(SPOKANE, Wash.) – Gonzaga University, founded in 1887, today launched its first full-fledged identity campaign, aiming to further develop, enhance and promote Gonzaga’s Jesuit, Catholic, and humanistic image and messages to its constituents.
Chuck Leonhardt, who was hired in July 2006 as Gonzaga’s assistant vice president for marketing and communications, is leading the campaign. Leonhardt, who has 18 years experience in corporate and higher education marketing, explained:
“While the identity of the University started 120 years ago when Gonzaga was founded, we are now focused on effectively communicating it,” he said. “We want to articulate in an integrated fashion, and through all of our different communications vehicles, what that identity means. Our stakeholders all receive communications about Gonzaga in different ways. Our intention is to integrate those messages – and how the Gonzaga story is told – in a cohesive fashion. This way, when our academic schools and various programs speak to audiences, we do so in a congruent way.”
In short, Gonzaga will be much more intentional about the form and content of its communications to its many audiences through hands-on management of its visual identity and messaging, Leonhardt said.
“Communicating the reputation of Gonzaga University is an important message for our many audiences,” Leonhardt said, adding Gonzaga will further integrate its marketing by communicating its core messages through many mediums.
“Our Web site, advertising, brochures, and central publications all will take similar shape and will be articulated consistently through words, photography, type styles, video, the use of color, and tone of voice,” Leonhardt said. “Our strategy encompasses all of these things.”
The process flows directly from Gonzaga’s strategic plan. “As we looked at that, it became evident we needed a better way to communicate the Gonzaga experience to our constituents,” Leonhardt said. This led to market research involving a large-scale opinion research study with more than 2,000 people representing each of Gonzaga’s key constituent groups. The study, which involved both qualitative and quantitative methods, identified how Gonzaga’s constituents characterize the University. Responses led to a list of 45 key words, which have been distilled to 16 sentiments that now make up the Gonzaga Promise.
The newly developed Gonzaga Promise is: “Gonzaga University challenges students through a personal learning experience that is grounded in our Jesuit, Catholic and humanistic identity. Within a caring community, Gonzaga inspires and transforms people to shape a better world through education, character, service and faith.”
“Within the Promise one word summarizes the total Gonzaga experience – ‘inspires,’ ” Leonhardt said. “From that word the ‘be inspired’ tagline was born. Once we had our tagline in place and had articulated the Gonzaga Promise, the foundation was established for the identity campaign.”
For the next step, typographical fonts were chosen for use with Gonzaga’s logo – which was recently modernized and refined – along with a color palette, imagery, and enhanced writing style. This enables Gonzaga to tell its story on a deeper level. The entire campaign, including the Gonzaga Promise, can be found online.
Among the more visible campaign elements the public will see gradually phased in over the next year are campus signage, TV commercials, recruitment brochures, print ads, templates for departments’ external communications, a reinvigorated Web site, an electronic newsletter, podcasting, and redesigned and redefined central publications.
“One of the key images that we felt reflected the ‘be inspired’ message is that of a man sitting in front of St. Aloysius Church reading a book,” Leonhardt said. “That point of reflection, combined with the intimacy of that environment, portrays the story. There are three extended messages we want to communicate about Gonzaga: first, our sense of community; secondly, our academic excellence; and third, our emphases on service and faith. Those three elements form the foundational messages we want to communicate beyond the ‘be inspired’ message. Those three messages represent Gonzaga’s distinct advantages.”
The campaign will be modified and freshened as needed in the future. However, Leonhardt said, “It will still hinge around our core message and our core essence of inspiration. It is central to who we are.”
For more information, contact Chuck Leonhardt at (509) 323-6192 or via e-mail.