Case Study: CSUSB

California State University, San Bernardino
Primary Research Campaign – Brand Identity

The Challenge
As the largest public university in the Inland Empire, California State University, San Bernardino has enjoyed a growing student population and, due to population growth, anticipates significant increases in enrollment in the next five to 10 years. However, its reputation among the community has continued to be that of a second-class University compared to the University of California schools, and a negative impression continues to exist surrounding the area of San Bernardino itself. In order to position itself as a leader in the region’s economic, social and cultural development, the University has begun a review of its current reputation and logos to assess whether a change and image will help the University better achieve its logn-term goals. Specifically, the University wanted to measure the current awareness level of its logo and seal, and determine the University’s general reputation among faculty members, students and community leaders.

The Approach
The research began with an in-depth review of recent studies regarding the University including an educational needs assessment of the surrounding communities and an alumni survey analysis. Wilkin Guge Marketing then conducted a preliminary survey of the University’s Vice Presidents and implemented a comprehensive, primary research plan including:

  • A survey nailed to over 500 community leaders and educators in 7 targeted regions surrounding the University to:
    –  Determine the current level of awareness for CSUSB logos.
    –  Determine the current attitudes/opinions about CSUSB logos.
    –  Determine the current attitudes/opinions about CSUSB’s image/reputation.
    –  Determine the ideal image/reputation of CSUSB.
    –  Determine the ideal image/message of CSUSB logos.
  • A survey of all 800 full-time and part-time faculty members with similar objectives.
  • A survey to a broad cross-section of currently enrolled students to test the current logos and reputation as well as determine the main reasons students have chosen to attend the University.

The Results
Based upon an overwhelming 32% response from the community leaders survey, and over 800 responses from students, faculty and staff members, Wilkin Guge Marketing was able to formulate a plan for the University based upon solid, comprehensive research.

The results were presented as an executive summary, complete with statistical analysis and recommendations to the Executive Council for approval on the next step – to appropriately revise the University’s brand and image.