Radford University

Brand · Digital Marketing

Radford University has long been renowned for its commitment to excellence in teaching. Yet despite a rock solid reputation, high job placement rates, and affordable tuition, the university was facing a decline in yield and overall enrollment. Needing to stand out in a crowded marketplace, Radford partnered with VisionPoint to develop a new brand platform, visual identity, and enrollment campaign with the goal of ultimately boosting yield and enrollment figures.

Finding Their Voice

A deep-dive qualitative and quantitative research phase revealed, among other things, an overlap in core messaging with many of Radford’s direct competitors, signaling an opportunity to carve out a unique space in the market. During a collaborative and inclusive process — bringing the voices of over 100 stakeholders into the fold — a new brand platform was developed that centered on expressing Radford University students’ curiosity, independence, and fearlessness, combined with a close-knit and supportive environment where each student can feel seen and accepted.

Brand Guidelines Pages

A New Brand Identity

This revised brand platform was expressed via a set of Brand Pillars (the story of the university), Personality Traits (how the university expresses itself in marketing efforts), and a Positioning Statement (an abridged version of the brand story). Additionally, we developed a kinetic and flexible visual identity system that is highly unusual in higher education, yet perfect for such a unique institution.

The identity system is as strategic as it is unique, with a reason and story behind each element — the shield represents a safe haven for the students, while the mountains and arrow speak to the region as well as the spirit of exploration that runs through the fabric of this community.

Examples of the Flexible Logo System

Planning the Enrollment Campaign

Radford’s media plan encompassed channels tailored to each project goal. From Google Responsive Display and YouTube for awareness to Facebook and Instagram for lead generation, the plan targeted key demographics such as parents, influencers, in- and out-of-state high schoolers, transfer students, and feeder high schools. Optimization was continuous, ensuring maximum campaign performance.

Our campaign creative concept invited students with a bold, exploratory mindset to come be who they are within a supportive environment that encourages their sense of discovery. This concept was then visually brought to life by implementing Radford’s shield logo into student and campus photography, alongside unique student identifiers such as “figuring-it-outers” and “margin doodlers.”

Marketing Campaign Creative Examples

Historic Enrollment Results

Through this innovative new brand and enrollment campaign, Radford University has successfully revitalized its brand perception and reversed its enrollment decline, with a 4.3% increase in freshman retention marking the university’s best growth since fall 1999. The 3.47 average high school GPA for the incoming freshman class was a historic high, and the 3.9% increase in new transfer student retention was the second-highest rate in university history.

By embracing the spirit of exploration and individuality, Radford’s new brand and visual identity have resonated with prospective students and reaffirmed Radford’s commitment to fostering personal and academic growth. With a strengthened position in the higher education landscape, Radford stands poised for continued success in shaping the leaders of tomorrow.

Next Project

National Park College

CRM Consultation