• Understanding our unit identity strategy

    Where’s my wordmark?? It’s a question we’ve heard many variations of in the past six months, and for good reason. We realize the shift is not a small one, but it is an important part of our brand strategy. In January we led a workshop on the topic. This blog post draws from that workshop, […]
  • Evolving the brand for new audiences

    Have you seen the new Power of I media campaign that went live the first week of January? If so, you probably noticed a shift: This campaign was developed to target audiences beyond prospective students. The images below are a couple of examples of the new assets. Toward the end of 2020, our team began […]
  • A Top 10 list for 2020

    With the winter holidays right around the corner, this is the perfect time to reflect on the best parts of the past year, in spite of the challenges we’ve all faced. At UIUC we’ve had much to celebrate as a campus community. On a unit level, here are the top 10 things we’re celebrating in […]
  • Look beyond the target

    Sometimes to hit the target, you need to look beyond it. It’s a counter-intuitive concept that can have important implications for marketers and communicators. Let me share a personal example to illustrate this idea. About a year ago, my son was in the process of deciding where to attend college. For months during his senior […]
  • Using stories as powerful marketing tools

    There’s a lot of talk about “story” when it comes to marketing. Just Google it and you’ll see what I’m talking about. But using stories as part of a marketing strategy is more than a trend.  Stories are important because they allow us to connect with our audiences in ways that spark emotion. Anyone who […]
  • Tips for defining your target market

    Who are you hoping to reach with your messages? The first thoughts that come to mind are usually broad categories like “alumni,” “millennials” or “Illinois residents.” But it’s important to get even more detailed about your audience. The more clearly you define your target group, the better you can understand how – and where – […]
  • Know who you’re talking to – it's the key to everything else in marketing

    The first question a skilled marketing professional always asks is “Who are the specific people you want to reach with your message?” Defining a target market has to be the first focus, because it serves as the foundation of all elements in a marketing strategy.  Of course, the university has multiple audiences, and so do […]
  • Developing a brand is about so much more

    So much more than what? So much more than whatever first comes to mind when we think of a brand. It’s more than a logo or wordmark (although we have them, and they’re important!), and more than using the official Illini Orange and approved family of fonts. A brand is even so much more than adopting […]