Under the leadership of new CEO Leslie Cedar, the TEXAS EXES crafted a new mission, vision and strategic plan. A key part of the strategic plan called for a rebranding of the organization to ensure the 130–year–old alumni association remained relevant with key constituents as an indispensable champion of The University of Texas at Austin.
Our assignment included a comprehensive brand audit where we used qualitative and quantitative research to understand the views of diverse stakeholders. The Texas Exes is one of the nation’s largest university alumni associations with 99,000 dues–paying members and almost half a million living alumni of the University worldwide. We knew our work was going to be scrutinized by UT stakeholders, and they all have passionate views of the University.
We conducted focus groups, dozens of interviews, email surveys and pored over existing brand materials. What we found was largely encouraging in that the brand had high awareness and positive perception, but its messaging and visual identity was disjointed and confusing. We developed a visual schema for articulating the brand hierarchy and created graphic standards for the organization.
Rather than developing a tagline, we recommended dropping one the organization had been using for several years but that research showed had lost its connectivity with audiences. And we created a refreshed logo that respected the long history and tradition of the organization while making it relevant for a new generation. Our work also included a refresh of Alcalde, the alumni magazine, along with a refresh of the website which would be a transitional step until a comprehensive web redesign could take place. We assisted with the January 1, 2013, internal and external rollout for the new branding.