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Muhlenberg College

Rebranding for the next century

Challenge

With liberal arts colleges confronting increased scrutiny over relevance, cost, and return on investment, Muhlenberg College appointed a new president with a mandate to address myriad challenges, including:

  • Long-term sustainability of the College

  • Growing competition for high-achieving, low-need students

  • Increasing discount rate and unpredictable admissions

  • Comparatively low endowment level, alumni giving rate, and engagement

  • Rising pressure to improve ROI through career services and job placement

  • Intensifying stakeholder demands for wider national visibility and higher rankings

Process

Working in close collaboration with the incoming president and senior leadership, we embarked upon intensive three-month immersion process, including extensive qualitative and quantitative research, culminating in:

  • Repositioning and rebranding of the college, including core narrative, vision, values, voice

  • Comprehensive, historically grounded, visual identity system and iconography uniting academic, athletics, admissions, alumni communications, and merchandising

  • New recruiting strategy, including development of admissions collateral, viewbook, search pieces, website

  • Revitalized communications, media relations, and interactive strategy, including website, social media, and magazine redesign

Results

  • Admissions inquiries increased by over 25%

  • Applications increased 18%

  • Enrollment increased 8%

  • Revenue increased ~ $1.6 million per year

  • Rankings jumped seven places in USNWR

  • Press mentions up ~ 400%

  • Alumni giving participation rate increased to highest ever

  • Improved athletics performance and “school spirit”

Our work