While we invite prospective clients to choose services separately, our favorite projects take an institution through a comprehensive process of brand development and implementation that includes research, strategy, and creative execution. If your institution is committed to seeing real change, the value of investing in a comprehensive brand project is immense. A heightened sense of loyalty and school spirit among current students, an increase in prospective students who are knowledgeable about your institutional culture, and renewed commitment to institutional priorities from alumni and friends are some of the rewards.
As tremendous as the results of brand work can be for educational institutions, our work is not intended to turn an institution around on a dime. Comprehensive brand projects require a strong commitment to a process that can span roughly 18 months.
Over a period of four to nine months, our research team devises research protocols, conducts surveys and focus groups, and collates and analyzes the data into research reports that include detailed charts and summaries of their findings. Their reports become the basis for an institutional brand strategy. Toward the end of Phase 1, NCM’s principal presents institutional brand strategy in person to key stakeholders, whose feedback is incorporated into the final brand strategy document. This process of in-person presentations is essential to building buy-in to a new direction for the institution from all internal audiences.
NCM does take on research-only projects. Clients also have the option to continue the relationship through Phase 2.
For comprehensive brand projects, NCM begins creative execution only when the brand strategy has been approved. From there, we implement the brand strategy by designing a logo and identity system that captures the institutional brand. Once the new logo is approved, we move on to print and Web work.
People who know little about brand strategy can know a lot about logos. A logo tends to be the most discussed (and agonized over) element of an updated brand image. NCM has launched many successful logos. Our designs are engaging, long-lasting expressions of brand strategy. Our processes win critical stakeholder buy-in.
Creative can mean only a logo and identity system, or it can include a comprehensive suite of print publications for admissions and advancement as well as brand implementation on the Web. Development of a new logo and graphic standards system takes from four to seven months.
A full-blown website or publications program will take longer. Generally we give you your complete school makeover in 18-20 months. While we provide all design and writing services in-house, when a creative project needs photography or video, we identify vendors and contract out the work so you don’t have to. On the Web side, we offer a complete range of services including content strategy, user experience design, Web design, programming, writing, and photography.
One of the essential elements of brand-based marketing is that it needs to be deeply embedded into the fabric of an institution. Its effectiveness hinges on how thoroughly it is incorporated into an organization. Therefore, Neustadt Creative Marketing places a high priority on process and building buy-in with internal constituencies, such as faculty, staff, students, and board members. We do not consider our work complete when we deliver a strategic report. Rather, our work includes entering into dialogue with important internal stakeholders to explain to them the strategy and help them to understand both its reasoning and its execution.