Established in 1845 Queen’s University Belfast is a prestigious Russell Group university offering approximately 300 degree programmes to almost 25,000 students from all over the world.
In an era of ultra-competitive higher education, Queen’s recognised that they needed a brand and positioning to match their ambition, coupled with a marketing platform to reflect the strength and confidence of their output as a modern forward-thinking university.
For an institution this size, creating a strong brand position that can resonate with multiple external audiences and connect and pull together all parts of the university internally is no easy task.
As strategic partners we knew we had to work collaboratively across the institution and take key stakeholders on a journey of rediscovery. Together we explored the heritage and uncovered the key characteristics, strengths and values inherent to the university. We also apprehended the importance for Queen’s to take real, visible ownership of Belfast – one of the Europe’s fastest-growing cities.
This empowered the team to make a number of key decisions early in the process: to replace the 'Q' identity with a logo imbued with value and meaning; create a bold and confident typography; and move from the vast colour palette led by a dull red to a bright vibrant red as a core colour.
The result was a new Queen’s identity built around a redrawn version of the iconic crest that embodies the 160-year heritage of the university, from which we also created a unique bracket device to focus on key insights and proof points of the university’s progressive direction.
All of which was underscored by a powerful new statement – ‘Shaping a better world since 1845’ – a perfect summation of the many unique aspects and values that we wanted to bring to the forefront of the brand experience and marketing experience.
The new brand identity and story offered the perfect blend of modern thinking and rich heritage. A strong differentiator that would set Queens apart from the competition in a confident and forward-thinking message to the global educational and business community. And ultimately one which led to Queen’s being ranked top overall online university brand by the World 100 Reputation network.
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