NC State, North Carolina’s largest university with 36,000 students and more than $400 million in research funding, is advancing as a top tier research powerhouse. But public perceptions have not kept pace with recent surges in academic quality, funding, and impact.
An historical challenge was the underfunded, decentralized effort in marketing communications. EMG’s charge was to establish a sustained, university-wide, results-driven brand strategy.
We used surveys to quantify internal and external awareness and attitudes, and we conducted extensive interviews, listening sessions, and focus groups. We did marketplace and staffing/tactical analyses to understand the overall environment, and developed a brand architecture to address fragmentation issues. Armed with extensive data, we led a positioning retreat during which 35 senior leaders created NC State’s powerful brand platform. The process ensured leaders felt personal ownership and it quickly won buy-in from faculty, staff, and students.
The brand platform is now guiding the university-wide campaign that aggressively conveys NC State’s differentiating leadership as a premier international research enterprise.
What They Said
The depth and breadth of this research – including a strategic brand architecture exercise – exceeded campus expectations and generated a reservoir of credibility and confidence among faculty, staff, leadership, and board members.