Brand Education Website and Booklet

Brands aren’t created. They are revealed through close examination of:

  • Who an organization is
  • What it does
  • Why it does it

Over time, those things change at every organization, and to make sure a brand is still doing its job, an organization must reevaluate its message to see if it still holds true to the essence of the institution.

More than 10 years ago BD&E partnered with Gustavus Adolphus College to develop a comprehensive brand positioning strategy.

BD&E articulated their findings in a brandline that captured the College’s core values of excellence, community, justice, service and faith.

The result was “Make Your Life Count.”

And the outcomes? Even better.

In the first year of implementation, the school saw a:

  • 51% increase in applications
  • 21% increase in deposits — resulting in the largest first-year class in Gustavus history
  • 14% increase in campus visits
  • 18% increase in racially underrepresented students

But after a decade it was time to see if that message still held the same meaning to prospective and current students, faculty and alumni.

BD&E got to work, and our extensive research found that over time an even stronger connection had developed between “Make Your Life Count” and the mission of the College. It was now a core component of Gustavus culture.

This discovery led BD&E to initiate an effort to help audiences understand the brand through the stories of “Gusties” around the world. Each person is unique, but all are similarly living lives of purpose. These people are truly the living essence of the Gustavus brand. BD&E traveled the globe capturing their stories though portraits and video. This content was then used across various channels, including print, email, social, web and video documentaries, to create the true story of what it means to “Make Your Life Count.”