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Branding together

2018 brand audit to survey internal and external communities to gauge perceptions of the University.

July 2, 2018

MSU Denver Logo Banner hanging outside Auraria Pkwy Parking Garage Spring 2017What is Metropolitan State University of Denver’s personality?

The 2018 brand audit aims to answer that question and more.

The audit process, which takes place every two to three years, kicked off this month with an initial meeting facilitated by longtime partner Sector Brands. Sector conducted the University’s original brand audit in 2006 and has managed most of the subsequent audits.

Stacy Lewis, principal at Sector, says this year’s goal is to break the 80 percent threshold for brand recognition.

“That would mean the University is on target to reach its strategic-plan goal of 85 percent by 2020,” she said.

Aside from the traditional questions around name and logo recognition, the efficacy of the advertising buy and overall perception of the University, this year’s audit will include two unique elements. University community members will take part in focus groups to share how the Office of Marketing and Communications can better support the needs of all constituents. And an external survey will probe business and employer groups about workforce readiness and hiring trends.  

As with the past two audits, a portion of the research will focus on Colorado’s Latino community – in particular, metro-Denver business leaders. That research will be facilitated by Idea Marketing.    

“A brand is more than a logo or color; it is the personality of the organization,” said Cathy Lucas, vice president of strategy and chief of staff. “To ensure we are positioning MSU Denver in a clear and authentic way, we conduct a brand audit every two to three years. This is an important tool to analyze the return on investment for our marketing and communication efforts.”

Results of the audit will inform recommendations on refreshing the University’s ad campaign and could reveal new differentiators or key words people are using to describe the brand.

Sector, in collaboration with the Marketing and Communications team, will finalize the survey questions this month and conduct the audit in July and August. Analysis of the responses will take place in September, and the findings and recommendations will be presented at the October Board of Trustees meeting.

Stay tuned to the Early Bird for updates.

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