How do you sell the value of a liberal arts degree in a jobs-focused economy?
Like many institutions post-recession, Gardner-Webb was grappling with a period of steady enrollment decline, converting only 17% of traditional undergraduate admitted students.
Recognizing The Challenges
Gardner-Webb was experiencing increased competition for a shrinking number of qualified high school graduates, while struggling to combat the misperception that a liberal arts degree is somehow less valuable in a jobs-focused economy.
A Great Brand is a Great Story
Gardner-Webb engaged VisionPoint to rebrand the University and reinvigorate its enrollment marketing strategy. The key would be to distill the unique attributes and differentiators that set Gardner-Webb apart into a clear brand identity, and then communicate that brand promise in compelling ways.
Igniting Cultural Change
By carving out a market position Gardner-Webb can truly “own,” the new brand has revitalized the University’s internal marketing efforts and served as a catalyst for cultural change at almost every level of the University.
Students Who Truly Fit
Prospective students now understand who Gardner-Webb really is and what the University stands for, making it easier to discern the University’s brand promise and decide if it aligns with their desired educational experience.
A Brand-Driven Enrollment Marketing Strategy
The crux of our strategy was a hypothesis that most tuition-driven institutions consider too risky to try: that targeting fewer students could actually lead to higher enrollment. Gardner-Webb would stop trying to be all things to all people. Instead, the University would simply and confidently, be itself.
Higher Enrollment of a Smaller Universe
For Gardner-Webb, the investment into a narrowly targeted, brand-driven enrollment marketing strategy brought a huge and immediate return.