In branding and marketing, good friends can be hard to find — but not at Oregon State University. Departments and colleges across campus rely on the MAC for comprehensive brand identities, communication strategies, and online tools.
In higher ed, challenges come in all shapes, from long-outdated tools to newly introduced guidelines — and with complex teams and fixed budgets, you need a communication partner with the experience to ensure success, not just talk about it. At the MAC, we understand this landscape. For ten years, we’ve been helping our higher ed clients navigate it firsthand. We invite you to take a peek at our process and see what we’ve learned along the way. Bottom line? Even if the solution you’re seeking doesn’t yet exist, we can create it.
In higher ed, challenges come in all shapes. Here are a few common ones we’ve seen:
- Something isn’t working — a tool isn’t getting used like it should, a brand is getting little response (or the wrong response), a website is confusing or visually inconsistent.
- There’s a need for something new — an online recruitment tool, a communications strategy, a whole new identity.
- The rules have changed — there are new brand guidelines to adhere to, or a new demographic to reach.
Add to that a complex decision-making structure, strict spending limits, and long timetables, and the original challenge starts compounding — especially if your branding partner isn’t familiar with how you work. At the MAC, we cultivate consensus within committees, across silos, and among diverse stakeholders. We guide our clients through their projects in a smooth, positive way. We know the budgetary parameters that higher ed institutions typically face, and we know how to make it work.
I greatly enjoyed working with the MAC on several projects for Oregon State, and I look forward to continuing our relationship. Their responsiveness and creativity are unmatched with any other team I have worked with.
The big-picture goal for any higher ed engagement is simple: fulfill the mission. But that can spin in many directions:
- Drive enrollment or recruitment numbers
- Reach a new demographic (for example, Gen Z)
- Develop best-practice tools to facilitate online learning
- Tell your story: differentiate from competition
- Unify your team: get everyone pulling together
- Comply with brand standards in a way that supports your goals
If you can do all that while staying within budget, ensuring project completion, and limiting risk — well, you’re gold! That said, we like to set the bar a few inches higher. Yes, we’ll bring the strategy and research to move you toward your goals. But we’ll also draw from our experience in higher ed to expand your vision and empower you to make a measurable difference in your areas of passion. We also make a point of establishing objective metrics right from the start, so you can evaluate results and confirm success down the road.
“If you want creativity, responsiveness, and high quality graphic design work, my first recommendation is the MAC. They’ve helped us take the Oregon Explorer program to new levels of usability with the graphic interface for our site and associated reporting tools over the past seven years.”
— Janine Salwasser, OSU Extension
Everything starts with Discovery. This is an in-depth research phase where we learn what you’re aiming to accomplish, who your audiences are, what they need to hear in order to get the response you want, and how to position you in your competitive landscape.
The legwork involves doing interviews, studying any materials you provide us, and conducting a competitive analysis and brand audit. It also means synthesizing what we find into big-picture takeaways and actionable recommendations.
- What’s your authentic culture, you lived values?
- How does your organization work?
- What are other schools doing; where are the gaps?
Discovery is where the magic happens, and there are always unexpected treasures along the way. The insights we unearth during this phase play directly into how we approach your project — moving beyond guesswork, to a strategy that actually points you forward. (You can learn more about our Discovery process in these handy guides: Smart Start to Branding and Smart Start to Websites.)
Next, we put all the pieces together, weaving your values and requirements — from diversity to compliance — into strategic deliverables that represent you accurately, stake a claim on the corner of the market where you’re strongest, and make a targeted appeal to the people you aim to reach.
Looking for good people who do good work? Hire the MAC. They consistently deliver excellent results, on time and hassle-free. What’s not to love?
When you hire a strategic branding partner, you’re making a meaningful, measurable investment in the success of your institution. At the MAC, we’d like to empower your work. We’d also like to help you fulfill your mission — more importantly, we have the experience, knowledge, and proficiency to bring your project to completion safely and successfully.
So, what are you aiming for?Explore Our Services