KSU Unveils New Brand Strategy
Launch of “Find Your Wings" campaign helps tell the KSU story
(Aug 19, 2019) — Kennesaw State University is kicking off the Fall 2019 semester today with its traditional
First Day of School Cake, along with the unveiling of the institution’s new branding,
during events on both the Kennesaw and Marietta campuses.
KSU President Pamela Whitten will cut the First Day of School Cake, continuing a family tradition she started with her eldest child about 26 years ago before introducing it at KSU last year.
During the celebratory event, Whitten and the University’s Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing will unveil the institution’s new branding strategy, the result of a yearlong effort to better define what it means to be an Owl.
“Our brand identity is a reflection of our students because they are what sets us apart from other universities,” said Whitten. “Our students are self-starters driven by a sense of purpose with a desire to make a positive impact. Helping them realize their potential is what motivates our faculty and staff each day. This campaign captures the true essence of our mission and our vision as we continue to find our own wings as a growing student-focused, R2 research university.”
The Road to a New Brand Identity
In 2018, KSU’s Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing began work to discover and craft the university’s story. Undertaking this initiative included listening to thoughts and feedback from more than 6,800 KSU and community constituents, including alumni, faculty, students, staff and community members.
The successful refreshing of the KSU brand hinged on input from a wide variety of people with interest in Kennesaw State. Through a series of focus groups, phone and in-person interviews, working sessions and online surveys, a growing picture was formed to reflect what was important to the members of the KSU community.
The results of community input into the rebranding process were a series of statements – Mission, Vision and Values – that put Kennesaw State’s brand into sharp relief:
• Our Mission:
At Kennesaw State, we serve as a powerful example of the impact a student-centered, research-driven university education can deliver. We help students succeed through exploration, collaboration, and rigor, uniting a diverse spectrum of backgrounds and talents. At KSU, students become the individuals who people want as colleagues and leaders.
• Our Vision:
Kennesaw State will exemplify the power and promise of a student-centered, research-driven university. Authentically diverse, uniquely attainable and endlessly impactful, we will unleash the potential in every student we serve.
• Our Values:
- True to Ourselves: Staying genuine, guided by honesty, intention, and purpose – no matter how we change, grow, or evolve – never forgetting who we are.
- Open: Embracing the true power of openness – valuing and leveraging diverse perspectives to find better solutions and gain an edge.
- Elevational: Raising trajectory – chasing, creating, pursuing, building.
- Student-Inspired: Fueling aspiration and delivering pathways – enabling students to stretch and strive, embrace a dream, and create actionable plans.
- Promise-Fulfilling: Being committed and ready – making promises we can keep to fuel opportunity for every student and spark economic growth for the region.
- Impact-Generating: Delivering a difference – impacting individuals and communities for positive change.
At the same time, KSU identified five key themes – our “Brand Pillars” – that will be the foundation of everything Kennesaw State stands for in the future:
Finally, the brand refresh process brought together all of these different elements into a short narrative – a “Brand Story” – that summarizes what it means to be part of the Kennesaw State community:
Find Your Wings Campaign
The University has launched a new campaign around the new brand identity – “Find Your Wings.” This campaign focuses on the idea that at Kennesaw State, students are exploring and discovering, seeking their own path, their own passions, and their own identity.
“The ‘Find Your Wings’ campaign utilizes our signature owl wings, which is part of
KSU’s spirit mark and something that our students, faculty, staff, and alumni identify
as quintessential Kennesaw State,” said Alice Wheelwright, associate vice president
of strategic communications and marketing. “The wings showcase KSU’s benefits in a
fun and educational way but it more importantly it directly reflects our brand story
and the idea that KSU Owls dare to climb higher and ascend.”
The ad campaign, which begins today, includes print and digital ads, billboards, radio spots, and other collateral.
In addition, two new commercials were developed. These are planned to air during Owls football games, as well as on such popular streaming networks as Hulu, YouTube and other over-the-top TV available over the internet.
“Our new brand symbolizes all we that we stand for as a university and a community,” Wheelwright said. “It’s a commitment and a promise to our students, faculty, staff, alumni, neighbors and supporters. It’s the spirit that helps bind all of our audiences together, unifying and inspiring our KSU family with a common sense of purpose and identity.”
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.