Far Eastern Federation University and Russian government officials were interested in developing and presenting a world-renowned university that would attract students from around the globe and stand the test of time. Four universities in the Russian Far East were combined to form one world-class institution, creating the need to develop a new brand identity.
The goal was to create a sense of community among the students, alumni, faculty, and staff. By fostering a positive reputation in the community, the university would then be a source of pride for alumni and students, and be positioned as a key player in higher education, in Russia, and worldwide.
Key considerations that needed to be taken into account included the school’s specialization in science and technology studies and local perceptions of higher education. Traditionally in Russia and the surrounding countries, students go to school strictly for an education and not for the social aspects, such as sports activities or fostering relationships with fellow classmates.
In order to promote the positive benefits of a social community, Catalyst was tasked with creating and promoting a strong resident assistant program so the university could attract leaders within the student body. Catalyst partnered with the Campus Advantage-Russia team to not only begin to define a brand, but to determine how to position the university and key programs that would begin promoting long-standing relationships and opportunities for students well into their professional careers.
In conjunction with Campus Advantage-Russia’s larger consulting efforts, Catalyst developed a world-class mascot logo, a recruiting campaign for resident assistants, interior design concepts for the campus, and marketing for an open-air concert event.
The mascot symbol needed to be universally appealing and resonate with all audiences. By using these identifying logos consistently, the university will begin to establish itself in the higher education arena and will be widely recognized by its peers. All items were designed to appeal to students, alumni, staff, and faculty and are indicative of the traditions the university holds important. The logo and mascot will be used on marketing materials and merchandise to further remind audiences of FEFU’s presence, as well as be a source of pride among students, faculty, and staff.
Additionally, Catalyst developed and executed a campaign to recruit resident assistants to be leaders and examples to other students. Resident assistants will be key in introducing and establishing the core principles of the university through a residence life program, will learn leadership skills, and will help to develop a sense of community among the students.
To further establish the community necessary to get students involved and make them feel at home, Catalyst created interior design concepts for the university. These designs focused on fostering an environment where students can relax while staying focused on their studies and their education. The interior design concepts also appealed to students so that they can begin to foster relationships among themselves.
In an effort to get students together and excited about the school, Catalyst developed marketing collateral for an end-of-semester open-air concert where students celebrated and gathered for a fun afternoon outside of the standard university environment.
Throughout the course of Catalyst’s engagement with FEFU, Catalyst also provided several training documents on university traditions and conducted a focus group in Austin. This focus group included exchange students at the University of Texas who are from the FEFU target market, allowing Catalyst to gain input on ways to appeal to students in that specific marketplace.
FEFU and government officials were pleased as the project provided a cohesive brand and message for the university that did not exist prior to Catalyst’s engagement. The selected mascot symbol, logo, and various print collateral were well received and positioned the university to be successful in their recruiting and growth efforts.
Additionally, the messaging and collateral for the resident assistant recruitment campaign resulted in more than 200 applications, with 36 resident assistants being selected. As part of the inaugural class of resident assistants, those selected will have a direct hand in developing the future programs established for the university.
The end-of-semester open-air concert celebration campaign brought out more than 25,000 students and was a starting point in establishing the sense of community the university hopes to cultivate. Finally, Catalyst garnered several media mentions for the university, making several references to the university being the first of its kind in the world and an example of future higher learning institutions.
Creative for FEFU branding included school logo concepts, mascot logo and mark concepts, manifestos, various marketing brochures, various temporary websites, social media collateral, reports and focus groups, consulting, and more.