Driving next-level brand strategy and narrative for UVA's Darden School of Business.
Building a unique growth strategy for educating future business leaders.
Business today is profoundly affected by globalization, regulation, accelerating technological innovation, and disruption. That's why modern leadership requires fundamentally different skills, and why future leaders are seeking different values from business than their predecessors.
Knowing this, Darden was eager to work toward a richer, more motivating enterprise positioning that met the needs of the market. Rising to the occasion with innovation, the leading business school seized the opportunity to pursue a new and highly relevant positioning that lived up to Darden’s values and commitment to its community.
Branding the purpose-driven MBA program.
Business is about value creation — the nerve center of progress and the soul of meaningful work. That's why, at Darden, students are encouraged to pursue their why — their personal challenge — to develop the modern leader within.
For Darden students, the program is all about purpose, making this MBA the one that puts your why to work. It's also the reason Darden brought us in — to help them tell this story that distinguishes them from all other MBA programs.
Making the brand stand out in a crowded room of competition.
From careers to communities, from granular transactions to GDPs, the resulting campaign told Darden's story across many channels, all in pursuit of a range of objectives:
- Band Engagement — build brand equity through paid, earned, shared, and owned channels
- Enrollment Uptick — drove enrollment through awareness, interest, and application/conversion tactics
- Funding Increase — upped donations received for capital campaign
- Reputation Polish — Further defined and solidified Darden’s reputation in the global marketplace
Moving the needle with a multi-channel media mix.
Deep content and targeted media strategies helped us create a no-waste communications mix as lean as our headlines. Extending the brand narrative across the enterprise ensured every touchpoint was a why-fueled one:
- Strengthened the lead pipeline for degree and non-degree programs
- Earned 50% year-over-year (YOY) growth of prospective class cohort
- Doubled click-through-rate (CTR) in display
- Achieved record-breaking fundraising year that shattered capital campaign goals
In short, our branding and media platform has driven for Darden a consistent increase in applications and engagement since its launch.