A University Takes Its First Rebranding Bath

Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane

The Problem

Amina communicates eloquently, has a sharply tuned sense of good taste and creative, clear design, and possesses an exceptionally articulate, professional understanding of international marketing and communications principles and practices.
— Simon O'Rourke, Former Executive Director of Development and Communication at Al Akhawayn University

Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, is the only liberal arts institution in Morocco and North Africa but its brand did not tell the story of the campus community and did not communicate its value. The university needed a strategy that would move it beyond fragmented communication actions relying heavily on press and ad inserts, inconsistent branding, negative perceptions and a rising competition.

The Solution

Based on field research, I developed a story that reflected the value of Al Akhawayn University and a brand and marketing strategy that repositioned it and unified its voice.

I created a unique, refreshed visual identity and repositioned the brand using a personable voice and appealing messages told by students and alumni. Incorporating the look, feel and objectives of the new brand, I redesigned the entire website of the university and developed new concept, design and story-rich content for all its marketing communication material at different touchpoints: viewbooks, flyers, reports, newsletters, social media platforms, videos, photographs, stationery, memorabilia, event packs, booth designs, web stories and more.

Given the small budget and the need to better reach target audiences, it was important to identify new, diverse and cost-effective marketing venues. I targeted key audiences with relevant stories, used cost-effective and integrated marketing channels and aligned all marketing actions to the overall strategic objectives and mission of the university.

The Results

The new brand story and new marketing strategy of Al Akhawayn University resulted in high levels of recognition and recall, enhanced perceptions, improved targeting, increased appeal and reach, increased student and alumni advocacy, diversified marketing venues, increased brand visibility, increased website visits by 80% (soon after the first launch), reduced advertising cost by over 50% and increased returns, increased application rates, and showed high levels of engagement from prospective students.