U of Arizona rebranding itself as 'boundless' institution

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The University of Arizona is bearing down on a new campaign to brand itself as the school with boundless possibilities.

The university has embarked on a rebranding strategy this year using buzzwords such as "boundless" and "beyond" to woo prospective students and donors, the Arizona Daily Star reported (http://bit.ly/1vALUlX).

The rebranding is part of a plan to distinguish the UA from other schools, university officials said.

"It was past time for the University of Arizona to step up and really differentiate itself," said Teri Lucie Thompson, the university's senior vice president for university relations and chief marketing officer.

Thompson said the school has spent roughly $260,000 on the branding effort. According to Thompson, the plan is culminated from input from more than 200 people and organizations on and off campus. The new plan outlines four target audiences or "personas": the sports fan, the VIP who reads publications such as "The Economist," the innovator who is interested in the latest technology, and the "culture hound" who loves National Public Radio.

One of the strategies has been advertising a "boundless" theme to help convey the school as a place where change can happen. The school's new promotional tagline, "Bigger Questions. Better Answers. Bear Down," has popped up on billboards and bus ads throughout Tucson.

The school's campaign materials are also targeting Phoenix and Maricopa County, where thousands of University of Arizona alumni live.

"I can't stress enough how often I heard from alumni that the university wasn't really telling its story," said Melinda Burke, president of the school's alumni association.

Burke said the school has not been trumpeting its strengths as well as it could have. Building the school's prestige can only help graduates, she said.

"Their degrees increase in value as the strength and reputation of the university increases," she said.

Melissa Vito, a senior vice president who oversees enrollment, thinks the new marketing had some hand in the jump in applications this year. Compared with last year, this year saw a 20 percent increase in student applications.


Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.azstarnet.com

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