The creative branding process that Steve Keating led us through has been outstanding. From the beginning he laid out a comprehensive plan to define and develop our brand platform and the positive response has been overwhelming.

Lisa Tedeschi Chief of Staff and Director of Strategic Planning

Colby-Sawyer College

Building an Authentic Brand from Within

Colby-Sawyer is a comprehensive baccalaureate college in central New Hampshire that integrates the liberal arts and the sciences with professional preparation.


  • Brand Assessment
  • Brand Development and Launch
  • Postcard/Program Outreach
  • Personalized URL Campaign
  • Brand Training/Engagement


Why They Came to Us

Like so many other small, rural, private colleges Colby-Sawyer was increasingly challenged with the demands of attracting, enrolling, and retaining students.  Even with its beautiful and expansive campus and magnificent mountain vistas, all within the scenic Lake Sunapee region of New Hampshire, this proud, 178 year-old college was struggling to define its identity in a crowded field of competitive, small independent New England colleges.  In addition, Colby-Sawyer sought to expand its traditional-aged undergraduate student markets and understood the need for a compelling brand that would engage and appeal to students largely unfamiliar with the college.


Our Approach

We met with college leadership and trustees and with their input, designed a comprehensive program of brand assessment, competitive positioning research, brand development, internal brand dissemination and training, and brand communications strategies.  Designed to deeply involve the Colby-Sawyer community, in keeping with the college’s remarkable culture of active collaboration, our program began with the creation of a Branding Task Force to oversee this integrated effort. With our research partner, Prescience Associates, we conducted a planning retreat to clarify goals, responsibilities, and schedules, and initiated our brand audit and positioning research.


Following our extensive audit and ongoing work with the college’s leadership, trustees, administration and faculty, we presented our insights and recommendations in both a written report and through several campus-wide, town hall presentations.  With the college’s endorsement, our work transitioned into the development of a new Colby-Sawyer brand identity and platform, an integrated concept that conveyed the promise of vibrant, active, immersive learning.  This concept was enthusiastically adopted by the college community, and through our work with a newly formed brand stewardship committee, the brand began its integration – which continues today – across all levels of communications, programs, campus places and experiences, and admissions and advancement marketing.  We also led training sessions with the admissions staff and tour guides to ensure message integration in across all levels of outreach and engagement with students, donors, alumni and others.  And, we launched a new, targeted direct/email pURL campaign to promote learning programs and opportunities and collaborated on new admissions-focused digital marketing strategies.


Today, the Colby-Sawyer brand is a touchstone for continued institutional planning and investment, and a vibrant expression of the College’s distinctive culture, value, and impact.