Thursday, April 12, 2007

Brand Equiity: IIT’s branding campaign

Just when IITians from India thought they were the only ones creating a Brand equity.
Here is news from the other IIT in USA.
Brand Equiity: IIT’s branding campaign
by Abhishek Gundugurti

Yes, there have been a ton of T-shirts given out for free. Yes, banners on State Street along the MTCC have words misspelled with ‘iit’ in the middle of them. And while you may think you know what‘s going on, chances are that you don’t. Don’t worry, all of your questions will now be answered.

TechNews will give you the ‘official’ details of IIT’s latest marketing and branding campaign. These are just some of the details you will find in the brochure called ‘Brand Equiity – Building a valued relationship that lasts’. This brochure and IIT’s branding campaign is the brainchild of the Communication and Marketing (C&M) department.

Scott Dunnell (Director of Marketing), Kristine Pasto (Associate Director of Marketing) , Nancy Schoon (Art Director in charge of the visual aspects of the campaign) and Hyme Jamie BanuelosDeLaMore (a student intern who helped gather student input and feedback during the campaign’s research phase) served as team leaders/members. Rose Milkowski, IIT’s Chief Communications Officer, was kind enough to offer TechNews an interview in regards to the idea behind the campaign and the planning that went into it.

The process began a little before October 2006, and first two months included focus groups and in-depth interviews involving over 200 alumni, current students, faculty, parents, prospective students, staff and trustees. In December 2006, there was strategic planning involving the entire IIT community. In the first two months of this year, test marketing of the new branding campaign was conducted during the graduate open house sessions. In February, the C&M department worked on completing the material that would be used for both internal and external campaign branding. The official kickoff date was on March 29 and on April 2, it was launched in Chicago and revealed to the entire IIT student body through a wide range of giveaways and freebees.

The branding campaign is intended to reflect the university’s four foundation messages: An Academic experience grounded in engineering, science and technology (Curiosiity), Exceptional students with an intense work ethic (Tenaciity), Innovation and entrepreneurialism (Ingenuiity) and Chicago – a total urban experience (Ciity Life). IIT President Lewis Collens issued the charge to develop a full-fledged branding campaign for IIT based on these principles and the C&M department, which engaged more than 250 members of the university community, developed the program in eight months. Programs of this kind normally take 15 months to develop and implement.

In the official letter, which is given along with the branding campaign, Milkowski states that “This is a strong step towards enhancing the visibility of our university and building a more solid understanding of the great attributes of Illinois Institute of Technology”. It remains to been seen how well the IIT community and others from across the city (and eventually, the country) accepts this new branding campaign.

Sources: Some details mentioned in this article are from the brochure of the marketing campaign.