Pennsylvania State Seeks Branding Agency
West Chester University is seeking an agency to be a true partner as the University moves forward with a full rebrand. As recruitment goals evolve to include more out-of-state students and greater brand awareness in the I-95 corridor (specifically Washington, D.C. to the New York City metro area), our goal for this branding exercise is to create a main University brand with additional sub-brands for undergraduate, graduate, online, and Philadelphia admissions. We anticipate engagement of community stakeholders including, but not limited to: current middle and high school students and their parents, high school guidance counselors, current undergraduate students and their parents, current out-of-state and international undergraduate students and graduate students, current graduate students, alumni from both undergraduate and graduate programs, local and regional employers, non-alumni donors, community leaders, faculty, staff, and the marketing committee.
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (State System) was established by statute on July 1, 1983, and comprises 14 universities. The State System serves about 105,000 students, making it the largest provider of higher education in Pennsylvania. It also employs more than 12,000 faculty and staff, making it one of the largest employers in the Commonwealth.
West Chester University (WCU or the University) was founded in 1871 and is the flagship University of the State System. Over the last several years, the University has experiences unprecedented growth and currently serves more than 17,000 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The University offers more than 180 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including four doctoral programs, in a variety of delivery methods including in-class, online, and through a hybrid delivery model.
WCU students are taught in-class on main campus, at the Graduate Center (as a separate West Chester-based location), and in Philadelphia.
In accordance with Title 62, Commonwealth Procurement Code, the State System facilitates a competitive bidding and contracting process. The Office of the Chancellor’s Strategic Sourcing Office supports the 14 universities and the Dixon University Center, and is responsible for identifying strategic contracting opportunities and establishing best value contracts in partnership with its Offerors.
Scope of Work:
Phase 1: Discovery and Research
Information gathered during this phase of the project will inform development of strategic framework and creative execution, and would include:
- Assessment and review of current (and previous) brand messaging and assets, including SWOT analysis, distinguishing characteristics, positioning, messaging and creative
- Development, recommendation and deployment of specific research tools and tactics, whether qualitative or quantitative, needed to gain additional strategic insights
- Interaction with key project stakeholders, both internal and external, (i.e. faculty, staff, prospective and current students and their families, alumni, administrators, trustees, business and community leaders)
- Analysis of findings and recommendations for branding and marketing
- Competitive analysis of peer institutions
Phase 2: Development of Strategic Framework and Creative Concepts
- Development of an integrated creative strategy that should bring the positioning to life, effectively represent the school, and differentiate West Chester University (WCU) from its competition including:
o Overall positioning to include naming conventions, logo design, brand identity standards/guidelines/systems to be used across all messaging formats
o Brand promise
o Design approach
o Use of photography
o A new tagline–if deemed appropriate
o New logos-if deemed appropriate
o Color palette
o Development of strategy to gain organizational consensus for the brand’s position
o Testing of brand concepts among key audiences
- Provide a detailed report on research/data/findings, final recommendations and an executive summary
- Develop comprehensive creative brief and roadmap for creative implementation
- Present three brand concepts
- Develop and present mockups based on brand concepts (sample headlines and advertising copy, web/landing pages, out of home, print collateral)
- Provide university-wide brand rollout plan
- Provide brand platform standards guide in an editable format
- Deliver a series of on-campus presentations to project stakeholders
- Deliver on-campus training workshops for externally facing offices (admissions, marketing, communications) and other offices and positions that will support the brand (IT, digital media managers, etc.)
Phase 3: Development and Implementation of External Communications Campaign
- Integration of both online and offline strategies for key audiences including (but not limited to):
o Prospective traditional age, undergraduate students and their parents
o Prospective graduate and professional students
o Prospective continuing studies students
o Prospective online students
o International students
o Alumni & donors
o Local and regional business/civic communities
- Possible development and production of print, Web, digital, outdoor, television, radio, etc. in a timely and cost effective manner as dictated by the plan.
- The possible development and production of publications, including brochures, viewbook, acceptance packets, yield, anti-melt and other direct mail pieces, etc. Included in this work is the development of a continuum of communication activities throughout the admissions cycle.
- Recommendation and possible development of more progressive online strategies, including Internet marketing and electronic communications.
- Development of campaign/branding extensions; innovative ideas and recommendations that extend the campaign through all of WCU communications and audience interactions including public relations, community events and outreach, merchandising, on-campus presence, Web presence, and internal communications roll-out strategy—how to introduce, build excitement and engage all stakeholders around the campaign.
- Design and content updates to reflect the new creative strategy for all forward-facing portions of the web site meant to market to prospects.
- Establish benchmarks and assist with developing a program to track the effectiveness
West Chester University
201 Carter Drive, Suite 200
West Chester, PA 19383
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