JCCC Brand: Tired, Dusty

Last week, on of my posts about JCCC’s rebranding process featured an email thread between Julie Haas, associate vice president of Marketing Communications, and an employee.

In one those emails, Haas attached a document saying she hoped it would give the employee more clarification on the rebranding.

Unfortunately one of the characteristics of the college’s electronic mail server, Infolist, is that it strips attachments from emails.

Haas has supplied the email attachment, “rebranding — trustee retreat handout”

Reinvigorating JCCC’s Brand Identity and Reputation

Purpose

JCCC’s brand identity includes its sunflower logo, which dates from 1969 (an attempt to update its typeface was made in 2009) and the Cavalier. However, a college’s “brand” is more than just its logo.It can also be defined as describing a stakeholder’s experience or impression of the institution. JCCC stakeholders include students, faculty and staff, trustees, local employers and employees, community members, taxpayers, civic leaders, legislators and local elected officials, donors and supporters, audience members and museum patrons.

Over the years, the elements of JCCC’s brand have grown tired and dusty. It’s time to take a new look at the college’s brand to determine how well it reflects the current – and future – college experience. If it is no longer an accurate representation of what JCCC means to and does for its stakeholders, then it’s time the branding was updated and refined. We would not be the first school to do this; you can see how the Jayhawk logo changed with time at http://bit.ly/ljms3z [URL shortened by editor]. The typeface used for KU has changed as well, from blocky letters to today’s elegant serif type. Our logo could be updated and the overall brand experienced defined for the institution as a whole.

We also need to consider whether we want to continue the separate identity for the college’s Center for Business and Technology, which dates from 2000. This doesn’t mean that we would stop offering those classes and services, but instead of branding them separately, we could incorporate them into the college’s identity. The separation of identities for credit and noncredit offerings (much less the Foundation, the Performing Arts Series and the Nerman Museum) may very well contribute to the comments we hear about JCCC being the county’s “best kept secret.” People often don’t realize all the things we offer. This may very well be because we offer them under different names and brands using different messages. Were we to consolidate, we should be able to do a much better job of delivering an effective, consistent, comprehensive message about the college as a whole.

This is a good time to invest in branding and identity research. We need to improve our understanding of our stakeholders to determine the changes we need to make to our marketing for a new audience. Otherwise, our market position won’t change. When the economy rebounds, we won’t see the increases in enrollment we do now. Yet we’ll still want to fund the college at at least the current levels of enrollment. Now is the time to prepare.

Therefore, JCCC is seeking assistance with the process of developing an updated, revitalized brand for the college. This rebranding effort will encompass research, design consultation, training and implementation and will likely affect brand identity (including logo), messaging, colors, publication and advertising design, stationery design, and signage, among other needs. The results would be used consistently for the college’s credit and noncredit branches, recruitment and engagement efforts, athletics program and possibly the Foundation, Performing Arts Series and the Nerman Museum.

Tasks

We are asking a consultant to help us with the following tasks:

  • Help JCCC determine stakeholders’ perceptions of the college; how competitors brand other colleges; how JCCC’s current branding efforts are delivered visually, verbally and behaviorally; current brand strengths and weaknesses; and how its branding efforts could be more effective.
  • Using the results of the research, make recommendations regarding a new or updated brand for JCCC, which may include logo, tagline, colors, position, messages, standards, design, signage and implementation strategy.
  •  Advise JCCC’s Marketing Communications staff in the creation of a new or updated brand for the college that can be use consistently across all areas. More than one solution may be developed and tested to determine which is most effective.
  • Help develop a communication plan and deliver training for college faculty, staff and students in understanding branding and abiding by brand standards.
  • Provide consultation for the launch and implementation of the new or updated brand strategies.

JCCC’s Marketing Communications and Institutional Research staff will also contribute to this effort, so the consultants don’t duplicate what the college is able to provide.

Rebranding steering committee

JCCC’s rebranding effort will be overseen by a college-wide committee:

Marketing Communications: Julie Haas, Christy McWard, Terri Marshall
Instruction: Stephanie Sabato, Jeff Anderson, Jason Kovac, Pamela Hulen, Vince Miller
Continuing Education: Karen Martley, Debbie Rulo
Student Services: Pete Belk
Learner Engagement: Pam Vassar
Administrative Services: Chris Worthington, Steve Rhodes
Foundation: Kate Allen
Information Services: Del Lovitt
Facilities: Robyn Albano
Athletics: Tyler Cundith
IR: Natalie Beyers
PAS: Emily Behrmann
NMOCA: Kent Smith
Diversity: Carmaletta Williams
Students (to be added): Current JCCC and current high school
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So what do you think? Does the document answer your questions or raised even more? What do you think of the composition of the committee?

Has JCCC’s brand become tired and dusty? What about the title of the document “Reinvigorating JCCC’s Brand Identity and Reputation”? Is this rebranding process an attempt to restore JCCC’s reputation? What is that reputation and can it be repaired?

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