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University soars above brand-recognition goal

MSU Denver’s latest brand audit shows growth in all the right places – and a new initiative can push us even higher.

By Lindsey Coulter

January 31, 2019

Rowdy the Roadrunner high-fiving a childMore than ever, people are noticing and remembering Metropolitan State University of Denver. The University’s 2018 brand audit proved that multiple efforts to raise our profile as an excellent, high-quality institution are exceeding expectations – and that faculty and staff can play a key role in that continued success.

Conducted every two to three years, brand audits measure awareness and perceptions of the University among students, faculty, staff, alumni, area business leaders and other external partners. The 2018 audit proved that MSU Denver has successfully transformed from growing college to leading public urban university; now, we’re ready to show it off.

A key 2018 audit goal was to break the 80 percent threshold for external brand recognition. The University surpassed that goal, hitting 84 percent brand recognition. This positions MSU Denver well for meeting – and potentially surpassing – its Strategic-Plan goal of 85 percent recognition by 2020.

“The MSU Denver brand is shining stronger than ever,” said Vice President of Strategy Cathy Lucas. “We’re thrilled to be ahead of our goal and that people both inside and outside the University are paying attention to the great work happening here on campus.”

The overwhelming majority of MSU Denver faculty and staff surveyed last August also reported having positive perspectives and opinions of the University. Eighty percent of faculty and 81 percent of staff surveyed marked the MSU Denver brand as “good,” “very good” or “excellent,” numbers that Lucas and other University leaders are dedicated to growing.

Other key takeaways include:

  • Positive brand growth in the community: 84 percent of external respondents rated MSU Denver as “good” to “excellent.”
  • Increasing visibility among business leaders: Brand recognition among local business leaders has increased by 8 percentage points in just two years to 81 percent.
  • Employment-ready graduates: External respondents recognized the need for liberal arts/humanities and viewed MSU Denver as cultivating well-rounded, critical-thinking graduates.

In sharing these positive findings across campus, Lucas has seen an outpouring of pride and enthusiasm that will translate well into the University’s new Brand Evangelist program. A fun and engaging primer to the forthcoming refreshed brand platform, the quick and easy training will be delivered to campus stakeholders in the coming months.

“The Brand Evangelist training will give faculty and staff the tools to cohesively promote who we are as a University and the excellence we are recognized for,” Lucas said. “It’s a great way to continue strengthening our reputation among current and future Roadrunners – and to keep building that buzz.”

More details about the Brand Evangelist program will be available soon, and a new, tailored external advertising campaign that reflects the University’s forward momentum will launch this summer.

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