If you were asked by a friend, co-worker or neighbor to describe Bentley in a word or phrase, what would you say? What are the key strengths or attributes that define Bentley and what are its points of differentiation from other colleges and universities? What areas of increased focus offer the opportunity to build Bentley an even stronger position in the marketplace?
These questions have kept a lot of people busy over the last year. The marketing team at Bentley joined with our advertising agency of record, Boathouse, and higher education research firm Simpson Scarborough to conduct a multiphase branding project.
The team started by interviewing students, faculty and staff. They then developed and conducted a quantitative survey across 11 stakeholder groups that included prospective undergraduates and their parents, corporate partners, faculty and you – alumni, families and friends of Bentley. Please know that we are very grateful to everyone who devoted time to answering the survey.
As is the case with most marketing research, the survey both confirmed some strengths we already recognize and identified some areas of opportunity. The findings also set the stage for strategic questions about what we want the Bentley brand to become and where investment is needed moving forward, to deliver on that vision.
In Phase 2 of the research, the team used insights from the survey to craft creative concepts that we tested via an online survey with many of the same stakeholders. (Again, thank you to all who participated!) That research identified a creative direction, and the project team is developing a brand identity and launch plan; Bentley trustees received an update at their May board meeting.
We plan to share key elements of the project, including research highlights, messages and brand identity, in the next edition of Observer.