Royal Roads rebranding mixes digital with tradition

Royal Roads University’s branding just wasn’t doing its job, says Catherine Riggins, director, branding, marketing and recruitment at the school. The brand message was all over the place, the marketing materials were bland and the tagline – “Canada’s university for working professionals” – just didn’t reflect what the students, alumni, staff and faculty said about […]

Royal Roads University’s branding just wasn’t doing its job, says Catherine Riggins, director, branding, marketing and recruitment at the school.

The brand message was all over the place, the marketing materials were bland and the tagline – “Canada’s university for working professionals” – just didn’t reflect what the students, alumni, staff and faculty said about the university, she told Marketing. “They had all these stories… yet the brand materials were so functional,” said Riggins. “Our research told us that the education here is transforming people’s lives.”

To remedy this, the school tapped Cossette Vancouver for a rebranding project, which unveiled a revamped logo, website, print materials and outdoor and signage on June 5. Cossette also created a new strap line for the institution: “Life. Changing.”

The university, which is just outside of Victoria, B.C., differentiates itself with a blended model of online and on-campus learning. It also has a castle – a structure which long featured prominently in the logo. Nick Richards, Cossette’s vice-president and creative director, has given it a 21st century twist. Now the castle’s turret is designed using pixels.

The pixels are a reflection of the digital learning and the actual castle itself is a reflection of the beautiful campus that they study in,” said Richards.

Riggins said, “It’s a nice nod to the past, but moves us into that digital world.”

The brand campaign is directed at local and international prospects, alumni, faculty, staff, business and government. It is part of a two-year, $1.5 million brand investment that includes marketing, media, signage and infrastructure repair.

A print campaign will run in the National Post and 24 Hours in B.C., Alberta and Ontario, while out-of-home buys will focus on Victoria and Vancouver.

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