Branding & Communications

ACUITY helps clients discover, articulate and implement purpose-driven brands and brand communications. An organization’s community, geography, history, achievements, style, personality, voice and face are elements of its authentic brand. No other institution shares these elements in the same measures and definitions, and a brand properly developed will demonstrate that powerfully. Branding is by definition and necessity authentic and differentiating. A university or college brand appropriately frames your identity and creates an opportunity for your community, students, alumnus, and friends to connect at deeper, more intimate levels with you. 

  • Collaborative Research. The research methodologies and timelines that we develop and execute for branding assignments exercise the most inclusive and collaborative practices possible. Efficiency is not the primary objective of this work, instead we strive for comprehensive collaboration and transparency. Each constituency must be heard. New information and discovery cease to be the primary research goal at some juncture, instead engagement and communications are equally vital deliverables.
  • Graphic Identity. Great design in graphic identity harnesses the power of institutional tradition and focuses it forward. ACUITY works with your team to uncover and understand what makes your brand unique and powerful. It is a cocktail of the current mindset of students and faculty and the perspective people have today, mixed with the grand aspirations and possibilities of tomorrow.  ACUITY Design bridges the divide between the past and the future with bold identity solutions and easy to follow and access universal graphic standards and brand asset manager.
  • Brand Architecture. Universities and Colleges are also home to centers and institutes and schools, some named for donors and others named for disciplines only. The greater the complexity of the institution, the more necessary a comprehensive and practical brand architecture. For a branding platform to endure, the brand architecture must recognize the unique brand equities of each of the affected organizations within the master brand, and afford an appropriate and productive solution for each, that is also coherent and consistent with the overarching brand identity writ large.
  • Brand Communications. ACUITY is committed to an oath of no surprises in brand communications. The process begins with the discovery research and never stops. Each step of discovery is also an opportunity for communications and engagement. We work with a structure of several client teams and leadership levels, to arrive at a branding solution. The process is as inclusive as possible. Once the decision has been made our team proposes a timeline of cascading communications, staged by carefully crafted messaging to each constituent category, in key media, from the appropriate organizational leader at the right time in the right sequence. Done well, you have a brand identity for the future. Done inadequately, or without the proper mix of message, messenger, media and timing, the results can be disastrous.

Market Research

Identify the competition, refine audience segmentation, define new opportunities—and potential challenges through:  

  • Primary research
    Discussion groups, focus groups, individual interviews, audience intercepts, online and telephone surveys, polls, and touchpoint analysis
  • Secondary research
    Meta-analysis, and fusion research
  • Program Evaluation
    Extensive experience evaluating funded programs to determine both efficacy and impact for colleges, universities, schools, philanthropic organizations, non-profits, and government entities.