Butler brand hunts “new look”

KARL AGGER | STAFF REPORTER

After almost a year of preparation, Butler University is getting ready to roll out its new brand.

Individuals discussed the details of the rollout at a series of town hall meetings last week.

The Strategic Marketing Board led the initiative with assistance from Enrollment Management, Information Technology and the six academic colleges.

The university hired 160over90, a branding agency based in Philadelphia, to do a comprehensive redesign of Butler’s visual brand.

Students, faculty, parents and alumni shared their opinions on the project through surveys, focus groups and meetings over the past six months.

“We really appreciate all the input and engagement from the students over the last year to help us get to the point we are today,” said Matt Mindrum, vice president for marketing. “I think the student audience was as engaged as any audience.”

One of the most discussed items at the meetings included the redesign of Butler’s visual identity.

The Butler wordmark, which appears on all official documents, received a more modern-looking appearance, while still maintaining a collegiate style.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 8.04.59 PM

One example of a change in Butler’s brand.

Likewise, Mindrum said, the Bulldog logo, the most recognizable symbol of Butler University, is going to see increased use beyond in athletic context.

Going forward, the new visual identity is expected to last for the next 10 to 15 years.

The first test for the new brand came in December with the launch of the Never Settle Campaign, targeted at admitted students.

With high school students nationwide applying to more and more colleges, it has become increasingly important for colleges to sell themselves, even post-acceptance.

The Never Settle Campaign reflects a shift of strategy with that fact in mind.

As part of this campaign, admitted students received a special YouTube video starring Butler’s mascot Butler Blue III, also known as Trip, as well as personal outreach from counselors.

The Never Settle Campaign places greater emphasis on “outcomes” by highlighting student success stories from each individual college.

The results so far, Mindrum said, seem promising. The office of enrollment management recently reported an increase of enrollment deposits compared to the previous academic year.

Marketing has conceived a new advertising campaign and will oversee its inception over the next few months. For example, Mindrum said, around 25 billboards are set to be put up along highways throughout central Indiana.

Additionally, print advertisements targeting the parents of prospective students will appear in several magazine publications.

Targeted digital advertising, an increasingly important public relations avenue, will aim toward prospective and admitted students in Indiana and the Chicago area.

Lastly, Butler’s website will receive a complete overhaul. Mindrum said every single web page on the site will be redesigned.

The process will take several months and during the transition, there is likely to be a mix of old and new-style web pages.

Butler hopes to attract new students with an updated look.

Butler officials hopes to attract new students with an updated look.

The new website will also be more intuitive when accessed by a smartphone or tablet.

Though all of these changes are meant to spread Butler’s image to an outside audience, Mindrum said these changes affect current Butler students as well.

“From a real long-term perspective, the value of one’s degree never stops changing,” he said. “As a university becomes more and more prominent and has a better reputation, the value of your degree that you earned in the past continues to go up.”

The bottom line for Mindrum, though, is to share the “Butler Way” with prospective students.

“I am really excited about the story we have to tell and the reason the story we have to tell is so great is because of what our students do every day.”

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