DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., might not be the best known liberal arts college in America. But those who know it understand that it is an extraordinary place. Civil rights leader Vernon Jordan, Angie Hicks of Angie’s List fame, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author James B. Stewart all went to DePauw. The level of national and international visibility they have attained is astonishing. But the lives of thousands of other DePauw graduates have taken similar turns.
DePauw graduates journey from modest beginnings to remarkable careers. So what could Neustadt Creative Marketing do for DePauw? Find out after the jump.
NCM partnered with DePauw in 2010, when the University sought a wholesale revision of its brand. They wanted a new identity, a transformed online presence, and revamped admissions materials. We were happy to help.
Our process started with research. We made a comprehensive assessment of the attitudes of current and prospective students, alumni, faculty, and staff. At the same time, we implemented a robust quantitative study. Together, these methods yielded results that would ground a brand strategy and inform NCM’s positioning recommendations.
The research yielded an original message. The words surprised no one in-the-know: DePauw is a place where academic challenge and a rich social experience combine to prepare students for success. No one had said it before in quite that way. But it rang true. Alumni confirmed it in focus group after focus group. We gleaned it from the data. This was the story the creative work needed to tell.
Creative execution included a new logo and graphic standards system, an admissions logo and suite of admissions publications, an institution-wide website and virtual tour designed and built by Fastspot (read Fastspot’s DePauw case study for more on this Webby Award honoree), a redesign of the alumni magazine, and quiet-phase campaign communications. With a capital campaign underway, the relationship continues.
Three years after the brand makeover began, the results are in. DePauw’s admissions performance in 2013 showed gains in applications (up 3.5%), enrollment (up 10.7%), and net revenue (exceeded goal by $139,738). Yield improved by 1.5%. International enrollment rose 9.7% and students of color enrollment rose to 22.4% from under 20%. Middle 50% GPA and ACT scores rose as well. The fundraising story is equally positive. Alumni attitudes are positive. On-campus pride is high. NCM has helped raise the University’s profile, so more people can appreciate what a worthy and distinctive institution DePauw truly is.