California State University, Channel Islands (CSUCI Extended University) identified a need for a new brand strategy in preparation for the deployment of a new CRM system.
Founded in 2002, CSUCI is the newest university in the CSU system. The campus has experienced continued growth as regional awareness increases. Located in Camarillo, midway between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara with extended university campuses in Thousand Oaks and Santa Barbara the institution covers a large part of the northern Greater Los Angeles area.
CSUCI engaged Story+Structure primarily to launch a new CRM system with the secondary goal of a brand refresh. Through Story+Structure’s holistic Discovery engagement challenges were uncovered that would need to be addressed prior to adopting a new CRM system. Branding was one of them.
"Story+Structure guided us on an intimate journey through our recruitment process, helping us clarify and refine the 'why' behind our complicated strategy, providing unique insights that we may not have identified otherwise and the confidence needed to move forward with a SalesForce implementation." - Janet Egiziano, Ed.D.
CSUCI Extension did not share a collective understanding of the student experience. More so, the organization did not see the process of marketing, recruiting, application, etc. as one experience. Further complicating things was the separation of staff between three campuses.
Communication efforts were hampered by a lack of centralized methodology and a shared understanding of the organizational brand. Individuals were using various methods to manage communications at varying frequencies. This created a confusing experience for students.
Bottlenecks formed at crucial points in the student experience because of the lack of shared understanding of the student journey and lack of empathy to what the student might be experiencing.
The organization lacked clear documentation and understanding of its processes. Therefore it was not ready to adopt new technology to support processes.
The Design Process
We worked collaboratively with the staff, faculty, and students at CSUCI to understand the organization. We looked at the organization’s purpose and mission, strategic aims, its market and competitive position, offerings, types of students, and organizational makeup. We met and talked with every staff member in the Extend University department. We also interviewed and surveyed students, and used our unique Service Blueprint Workshop to map the current service experience.
Story+Structure focusses on helping organizations become experience oriented. To do this the organization must understand its brand as a set of promises, that when kept, make up the experience a customer will have with that organization. We worked with CSUCI Extended University to develop a new student experience
Story+Structure delivered a findings presentation, a new service blue print, developed a brand thesis, brand promises, a new tagline, and documentation on how to manifest this visually in a Brand Expression Guide.
"Through working with Story+Structure, we developed a unique branding for the Extension Division of our University with a winning tagline so coveted by campus leadership that they adopted it for campus wide leveraging." - Janet Egiziano, Ed.D.