Davidson College

Challenge

Davidson College

Challenge

Davidson College has grown from a ‘best kept secret’ into a globally recognized, elite liberal arts school. The College sought to take a fresh look at its brand and creative platform to keep the momentum going, especially in northeastern markets of opportunity. Finch Brands led the process – the most significant research, strategy, and design engagement in Davidson’s history.

While in a strong position, the College sought to understand the basis of its appeal and develop a message/look that highlighted its distinctive characteristics. From there, we developed an integrated campaign across touch points to appeal to all target audiences across the Admissions, Development, Alumni Relations, Talent Acquisition, Athletics, and general workflows.

Process

  • Secondary Research
  • IDIs & Focus Groups
  • Quantitate Research
  • Brand Strategy
  • Brand Narrative
  • Target Profiles
  • Communication Plan
  • Creative Guidelines
  • Creative Execution
  • Video

How We Got There

The process led us to an emphatic conclusion – that Davidson has an opportunity to go beyond its liberal arts ‘species’ and into more distinctive messaging territories.

The center of this – which the data suggested prospective students desire and Davidson delivers – is a focus on the College’s uniquely supportive community and the relationships to which it leads. The Davidson DNA – ‘smart, driven, and kind’ – forms the basis of these relationships and a new brand development approach.

Positioning Statement

Brand Ladder

Brands are built from the bottom up.

Primary Research

College Choice – The ideal college is all about community

Brand DNA

DNA refers to the inherent elements and attributes that drive our brand. Within a brand's DNA lies its differentiation.

The Campaign

Campaign Guidelines

With the campaign idea in place and many College stakeholders primed to deploy, we built a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure power and consistency.
With the campaign idea in place and many College stakeholders primed to deploy, we built a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure power and consistency.
With the campaign idea in place and many College stakeholders primed to deploy, we built a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure power and consistency.
With the campaign idea in place and many College stakeholders primed to deploy, we built a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure power and consistency.
With the campaign idea in place and many College stakeholders primed to deploy, we built a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure power and consistency.
With the campaign idea in place and many College stakeholders primed to deploy, we built a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure power and consistency.
With the campaign idea in place and many College stakeholders primed to deploy, we built a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure power and consistency.
With the campaign idea in place and many College stakeholders primed to deploy, we built a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure power and consistency.
With the campaign idea in place and many College stakeholders primed to deploy, we built a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure power and consistency.
With the campaign idea in place and many College stakeholders primed to deploy, we built a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure power and consistency.
With the campaign idea in place and many College stakeholders primed to deploy, we built a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure power and consistency.
With the campaign idea in place and many College stakeholders primed to deploy, we built a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure power and consistency.
With the campaign idea in place and many College stakeholders primed to deploy, we built a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure power and consistency.

View Book

The View Book, used heavily in the Admissions process, is a central communications artifact. We designed it to weave together the College’s story while highlighting – in a quick-hitting way – key facts and distinctive elements.
The View Book, used heavily in the Admissions process, is a central communications artifact. We designed it to weave together the College’s story while highlighting – in a quick-hitting way – key facts and distinctive elements.
The View Book, used heavily in the Admissions process, is a central communications artifact. We designed it to weave together the College’s story while highlighting – in a quick-hitting way – key facts and distinctive elements.
The View Book, used heavily in the Admissions process, is a central communications artifact. We designed it to weave together the College’s story while highlighting – in a quick-hitting way – key facts and distinctive elements.
The View Book, used heavily in the Admissions process, is a central communications artifact. We designed it to weave together the College’s story while highlighting – in a quick-hitting way – key facts and distinctive elements.
The View Book, used heavily in the Admissions process, is a central communications artifact. We designed it to weave together the College’s story while highlighting – in a quick-hitting way – key facts and distinctive elements.
The View Book, used heavily in the Admissions process, is a central communications artifact. We designed it to weave together the College’s story while highlighting – in a quick-hitting way – key facts and distinctive elements.
The View Book, used heavily in the Admissions process, is a central communications artifact. We designed it to weave together the College’s story while highlighting – in a quick-hitting way – key facts and distinctive elements.
The View Book, used heavily in the Admissions process, is a central communications artifact. We designed it to weave together the College’s story while highlighting – in a quick-hitting way – key facts and distinctive elements.

Ads

#DavidsonTrue is an integrated campaign – and we designed a variety of elements across possible usage types.
#DavidsonTrue is an integrated campaign – and we designed a variety of elements across possible usage types.
#DavidsonTrue is an integrated campaign – and we designed a variety of elements across possible usage types.

Alumni Fundraising Messaging Map

One key campaign use is to support fundraising with Alumni and other supporters. To help anchor the campaign for this audience, we developed a ‘Messaging Map’ to express #DavidsonTrue to this audience.
One key campaign use is to support fundraising with Alumni and other supporters. To help anchor the campaign for this audience, we developed a ‘Messaging Map’ to express #DavidsonTrue to this audience.
One key campaign use is to support fundraising with Alumni and other supporters. To help anchor the campaign for this audience, we developed a ‘Messaging Map’ to express #DavidsonTrue to this audience.
One key campaign use is to support fundraising with Alumni and other supporters. To help anchor the campaign for this audience, we developed a ‘Messaging Map’ to express #DavidsonTrue to this audience.
One key campaign use is to support fundraising with Alumni and other supporters. To help anchor the campaign for this audience, we developed a ‘Messaging Map’ to express #DavidsonTrue to this audience.
One key campaign use is to support fundraising with Alumni and other supporters. To help anchor the campaign for this audience, we developed a ‘Messaging Map’ to express #DavidsonTrue to this audience.

PowerPoint Template

As the College uses PowerPoint across key functions – from fundraising to Institutional Advancement – we developed a flexible yet consistent template to guide presentation styles.

Postcards

Davidson uses direct mail for many of its audiences – including Admissions, Development, Athletics, and other stakeholders. As such, we designed a range of postcard styles to support broad campaign use.

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