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Frequently asked questions

...about integrated marketing at Memorial

What is integrated marketing?

An expert in educational marketing, Larry Lauer puts it well:

“A holistic approach to organizational communications, integrated marketing combines the power of marketing, advertising and public relations and involves the entire organization in communicating a consistent message.”

When all institutional marketing efforts are co-ordinated and focused, their impact is greater.

Why does Memorial need to do integrated marketing?

Memorial University has ambitious goals for the recruitment of students nationally and internationally, for fundraising from alumni, donors and companies, and for attracting research funding from external organizations, among others.

Achievement of these goals requires that the university have a comprehensive and integrated marketing program designed to reach specific audiences with a planned effort.

When there is no consistent look and feel or strategic direction guiding the presentations of Memorial to all these audiences, our image is fragmented and our messages uncoordinated.

To address this, an integrated marketing plan will be developed for Memorial in 2006. Key elements in this plan are a brand strategy and a creative strategy including a new institutional logo.

How were these strategies developed? Who was involved?

Building on work completed by a university-wide marketing working group towards the targets set in the Strategic Framework document in 2000, the university’s Division of Marketing & Communications led a process in 2004-05 to develop an integrated marketing plan — including brand positioning and strategy development — for the university as a whole.

Manifest Communications, a social marketing agency with experience in university branding, was contracted to provide strategic counsel and creative development.

Many internal and external stakeholders were consulted during this process; their input, plus additional research on Memorial’s strengths/weaknesses/ opportunities/threats and competitors, helped shape the brand and creative strategies.

What is a brand? Why is it important for Memorial to have one?

At its core, a brand is a promise, based on a set of values. Components such as logos, slogans, campaigns and promotional materials are manifestations of the promise – one that is true to who we are as an institution; unique when compared to other universities; and salient, such that our constituents will be engaged by our promise.

Our goal was to capture and express a singular, compelling idea about Memorial that will engage our audiences, enhance profile and reputation, and help advance the university’s position locally, nationally and internationally.

Memorial’s uniqueness emanates from the resourceful, tenacious, independent character and spirit of the institution, its people and the province, characterized by:

  • Ingenuity — because there’s a need
  • Exploring — because we have the opportunity
  • Solving problems — because they get in our way
  • Freedom — because we have a safe, supportive environment
  • “A culture of doing, of ability” and “striving and independence and grit,” as two stakeholders said

What is Memorial’s brand positioning?

The notion of brand positioning represents how an organization wants its constituents to see them and talk about them — how the brand is ‘positioned’ in the hearts and minds of key audiences.

The focus of our brand strategy is: Memorial provides the freedom to explore and experience your ingenuity.

Both accurate and aspirational — key requirements for brand positioning — this statement provides the focus for all institutional marketing efforts, though this exact wording does not appear in any ad or brochure.

What the positioning statement says about Memorial:

  • It’s core to how we approach learning, teaching and research
  • It’s reflected in the breadth and flexibility of our offerings
  • Our ingenuity and resourcefulness demand it
  • Our supportive and safe environment makes it possible
  • It’s true to our history, our character, our spirit as a place and a people

How is the brand positioning conveyed in an engaging way to target audiences?

To be effective, our positioning must be translated into materials and activities — ads, brochures, websites, special events, etc — that tell our brand story in a singular and compelling way.

When taking this step, we considered several possible creative concepts, identified the one that best met our needs and tested it with internal stakeholders and key audiences.

The creative concept selected uses the graphic element of silhouettes of people filled with various discipline-related images to suggest their individual interests. Juxtaposed with expansive backgrounds, these silhouettes evoke thoughts of individuality, diversity and even multiculturalism.

When tested with target audiences in Halifax, Ottawa, Corner Brook and St. John’s, the concept was understood and received positively, especially by prospective students.

The first uses of the creative concept are the Guide to First Year 2006 (cover only) and the Research Report 2006.

What are the imperatives for implementing the brand strategy?

To ensure that we continue to exemplify the brand and live it to the fullest, we need to consider a number of factors:

  • Understand the implications for how we “live” and communicate the brand
  • Focus on, and better understand, our target markets
  • Reflect the brand and positioning in all of our communications, marketing and outreach, making ingenuity inherent in these efforts
  • Understand that it is a big job to deploy the new brand across the university and into the world:
    • It happens over time
    • It requires staging
    • It demands consistency and tenacity
  • Embrace and celebrate ingenuity across the university

Why was a new logo for Memorial been developed?

A new institutional signature, or logo, was developed to communicate the university’s new brand positioning, to set Memorial apart from other universities and to signal that we are a university for 21st century explorers.

In its simplicity — the institution’s name in all caps partially embedded in a claret colour swatch — the logo is iconic and suggests many aspects of the Memorial experience: transformational, unique (particularly among Canadian universities), modern and memorable.

The logo is also relatively easy to reproduce clearly in one-colour — and full-colour applications, in quite small sizes, in many materials such as embroidery for clothing and in many formats such as for the web.

The logo was approved for use by the university’s senior executive committee in 2006.

The logo includes the words “Memorial University” only? Has the university’s name changed?

The legal name of the university remains Memorial University of Newfoundland but, like many other organizations, for purposes of simplifying communications and creating an iconic logo, we use a shortened form of the name that is commonly used.

Similar cases are the University of New Brunswick which has developed a logo around its acronym UNB, and McGill University which calls itself McGill.

This form also reflects our origins as a living war memorial and avoids the geographic reference which no longer matches that of the province. Our research shows that there is no other Memorial University.

Can we still use the coat of arms?

The ceremonial logo (comprising the university’s coat of arms and name) is used for ceremonial purposes (such as on degree parchments and Convocation programs) where its intricate elements can be reproduced accurately.

Its use is restricted to ceremonial purposes and for all other applications the new logo is used.

The use of the word 'Become' in this way is unconventional and even ungrammatical. Why has this word been chosen?

Yes, we have taken some minor liberties with the usage of the word Become, which is our slogan.

This is a word that reflects a concept that we want to embrace in all our activities — the word (like Memorial itself) opens up a lot of possibilities.

It means ‘to transform’, which is the essence of the Memorial University experience.

It is an invitation to people – students, faculty, staff, alumni, prospective students and employees, and others — to be transformed, to develop their innate ingenuity and abilities, though their involvement with Memorial University.

We have taken some creative license, since it is a slogan, and culturally does not necessarily need to conform to strict rules. Most slogans are, in fact, fragments, ideas, concepts, such as:

  • Dal: 'Inspiring minds' (double entendre, but more of an expression of what they believe)
  • York: 'Redefine the possible' (awkward in normal English usage; it’s acceptable as a short statement about their beliefs)
  • Macintosh: 'Think different'. (should be Think differently (adverb modifying verb ‘think’) but they wanted the slogan to reflect their attitude).
  • Yahoo!: Do you Yahoo? (turning a noun ‘yahoo’ into a verb, ‘to yahoo’).

Also, we can use the word/concept in multiple ways for multiple purposes:

  • Become a nurse (or other professional);
  • Come. Become. (to prospective students);
  • The place where people and ideas become.

Our unique and consistent usage of the word/concept will allow us to “own” it and by our actions we will imbue it with special meaning.

How can I get advice on adopting the brand within my unit?

Marketing & Communications will be pleased to meet with university units to discuss their marketing needs and how our office can assist.