On the Ridge

The Power of Niagara

NU Launches "Powerful" New Branding Campaign

Last fall, Niagara University launched a rebranding campaign, which included new advertising, collateral materials for undergraduate and graduate admissions, a website redesign, social media initiatives, and campus banners and signage.

The new messaging, which is built on the tagline, “The Power of Niagara University,” was developed through a collaborative, yearlong brand initiative, and is built on strengths of the university outlined in the process by students, alumni, faculty, staff, and administration, as well as individuals in the community.

“Niagara University is an incredibly strong institution and that strength was validated through comprehensive analysis and research. The research identified a Niagara education as a tremendous return on investment due to excellentb academic programs, close relationships with faculty, and remarkable career placement rates,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University. “At the same time, we have outlined some aspirational goals that will help us unleash the full power of positive change that we can have on our students and alumni, as well as in the community and around the world.”

Through the brand study and analysis, the strengths of the university were clearly identified in areas related to academics, service, global awareness, and the connectedness of the Niagara community. Further development of messaging built “The Power of Niagara University” on five brand chapters:

  • A coveted 21st-century degree. It’s an education that delivers exactly what employers and the world are looking for, and what makes a Niagara degree a coveted 21st-century credential.
  • Mentors for the mind and heart. Our faculty are at the forefront of scholarship and research and engage our students in these opportunities as freshmen — unheard of at many larger institutions. Helping their students to realize their fullest potential — to be the best they can be so that they can give their best to the world.
  • Beyond the Ridge. Graduates who go on to do well for themselves and others. Global citizens who are world ready.
  • World ready. Our students, faculty, and staff ignite positive change in the lives of others in our community and around the world.
  • Purple Pride. Purple Pride is a state of mind. Our Vincentian heritage calls us to strive for excellence and humility — and it’s evident in the way we celebrate and take pride in everything and everyone here.

The chapters align with the set of President’s Vision Commitments, or long-term institutional priorities, presented by Father Maher.

SimpsonScarborough conducted qualitative and quantitative research with prospective and current students, alumni, and employees. The insight gleaned resulted in a brand story that was formulated by Creative Communication Associates and carried forward by Crowley Webb and Niagara University’s Office of Communications and Public Relations.

The new brand has already gained national recognition — both the broadcast TV spots used to promote the new campaign and its undergraduate student recruitment publication, the campaign’s centerpiece, were recognized by Higher Education Marketing Report’s 32nd Annual Educational Advertising Awards, the largest, oldest and most respected educational advertising awards competition in the country. The TV spots won silver recognition in the TV Series category, while the student viewbook won a gold medal (Best in Show) in its category.

A national panel of higher education marketers, advertising creative directors, marketing, and advertising professionals evaluated the more than 2,250 entries that were received from over 1,000 colleges, universities, and secondary schools from all 50 states and several foreign countries.