Dixon Schwabl has worked with Roberts Wesleyan College (RWC) for nearly three decades. In 2015, in preparation for a new ad campaign, RWC undertook an in-depth market analysis to better understand the competitive landscape.
For each competitor, we looked at key consideration factors (academics, religious affiliations, tuition, size, athletic standing), marketing campaigns, websites and brand positions.
This led to new positioning for the college:
Higher education with a higher purpose.
In 2016, Roberts asked DS to create the campus viewbook, its annual publication directed to prospective students. It’s designed to showcase the college’s academics, athletics, vibrant student life and faith-based culture, while highlighting the school’s affordability and excellent career preparation.
Furthermore, Roberts was celebrating its 150th anniversary and realized it was the ideal time to refresh its brand identity. The college aimed to offer a refreshed brand that remained true to its traditional values.
Dixon Schwabl leveraged its unique understanding of the kinds of students who would be attracted to the educational experience at Roberts Wesleyan, identified as “Christian School Shopper,” “Rochester-area Liberal Arts Shopper,” “Student Athlete” and “Budget School Shopper.”
Using naturalistic photography, a clean, open layout and a reasonable (not overwhelming) amount of descriptive copy, the viewbook read more like an editorial publication than a promotional brochure. Finally, the back of the publication featured an easy-to-read infographic to simplify the finances associated with attending Roberts.
To refresh the RWC brand, we built upon knowledge of undergraduates, and sought further input from the college’s senior leadership, other students (adult, graduate) and a cross section of campus stakeholders.
Our findings led us to develop a new mark (or logo) that embodies the college’s commitment to character development, Christ-centered education, transformational learning and service.
The new brand identity was applied across all of the college’s brand touchpoints: campus signage, apparel, stationery, advertising, website and social media.
Set into a traditional shield (representing strength of purpose), the new mark incorporates four key images:
1866, the year the college was founded, signifying the college’s historical routes and time-honored values
A cross, representing Christ-centered education and commitment to spiritual formation
A flame, epitomizing transformational learning
An abstract hand (below the torch), symbolizing purposeful service
Since its release, the new viewbook has been extremely well received by all target audiences (prospective students, parents and staff). More than 10,000 copies have been printed and distributed to campus visitors.