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Youngstown State University


Brand Strategy




Research & Analytics
Brand Positioning & Messaging
Brand Launch Strategy & Planning
Integrated Marketing Campaigns
Print Design & Production
Content Strategy & Creation
Video Development

Do You Know Y?

Youngstown State University needed no introduction to those in Northeastern Ohio. Having been part of the landscape for more than 114 years, it was fair to call it a regional icon. 

Locally, YSU pride was alive and well. Yet, it was also at a crossroads.

The University’s role as a catalyst for vibrancy and growth in the region was needed more than ever, but changing demographics were shrinking local enrollment and driving recruitment needs beyond the region’s—and the country’s—boundaries. 

Enter BD&E. After conducting more than 30 hours of individual interviews with administrators, deans, faculty, and students—and conducting an alumni survey that received over 2,300 responses—we gained insight that blossomed into what became the Know Y brand.

Youngstown State University logos
Youngstown State University brochure
Youngstown State University outdoor sign

Know Y is a rallying cry, inviting all constituents to take a closer look at YSU. It provokes curiosity, sparks intuition, and encourages people to ask questions and learn more about YSU. Know Y seamlessly combines “Know Why” and “Know Youngstown State,” emphasizing the importance of understanding the University’s purpose and connection to the region.

The campaign came to life through promotional materials and outdoor, radio, and TV spots. And in its message, it ensures everyone has everything they need to easily answer the question “Why Youngstown State University?”

 And, now? Everyone Knows Y.

Youngstown State University Brand Brochure
Youngstown State University brand brochure

“I’m thrilled with the remarkable work BD&E has done. This endeavor was a response to changing demographics and the need to convey our authentic, dynamic community accurately in a manner that speaks to our students, faculty, staff and community. BD&E’s contribution in deconstructing misconceptions about YSU and presenting our full range of opportunities was invaluable. The project involved a compelling brandline, captivating visuals, and a concise elevator pitch, showcased through various mediums. We’re excited about the growth and success this transformation will bring.”

- Ross Morrone, Chief Marketing Officer, Youngstown State University -