Truman working on a new brand

Truman State University administration expects to announce a new University brand within the next few weeks.  

Tyana Lange, vice president for enrollment management and marketing, said the date of the brand launch will be announced soon, but University administration has some details to settle before the announcement. She said the new branding is on track to do a campus wide launch the week before spring break.

Truman began its rebranding campaign in early 2019 and hired SME Marketing to help lead the project. Since then, SME and Truman have conducted various focus groups and assessed what Truman wants to articulate in its message to current and prospective students, faculty, staff and stakeholders.

Focus groups and stakeholder meetings regarding the new brand were conducted as recently as early December, Lange said. SME was on Truman’s campus and at Kirksville High School, as well as Clayton High School in St. Louis, to learn more from prospective students about the University’s image. 

According to the original timeline, the University president and vice presidents received a recommendation from SME about how to conduct its rebranding campaign in early January.

The rebranding campaign will be launched on campus prior to its external launch to the public.

Already, work on the new brand campaign is available. The University is utilizing a transitional marketing piece, which is an informational folder, for the 2019-20 school year at the suggestion and assistance of SME. The “Pursue” tagline is not at the forefront of the University’s transitional piece, which is provided to prospective students. Instead, “Exceptionally Unconventional” is in large block letters on the front of the viewbook.

“It’s a headline that supports this transition piece we use for recruiting this year because we didn’t have the new brand, but we didn’t want to necessarily use ‘Pursue’ on everything,” Lange said. “So we used some different headlines, but they were not necessarily the taglines that will be used in the future.”

Headlines are different from taglines, Lange explained, because they are smaller and generally fall under the overarching tagline. Headlines could be used to appeal to different audiences, but they would all refer back to the tagline.

The transition piece was produced in conjunction with SME, Truman’s marketing team, the Admissions Office and the Publications Office. Lange said because the University knew the “Pursue” tagline would be going away, they no longer wanted to use it.

“This transition piece was moving in the direction SME is taking us,” Lange said.

The piece went through the University’s standard process of review through the appropriate offices and most of the design was done by SME, Lange said. 

Lange said Truman is working on capturing what it knows its look and feel will be in the future through the photos and videos it takes this year. The University’s tone and voice, which correlate to all of its media use, is included in SME’s identity guide recommendation.

Lange said Truman won’t republish the literature pieces currently in use, but anything new that is published after the launch would be updated materials.

“We’re trying to do it in a cost-effective way,” Lange said. “Understanding that this particular recruitment cycle will have some of both the old and the new, but everything will be ready and launched for the next recruitment cycle.”

She said some internal material, such as business cards, will be replaced once the old material are completely used. 

Lange said among the items the University is looking to replace immediately are campus flags, signage, car magnets, admissions tablecloths and more. She said emphasis will be placed on items that directly impact recruitment first.