Updated Brand Wakes Up Private College

Hebrew College, a small pluralistic Jewish college in Boston, was in need of a brand update to reflect its evolving capabilities as a college. We developed new messages, a brand strategy, and a visual identity system to showcase their strengths, attract new students, improve donor appeal and convey the professional nature of the school.

Discovery

Assessment

We evaluated all aspects of Hebrew College’s brand through a thorough discovery process and by exploring how effectively they engaged with students, donors, and supporters. After the detailed assessment, which included interviews, a messaging workshop, a competitive review, and an overall brand evaluation, we recommended ways to best project the Hebrew College brand.

Objectives

Working with the Hebrew College team, we came up with a list of objectives that would allow them to overcome the challenges they faced that had resulted, in, from a period of financial instability. Their objectives were:

  • To regain the community’s confidence in their financial viability.
  • To recruit new students for the graduate school, online programs, and high school, as well as adult programs in the community.
  • To unify all components of the brand and present a cohesive story and image.

Messaging

 Core Messages

After evaluating previous messaging and completing a brand workshop, we determined the core messages for Hebrew College. The messages wove together the College’s roots in rigorous Jewish thought with a pluralistic outlook that would appeal to a new generation of thinkers, leaders, and educators in the Jewish world. In order for the College to communicate more effectively with its audience, we incorporated this language into the Mission Statement, Brand Statement, Brand Personality, Brand Position, and Brand Promise.

Mission Statement

Hebrew College promotes excellence in Jewish learning and leadership within a pluralistic environment of open inquiry, intellectual rigor, personal engagement and spiritual creativity.

We empower and inspire individuals to contribute their voices and vision to the Jewish community and to bring Jewish values to bear on the critical issues of our time.

Brand Statement

Hebrew College is a center for personal exploration of Jewish culture and religion, with a method of open inquiry, intellectual rigor, personal engagement, and spiritual creativity. We are creating a new generation of thinkers, leaders, and educators of all ages who are adept at weaving tradition into the complexity of the modern world.

The active engagement of different perspectives both within the college and in the greater community contributes to a rich and vital conversation that moves our collective understanding forward. We provide learning that strengthens community through divergent viewpoints in Jewish thinking geared toward wherever you are in your life, and wherever you are in the world.

Brand Position

A small, private college, located outside of Boston, Hebrew College is the only institution in the United States that provides a combination of Jewish pluralistic education at the graduate level in addition to offering local community educational programs that are grounded in an academically rigorous exploration of Jewish life and culture.

Our programs produce:

• Rabbis, cantors, and educators that are prepared to nurture the Jewish life of people, regardless of their religious perspectives, in an array of religious and education settings.

• Adult learners who are engaged at a more serious academic way than they would through purely community-oriented programs.

• Teenagers who have a solid exposure to Jewish texts and values and thoughtful engagement in an ever-evolving world.

Brand Promise

To take students on an exploration of Jewish culture, religion and ideas with active engagement of different Jewish and other religious perspectives, that will shape their ideas, values, and personal and professional lives in a meaningful way.

Key Messages

• Hebrew College offers provides an immersive environment in which to learn about Jewish texts, culture and values through multiple perspectives and interfaith exchange.

• We offer a diversity of entry points into Jewish learning that helps students adapt to the changing nature of Judaism and learning.

• Premised on providing academically-rigorous studies with leading teachers, rabbis, cantors, and musicians, our approach encompasses spiritual creativity, passion, and participation.

• Our Jewish Educational program fosters diverse approaches to education that meet the needs of people with various learning styles.

• Our programs build community at the local level as well as with students across the globe.

Branding

Visual Identity / Logo

The redesigned logo creates a professional image for Hebrew College and blends together both religious and secular symbols to appeal to multiple audiences. It is inspired by the breastplate worn by the high priests in biblical times and designed to represent the 12 tribes, as well as the tablets from the Ten Commandments, an open doorway to learning, and a sunburst indicating enlightenment. The letters H and C are also subtly embedded in the design.

Brand Architecture

In order to unify the various divisions of Hebrew College, we developed a brand architecture that is both cohesive and yet versatile. The Graduate Schools are affiliated under the main Hebrew College logo while the associated programs received custom designed logos that visually connect to the College. This creates brand recognition for the College and its associated programs while still giving each a distinctive identity.

Stationery

The visual identity system is implemented throughout the organization’s communications materials, including on the letterhead, memo template, and business cards.

Brand Manual

A complete brand manual was created to help the staff implement the new brand successfully and maintain consistency throughout all marketing materials. The manual contains the message elements, shows all versions of the logos, and provides usage guidelines for logos, typefaces, colors, and stationery items.

Hebrew College is now equipped with an updated, cohesive brand that reflects its evolving capabilities as a College. The new visual identity and messaging systems allow more effective communication with and appeal to potential students, donors and supporters.

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