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Renea Morris

Renea Morris

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Whether demonstrating newly learned skills or simply showing off, “look at me,” is a phrase children use often. Though I don’t think individuals outgrow the desire to be seen and understood, I’ve often seen higher education institutions shy away from the spotlight and even boast about their best-kept secrets. This attitude is not conducive to increasing brand visibility and recognition, which is something DU desires to achieve.

Instead of maintaining a low profile, DU has partnered with Carnegie Dartlet, a leading reputation strategy firm and since June has been working on a series of strategies—including research into DU’s personality and brand perception, an analysis of several competitors, and the development of a university-wide marketing plan in order to become better positioned to compete in the marketplace.

Carnegie Dartlet uses a consensus-building approach that focuses on promoting communication clarity and alignment for the institution. Their original methodology goes beyond the basics of client identification or demographics by using psychographics to determine what really motivates our prospects. The difference this strategic method can make in our marketing strategy is profound. An example in business to illustrate this distinction can be found by looking at the marketing strategy for a restaurant that sells pizza. Demographics will help with establishing profiles about the people who live near the restaurant, whereas psychographics will help with determining the types of pizza people want and the best ways to encourage them to become enthusiastic buyers.

The project, which started in June and will continue into late fall, will yield a series of data-driven deliverables that will give the University insight into how to leverage our strengths, an understanding of how we stack up against our competitive peers, and a coherent brand platform and messaging strategy that will resonate with our prospective audiences.

Recruiting future students, faculty, and staff to DU will be aided by our investment now to shape DU’s focus for years to come.

With an ultimate goal to have future students, staff, and faculty “look at DU” as a strong brand that delivers value, Carnegie Dartlet will show us how to develop long-lasting connections with our audiences.

Future posts will highlight each phase and intended outcomes of the project.