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VSU last conducted a comprehensive brand study in 2014

Simpson Scarborough LLC selected for VSU branding services

It’s that time of year again where you will soon be surveyed for questions about how to better improve VSU.

VSU’s Office of Communications and Marketing will conduct a comprehensive branding study during the 2019-2020 academic year.

The department is responsible for managing the University’s branding, marketing, and public relations.

Simpson Scarborough LLC was selected by VSU as the result of a competitive bidding process conducted by the university’s procurement staff and a task force with representatives from across VSU’s campus.

Simpson Scarborough LLC has worked with over 300 colleges of all sizes across the country, including Northwestern University, Virginia Military Institute, Auburn University, Georgia State University, Ohio State University, and more.

A request for proposals was issued nationally in Spring 2019 where vendors whose proposals met the minimum requirements were invited to campus to present their proposals to the task force. The task force then ranked the vendors based on their proposals.

The cost of proposals was ranked separately. The combined scores were then used to select the current partner agency.

The cost for the study is $297,500. This fee will pay for the following costs: Research, Strategy development, Messaging development and testing, Artwork/Creative development and testing, Media Buying and Activation/Launch, Administrative Costs.

“The funding for this project was provided by the university’s Budget Advisory Council, which reviews proposals from all areas of campus, ranks them by institutional priority and impact on student success and funds approved projects with excess budgets from across campus that are left unspent at the end of the financial year,” Dr. Keith Warburg, executive director of communications and marketing, said.

Warburg also added that the study will be implemented in hopes of a standard brand for the university going forward.

“These studies are conducted every 5-7 years at this scale for the purpose of the development, communication (internal and external) and implementation of a campus-wide integrated marketing and branding initiative to promote and standardize the brand of the university,” Warburg said.

VSU last conducted a comprehensive brand study in 2014, which resulted in the current VSYou brand campaign. The new study will work with the current, larger VSYou campaign study.

VSU’s competitor institutions that have also recently conducted this study include Kennesaw State University, The University of Georgia and the University of West Florida.

Photo and story by Prince Robinson Jr., Managing Editor

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