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Attracting students with a bold brand identity refresh

University of Toronto Mississauga Master of Management & Professional Accounting
University of Toronto Mississauga Master of Management & Professional Accounting
How does Hyphen rapidly launch an innovative brand identity refresh?

At the University of Toronto Mississauga MMPA program, we won over decision-makers with data-driven insights, rapid iteration and an eyes-on-the-prize mentality.

 

Objective:
Attract ideal student candidates with a bold design refresh

Background

In 2019, we were presented with a challenge: to help the University of Toronto Mississauga Master of Management & Professional Accounting (MMPA) program enhance its student recruitment efforts by refreshing its brand identity.

Undaunted by existing brand guidelines, legacy designs and a slow-moving bureaucracy, we jumped right in to help the MMPA team roll out a refreshed brand within just 3 months.

Impact
  1. Strategic guidance on aligning branding & recruitment efforts
  2. A refreshed MMPA brand identity & value proposition statements that appeal to ideal student recruits
  3. A unique MMPA microsite suitable specifically for student recruitment efforts
  4. A model for further dynamic branding work at U of T Mississauga’s Institute for Management & Innovation
Deliverables
  • Brand discovery – analysis of existing brand & environment
  • Brand articulation – value proposition & tagline development
  • Brand identity refresh – brand mark & elements design, brand guidelines
  • Recruitment collateral design & copywriting – brochure, banners, swag
  • Student recruitment microsite – design, development, copywriting, monthly technical maintenance & content marketing support

We create custom company brand guides to help everyone within the organization easily understand and implement the brand.

Insight 1
Impactful brands are built on strategic insights

The success of creative work is driven by strategic insights aligned with organizational objectives.

This requires starting with discovery and analysis to frame creative work within the right context.

We started by analyzing recruitment data and speaking with students and alumni to understand their decision-making journey when choosing the MMPA program.

 

 

Student insights paired with input from stakeholders allowed us to develop a robust, creative, data-driven strategy for connecting with the ideal student recruits.

We spoke with MMPA students & alumni to understand their WHY behind choosing the program.

Insight 2
Agile design work requires rapid iteration

There was no big reveal at the end of the design process for the MMPA brand identity refresh.

Instead, we facilitated rapid iteration and secured approvals from the U of T Mississauga team on an ongoing basis while maintaining momentum with clear deadlines for feedback.

The final brand outcome was a success because everyone was on board and involved at every step.

ARTICLeHow to Roll Out a Bold Design in a Legacy Environment

How many different creative treatments can you spot?

If you counted 6 creative options, you're right! At Hyphen, we don't limit how many brand creative options we present. Comparing & finding the one that excites everyone and just 'fits' is part science & part artform.

Insight 3
Respecting creative limits is key to successful innovation

Pushing creative boundaries can help break through in a noisy market like the post-secondary student recruitment space, yet some things can be off limits.

Legacy organizations can have established design elements that are central to their identity and must be respected.

We engaged with the University of Toronto executive creative director from the get-go, which helped us identify the design space open for innovation while respecting institutional guardrails.

A student-specific microsite that answers all the questions that prospective MMPA students have seemed like a no-brainer! For MMPA's recruitment team, it helps with the student experience & saves time when speaking with students.

Designed, built & launched in just 3 weeks! Customizing an existing WordPress template helped achieve a quicker launch with a smaller budget.

Recruitment teams try to stand out & appeal to their ideal student recruits at post-secondary recruitment fairs.

MMPA's refreshed brand identity sets it apart from its competitors with a bold approach, just like the type of students MMPA attracts.

Working with Hyphen Co. has been such a great experience. Their knowledge and design ideas have helped our program step into the future with our new branding initiatives. Having worked with all the team members, I can say with confidence, they are all very responsive and willing to assist with anything.

Bianca Gaspini
Bianca Gaspini
Recruitment & Marketing Officer, MMPA, University of Toronto Mississauga

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