For more than a decade Stamats and Wagner College have teamed up for research, branding, publications, web design, and advancement campaigns. In this case, attributes that made Wagner desirable—a New York City location and access to the best professional opportunities—also stunted the draw of prospective and enrolled students from a larger area. Safety and cost played significant roles when Mid-Atlantic parents thought of sending their kids to New York City. This lack of awareness of Wagner’s brand in the New York City market led the College to enhance its image and establish a brand.
Using extensive research with key audiences, from alumni to prospective students to donors, Stamats developed a brand that defined Wagner and helped capitalize on its strengths. The acclaimed concept “Be Part of the City” featured the rewarded and rewarding Wagner Plan curriculum via words and images depicting real-life scenarios, extending student learning to nearby communities—thus integrating liberal arts, professional education with experiential learning. Echoed in admission and fundraising publications, other communications, and website features, the brand identity became a unifying force that extended well beyond marketing pieces and inspired events that brought together alumni, students, and faculty, energizing and engaging the broader community.
One immediate result from the brand work was the success of a newly developed Wagner Plan piece that earned national honors. Not long after, the University used the new identity to spin a fundraising campaign into an annual event. Since the brand launch, enrollment numbers have nearly doubled—enrollment is now at capacity and open house events are packed. There were also significant increases in the SAT scores of its applicants, and an increase in geographic diversity represented. The Wagner Plan receives regular accolades for making the connection between curriculum and community, and there is a higher level of brand awareness throughout the Northeast.