 2013. Public voting of the three finalists will take place until Friday February 15, 2013, so be sure to check back and vote! The 2012 International Brand Master Award winner will be announced the week of February 25.

Jason Cook

Vice President for Marketing & Communications, Texas A&M University

Jason has successfully positioned Texas A&M University to be a top brand during a year of historic transition for the institution, both academically and athletically. He has demonstrated countless times throughout 2012 his expertise in brand communications and marketing by carefully positioning and growing the university’s brand. These efforts have made Texas A&M one of the hottest collegiate brands in the U.S. by creating opportunities to share the Texas A&M story with new audiences.

Gretchen Edwards

Assistant Director of Digital Engagement, Wake Forest University

She has led the development and succeeded in using social media in a variety of creative ways to further the brand of Wake Forest University throughout the year. She fosters and supports alumni advocacy and engagement at Wake Forest University through social media and emerging electronic tools. She pursues opportunities that provide the foundation for a technology-focused career centered on improving the user experience. Gretchen is passionate about emerging web technologies, instructional design, and connecting people in new ways.

Mary Beth Fenlaw

Director of Marketing, New York University, the Steinhardt School

Mary Beth is a dedicated higher education professional with 10+ years of experience. She transformed Steinhardt’s brand image into the most solid campaign at NYU. Steinhardt’s visual identity is of huge importance to her. She’s made templates for Steinhardt materials available online. She understands the power of good photography, and allocates a portion of each year’s budget to photo shoots. Her hard work recently earned her a promotion.

Barbara Keesler

Media Buyer, Educational Testing Services

Barbara oversees numerous high profile brands for ETS including TOEFL, GRE and many, many more. She uses multiple channels to build the ETS brand via print, electronic media, etc. She has a keen understanding of her company, their brands and how they fit in the higher education field. Deserving of strong consideration for this recognition, thanks.

John Kerr

Associate Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Florida State College at Jacksonville

His leadership in advancing development of the Florida State College at Jacksonville brand proved crucial during the most difficult news cycle in school history. His work rises above the negative publicity the College has received during the last year.  And he has proven to College leadership that marketing within social media can be the change in public perception that was most needed.

Daniel Koffler

President, REBA Schools

Daniel has been involved in educational branding, marketing and business development for the past 7+ years. In his current role, as President of REBA Schools (www.rebaschools.org), he has developed a brand identity that did not exist until only recently, and in doing so impacted the special education market with greater awareness of options for K12 education in New York City, including the name, identity package, website, social media presence, and a variety of grass roots accomplishments.

Jennifer Mullen Collins

Assistant Vice President for Marketing & Communications, Old Dominion University

Jennifer took a university that not only had no brand and no singular, marketable identity, but was resistant to the idea of marketing and branding and created campus-wide buy-in into a strong, recognized brand. She continues to grow the University’s brand and to champion the importance of strategic marketing and communications with campus leadership and communications practitioners across the academic and administrative sides of the University.

Justin Roy

Vice President of Communications & Marketing, William Peace University

Justin is a forward-thinking, incredibly industrious employee who accomplishes a great deal under tight deadlines no matter the circumstances. As an innovative multitasker, he assumes significant responsibilities for major branding projects that would typically take three or more people to accomplish under the same deadline and provide similar quality. Where others see branding challenges, Justin views them as possible opportunities that he can achieve while remaining under budget and on time.

Roxanne Stockwell

Managing Director, Pearson College

Roxanne is the leading force in not only envisioning but establishing the first FTSE 100 company directly delivering undergraduate degrees in the United Kingdom: Pearson College. Articles that illustrate her work include one from EContent and New York Times. She was able to attract 40 students, based on communication/collaboration skills willing to risk their futures on a university with no traditions, no alumni network and no established reputation. She utilized existing and recognized Pearson publishing company’s brand as an asset for initial awareness.

Marian Theobald

Director, Marketing and Communications, The University of Sydney

She constantly reminds everyone on what branding is about on The University of Sydney website here and here which includes useful links to more resources and include most-asked questions about the brand, guidelines, tone of voice, editorial style, and marketing strategy. An important resource when it comes to driving the institution forward cohesively. Marian presents an overwhelmingly positive impression of The University of Sydney through print publicationsmultimediaTwitter, FacebookLinkedIn and other marketing opportunities.

Tom Voller-Berdan

Director of Admissions Marketing, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University

He brought a football field to the middle of a lake, delivered a taste of our Benedictine hospitality to the front door of 200 prospective students, allowed our presence at the Minnesota National College Fair to, quite literally, rise above the rest, and designed a Facebook profile campaign that was seen by thousands, if not millions. It’s not hard to think outside the box when no boxes exist. His marketing style represents a “sky’s the limit…and then some” approach that engages prospective students.

Marcus Whitt

Associate Vice President for Public Relations, Eastern Kentucky University

As state budgets tighten for public institutions, at Eastern Kentucky University Marc Whitt’s promotion of regional stewardship initiatives in educational, economic and cultural arenas both elevates the university’s brand and leverages resources for the university and its communities. His superb relationships with local and regional media and mastery of social media channels generate multipoint, spontaneous, ground-up promotion of the EKU brand with substantial public relations value.

Alaina Wiens

Social Media Director, University of Michigan-Flint

There are many reasons Alaina should receive this top recognition. Those reasons are not limited to what she does everyday for the University of Michigan-Flint, but also what she does everyday as an impassioned champion for the entire higher ed web community. She has become a trusted ally to colleagues around the country and around the world who likewise seek to “lift all ships” with their expertise, actions, and results – which speak loudest of all.

David Willows

Director of External Relations, International School of Brussels

David and his team have now successfully led a full re-branding at te International School of Brussels (ISB). Marketing and communications is no longer considered an ‘add on’ to the business of learning, but a critical component and means of communicating a learning vision to all stakeholders. Through this time record enrolment has been achieved, year on year, and ISB today is recognizing as a ‘school of the future’ (NAIS report 2010) and a brand leader in international education.

Mark Woodland

Vice President of Marketing, Chapman University

Prior to Mark’s arrival at Chapman, there was not a mechanism in place for Chapman to control it’s brand. Mark Woodland stepped into this role in 2010 and since that time has assured brand standards and consistency. He has worked diligently to create Chapman’s messaging, guidelines & policy (in most cases, from scratch). Under his leadership, the University has also updated the website, social media, logo, e-blast & powerpoint templates, business cards, letterhead, envelopes, and so on.