Brand and Messaging, Integrated Marketing, Website Redesign
College of The Albemarle is North Carolina’s oldest community college with four campuses spread across seven mostly rural counties. When we first met, despite the college’s historic presence as a vested pillar of the Albemarle region, COA was grappling with a steady enrollment decline, fueled by a growing lack of awareness and appreciation for the transformative power of a COA education. Without a clear and compelling brand promise, the college had relied on an “all things to all people” messaging strategy for many years – an approach that wasn’t terribly reflective of the outstanding educational value COA offers to students, families and businesses throughout the college’s diverse service area.
Together with COA, VisionPoint created a compelling brand promise powerful enough to become the cornerstone of the college’s first ever brand-driven integrated marketing strategy and plan.
The brand centers around the idea of COA being a catalyst. Every COA student has a spark of potential within them. It’s the educational experience at COA, led by faculty staff who are mentors and champions, that is the catalyst for bringing that internal spark to life.
To deliver the messaging to those audiences most closely aligned with COA’s offerings, VisionPoint and COA developed a multi-channel marketing plan to nurture prospective students’ engagement with the college. At the foundation of the marketing plan are five strategies which, taken together, build top-of-mind awareness, strengthen connections with area high schools and promote COA’s transformational potential in previously underrepresented groups such as the region’s military community.
COA introduced the brand and visual identity to students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners from across the COA community during a formal brand reveal ceremony. The new messaging is elevating perception of COA’s mission and motivating target audiences to engage with the college more widely and more passionately than ever before.