De Montfort University: collective benefits

“Thank you for all your work on the branding project. It wouldn’t have been half as successful without your expertise and patience.”

Kerry Law, Director of Marketing & Recruitment Support, De Montfort University

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Context: Each of the faculties at De Montfort University (DMU) has a responsibility to optimise their UK student numbers and maximise their international student numbers.

As a result, each faculty set about identifying what made them a more attractive study option than their closest competitor, cascading down to schools and individual courses. 

For the commercially minded, this sounds like a dream approach to Higher Education and the success of DMU.

However, there were some unfortunate side effects. On the one hand, DMU’s overall proposition was getting lost, and on the other, a ‘silo’ mentality was developing along faculty lines.

The requirement: Our challenge was two-fold. Firstly, we had to find a way to unify the communication so that it contributed to the awareness and perception of DMU, while allowing the faculties to express their competitive advantage. Secondly, and more importantly, we had to find a way to break down the ‘silo’ culture and increase recognition of DMU as a whole, encouraging interaction. 

The outputs: Fortunately, we were able to harness the research required to resolve the first issue to achieve the second.

Interviews were conducted with each faculty along with the Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean. Focus groups were conducted with influencers within the academic and support communities in each of the faculties.

In each case, a theory was presented, debated and evolved as to how mutual benefit could be gained by being seen as part of the larger DMU whole.

Analysis of the findings allowed Glued to develop solutions for all those involved. These were published in a set of faculty and DMU guidelines, founding the proposition for each faculty within the vision and values for the University. Textual and visual mechanisms varied the ratio of DMU and faculty branding on each communication to hit the right balance of faculty / DMU impact.

The results: A greater unity of purpose was forged across the University, increasing interaction and collaboration between the schools and fostering an improved sense of pride in DMU.

The University and faculties were resourced with guidelines, messaging and graphical elements to produce all the communications and marketing tools necessary for shaping student perceptions, raising awareness and generating enquiries and leads.

Perhaps most significantly, DMU now had the foundation to move to the next level in their ambitions, unified to deliver an improved student experience and proud to promote what they had to offer to prospective students.

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