When you’re asked: “What school do you go to?” wouldn’t it be nice to say “I go to Queens” without having to add “University of Charlotte” just to avoid confusion.
With the school’s new marketing strategy, that dream may one day become a reality.
Be prepared to notice some pretty big changes around campus as Queens transitions into its new marketing strategy. “Vibrant,” “inspired,” “prestigious” are just a few words the university hopes will be associated with Queens following this transformation.
Associate Vice President of Marketing and Community Relations Jennifer Johnson has been leading this project for the past two years. This new visual marketing strategy’s objective is to not only raise awareness of this small school, but to also provide clarity about what is special about Queens.
Johnson declined to give specifics on the costs associated with the rebranding, only saying that the project was “fiscally responsible.” Johnson did say, though, that the rebranding’s implementation will stretch out over 6 months – and two fiscal years – allowing the project’s costs to be split into two separate years’ budgets.
While Queens’ motto – Non ministrari sed ministrare – and its mission, vision and values will all stay the same, a lot of other changes are being made, Johnson said.
The goal was to create a Queens brand that was equal parts authentic, differentiated and compelling, she said.
After a 24-month research phase, including extensive market surveys up and down the East Coast, various focus groups and a partnership with a branding agency, Queens created its game plan.
The first step began by creating one consistent definition of what makes Queens special and what aspects would make Queens stand out from other schools. The university created the following description, with key words bolded: “Queens draws on its dynamic Charlotte location to create an intentionally balanced learning experience to develop enlightened and productive leaders.”
The emphasis on Queens’ Charlotte location will be used to highlight how the school’s location heightens every opportunity provided for students, Johnson said, adding that “intentionally balanced” is a term created to help explain the “best of both worlds “experience Queens provides for its students.
“It’s already pretty special that 100 percent of our undergrad students complete internships… but a lot of schools do internships,” said Johnson. “When you pair our internship program with the fact that we’re located in Charlotte and you can get a meaningful internship in almost any industry – it creates something special that is more compelling and interesting.”
The “intentionally balanced” aspect will be incorporated into the marketing strategy through a campaign called “Yes. And.” This strategy is designed to demonstrate that students are able to do many things at Queens and are not limited to just one.
Students can be on an athletic team as well as complete an internship. A student could be a member of the student council and actively involved in Greek life. The possibilities and opportunities students have at Queens are endless, Johnson said.The next step was to create a new Queens logo. With the current logo having been around for almost 15 years, Queens decided it was time for a change. The previous logo was created with a very masculine design in order to let people know that Queens had become a coed institution, Johnson said.
This new logo was created with two goals in mind: To raise awareness about Queens and to make the logo more clear, Johnson said.
“With a really long name and same sized letters, it [the previous logo] was incredibly hard to read,” she explained.To combat these problems, the new logo will no longer feature the “QU.” Instead, it will say “Queens.” Through repetition, this logo is intended to get people remembering Queens’ name. The logo will also only have a capital “Q” to make it easier to read. This “Q” was custom designed specifically for Queens.
With a deeper and richer blue and a lighter gold, the campaign capitalizes on the contrast between the colors, creating a look that is much more appealing to the eye, Johnson said.
The advertisements will also feature a low polygeometric design that represents the multifaceted student body of Queens. The Rex head will now represent the entire Queens community but will not be featured directly in the new logo.
The rollout and transition into this new logo will occur over a six-month period. The plan is to brand from the inside, out. The internal rollout has just begun, starting with the revealing of the new logo and campaign to faculty and students.
Gradually, every sign, name plate, and building that features the QU or previous logo will be replaced by the new logo. April 11 will mark the beginning of the external rollout, transforming Queens’ presence on the Internet, primarily the school’s websites and social media accounts. The new logo will be used at graduation this May for the Class of 2016 and will be fully incorporated before students leave for summer break.
To learn more about the new logo and marketing strategy, there will be two open forums for students on Thursday, February 11 in Rogers Science Hall room 303. The first forum will be at 4 p.m. followed by another forum at 6 p.m. Each presentation will be 30 minutes long, followed by a Q&A session. Free pizza will be provided for the first 30 students who RSVP for each timeslot. To RSVP to one of these events, email firstname.lastname@example.org.