Mary Harrison, staff writer
Berry administration has begun rolling out the final phase of a rebranding campaign that updates Berry’s online and on-campus appeal. Construction is currently happening to revitalize the marketing in Krannert, the Cage Athletic Center and Green Hall.
Installation of visuals at the Cage finished last Friday afternoon, and projects in Krannert were completed early this week. Construction in the Green lobby is expected to get underway on Sept. 17.
Revitalization efforts in Krannert include the “Berry Today,” “Building Berry,” and speaker wall “Life at Berry” displays at the back entrance. The new Berry crest was also installed above the information desk, and podiums have been updated to reflect the rebranding.
The Cage now features large pictures of students down the main corridor; new wallpaper, graphics and lettering in the lobby; and an excerpt from the Alma Mater on a half-wall facing the back entrance.
Upgrades to the lobby in Green will include an updated wall of alumni accomplishments for the Campbell School of Business.
Administration started the process of updating Berry’s look in early 2017, when the Vice President of Marketing and Communication, Nancy Rewis, joined Berry’s staff in a newly created role focused solely on Berry’s marketing.
Previous marketing research had been conducted more than 10 years prior, according to Rewis. “That’s before the iPhone came out,” Rewis commented.
Later in 2017, the college conducted marketing research, which Rewis calls phase one of the rebranding process. It then hired North Charles Street Design Organization (NCSDO) to develop branding guidelines.
The new brand, themed “Learn it well. Keep it always,” replaces the college’s original “Experience It Firsthand” label. The previous brand was instituted in 2008, according to Director of Creative Services Shannon Biggers.
The second phase of rebranding, which included updates to website design and marketing material for the admissions, alumni and advancement offices, began in the spring of 2019 and finished in 2020. The college also expanded its online presence through advertisements on social media.
Berry’s current freshman class is the first class of students to experience the college’s new look throughout the entire admissions cycle, according to Rewis.
The third and final phase rolls out what Rewis and Biggers call “experiential marketing” on campus. Spaces that are highlighted during admissions tours are being refurbished to mirror Berry’s marketing brand.
“This is a continuation of the external story,” said Biggers, a Berry alumna. “Once [students] got on campus, the story kind of stopped.”
CannonDesign completed master plans for construction in 2020, Rewis said, but the fabrication and installation process was postponed until the spring and summer of this year. This is due to a college budget freeze caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The next set of buildings due for marketing upgrades includes McAllister and the Memorial Library, although expanding the new brand will likely coincide with renovations to the academic buildings.
“There were many more ideas pre-COVID and pre-budget freeze,” Director of Student Activities, Cecily Crow said. “They had to kind of pick and choose what was a priority.”
Crow, who was one of the staff members who gave feedback into the design process, reported that both alumni and current students have been pleased with the new look on campus so far.
“[Students] like how it’s been updated and familiar faces or familiar language that we see consistently across campus,” Crow said. “Alums were excited to see the Berry traditions and history displayed [in the Cage], for students, I hope it gives them an understanding of who we are as a community but also pride in Berry history.”
Crow will manage smaller updates to signs in Krannert indicating room numbers and directions. Future design possibilities also include refurbishing the post office, Viking Court, the Dining Hall and the Krannert lobby.
Rewis and Biggers emphasized that the rebranding will continue to roll out as funds become available, and that the administration sees the process as more than just an ongoing marketing initiative.
“Really part of our strategy is not only to bring our branding to life in these spaces for admissions tours, but it’s also for our students who go to school here every day and walk through these buildings,” Rewis said. “It helps build school spirit and it helps to build pride in the institution.”