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Ivy Tech Community College

Brand Evolution for a Better Every Day After

True-life success stories bring value to the fore

When Ivy Tech Community College chose Williams Randall as their new ad agency in August 2021, it became clear very quickly that, rather than a total ground-up rebuild, this would be a brand evolution. To succeed, we’d need to shift Hoosiers' perceptions of an Ivy Tech degree from affordable to valuable. Another big, necessary lift: refresh the school’s enormous website with respect to navigation, organization, consistency and overall aesthetic.

To communicate the value of an Ivy Tech degree, we leveraged large-scale data and the power of real-life graduates' stories. Seeing actual Ivy Tech alumni enjoying successful post-grad careers and lives showed audiences relatable, desirable outcomes. The data proved that these stories weren't flukey outliers, but rather part of a larger and consistent narrative: Ivy Tech helps propel its grads along to achieve not just valuable degrees, but the better life such degrees make possible.

Research

The first phase of our research involved traveling the state, talking to key stakeholders on each of Ivy Tech’s campuses. We asked them to share their thoughts on the current state of the school’s brand and website, and received a wealth of valuable insights. One particular message really resonated: “Make this for everyone.” In other words, reach out to the students with more educational challenges and let them know that these positive outcomes were within their reach, too; that, whatever their educational impediments, Ivy Tech was resolved to “meet them where they’re at.”

As those internal stakeholder sessions were wrapping up, we began an extensive program of qualitative research involving numerous online focus groups. The research showed that most Hoosiers knew Ivy Tech's tuition was less expensive than most schools’, but that when it came to understanding the positive effect an Ivy Tech degree could have on the standard of their post-graduate life, awareness was significantly lower. In other words, they needed to see the educational bang they'd be getting for their tuition buck.

Campaign

We developed a fully integrated campaign featuring well-performing outcome statistics paired with photography of real Ivy Tech graduates at work everywhere in their communities, from hospitals to law firms, from architecture firms to early childhood education centers. We were even able to feature grads at impressive Indiana employers such as Eli Lilly, IU Health, Parkview Health, and more. The grads were featured in print, outdoor boards, display ads, and on the website, demonstrating the pride they took in their Ivy Tech degree …as well as the pride their alma mater took in them.

One particular message really resonated:
Make this for everyone.

In the spirit of “making this for everyone,” we developed a campaign focused on days in an Ivy Tech graduate’s life: the first day in their new career, the day of an earlier-than-expected first pay raise, or the fifth day of a weeklong paid vacation. The point: that Ivy Tech’s biggest concern for their students wasn't their graduation day, but rather every day after their graduation, when their degree or certificate would afford them access to better-paying jobs and a brighter, more secure life for them and their families. In keeping with the campaign's focus on real-life alumni success stories, these video spots featured actual Ivy Tech grads succeeding in a wide array of fields: IT, Business, Nursing, and Advanced Manufacturing/Robotics. To visually drive home the positive impact of their degrees, featured alumni were depicted in workplace and lifestyle environments, enjoying satisfying careers and quality time with partners, friends and family. Seeing the real-life Ivy Tech success stories onscreen served to lend legitimacy and weight to the campaign's message.

Website

Dovetailing with the previously mentioned research, the daunting task of refreshing Ivy Tech’s massive website was bolstered enormously by extensive surveys of and live interviews with actual site users. It illuminated the challenges facing the site: confusing navigation, duplicative content, inconsistent information and poor SEO, as well as an outdated design style, unreflective of Ivy Tech current branding. In formulating our approach, we balanced the need for fast, significant changes with the enormity of the task itself, rolling out incremental waves of site updates. Each wave contained a different substantive improvement, starting with the highest-priority fixes and proceeding all the way down the list. Today, Ivy Tech's website is a useful, user-friendly tool, full of helpful information for students, faculty and staff alike.

The largest singly-accredited community college in the county now has a brand that reflects not just where they are, but where they’re headed. Look for the Ivy Tech campaign out in the community, whether you’re watching TV, driving along I-70 or browsing the new site.

Details

  • Services
  • Strategic Planning
  • Creative Strategy
  • Project Management
  • Budgeting
  • Ad Campaign Concept & Development
  • Branding
  • Broadcast TV
  • Online Video
  • Terrestrial Radio
  • Streaming Audio
  • Online Display / Banner Ads
  • Print
  • Outdoor
  • Transit
  • Integrated Media Planning
  • Traditional & Digital Media Placement
  • Broadcast
  • Social Media
  • Print
  • Outdoor
  • Transit
  • Audio Streaming
  • Video Streaming
  • Audience Research
  • Digital Strategy
  • Website Usability Testing
  • Surveys
  • User Research
  • Information Architecture
  • Responsive Design
  • Content Strategy
  • Content Development
  • SEO
  • Custom Programming
  • CMS Buildouts
  • Hosting
  • Mobile Design
  • Campaign Performance Tracking
  • Custom Analytics Reports
  • Website Analytics
  • Client
  • Ivy Tech Community College
  • Industry
  • Education

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