Brands across the world are competing for attention, and we are inundated with marketing messages. In the 1970s, consumers only saw about 500 to 1,600 per day. In 2022, that number skyrocketed to 4,000 to 10,000 ads daily.
For Graceland to stand out in an already crowded marketplace that is saturated with universities with incredibly deep pockets, the University focused on ensuring that the message we tell to the world stands out in a sea of sameness.
One of the central efforts of Graceland’s Blue, Gold & Bold Strategic Framework is a focus on increasing the visibility and awareness of the University that we all love. Central to that effort is a brand initiative led by the internal marketing team alongside their agency partner, VisionPoint Marketing.
The first task was to develop Graceland’s brand pillars — who are we and what do we stand for?
These pillars form the backbone of our brand marketing strategy, which then led to the development of a 3- to 5-year campaign that begins rolling out in the summer of 2023.
Marketing is storytelling, and Graceland has a great story. From its humble roots as a small, rural junior college to a university with undergraduate and graduate degrees alike, Graceland continues to endure the challenges it has encountered over the years through its commitment to learning, wholeness, and community. The Graceland Experience isn’t any one specific thing — it connects us in its multi-layered diversity. And that experience is what we carry forward into the world.
Carry It Forward
The national brand campaign highlights the many dimensions of the Graceland experience by telling the story that we all know well: Graceland is four years that lasts forever. We carry it forward through our lives — our education, the relationships that we make, the bonds we build, and the experience as a whole. This gives our students the assurance of their value, guidance for their life’s purpose, and security in knowing their worth exactly as they are. Graceland is more than an education — our alumni and students all know that — it is an experience that remains with us for a lifetime.
As Graceland embarks on one of its most substantive brand campaigns in recent history, we hope alumni and friends of our beloved institution will join us in helping amplify and tell our story as widely and loudly as we can.
Graceland’s Brand Pillars
A SAFE SPACE FOR SELF-DISCOVERY We create a caring, inclusive community that supports students’ personal growth through a culture of acceptance and belonging.
SKILLS FOR THE MODERN WORLD We prepare students to be purpose-driven changemakers through a modern approach to liberal arts education, transformational leadership development, and a culture that cherishes diversity and fosters inclusivity.
CONNECTIONS TO LAST A LIFETIME We foster strong interpersonal connections and a powerful network of faculty and alumni, preparing students for meaningful and productive lives.
STRONGLY ROOTED AND STILL GROWING Since its founding in 1895, Graceland University has been dedicated to helping students develop their potential for meaningful and productive lives through the open and free pursuit of truth. This drives our commitment to remaining innovative, ensuring that we are offering our students what they need most for their individual futures. We have never shied away from branching into new territory — both literally and figuratively.