Arcadia Community Engages in Collaborative Branding Initiative

By Caitlin Burns | January 31, 2020

Two women at a table with a sign and post its about the value perspective

Call it serendipitous: This year, Arcadia is launching a collaborative branding initiative that will bring “20/20 Arcadia in Focus” clarity to the University’s place within the higher education landscape. It’s been nearly 20 years since community members engaged in such a process and reimagined Beaver College’s identity as Arcadia. Now, efforts will focus on developing an authentic, compelling brand that reflects Arcadia’s evolution. 

To help tell a more precise story about Arcadia’s community and culture, more than 250 University constituents—including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, trustees, administration, alumni, parents, and industry leaders—shared their experiences, perspectives, and aspirations in branding discovery sessions. 

“This is a special time for us as an institution,” said Abbey Ryan ’03, associate dean of the College of Arts and Science and co-chair of the Branding Working Committee. “For me personally, it’s also a milestone. I was in the room as an undergrad when Arcadia’s name change was announced. Now is the time for us to engage in market research to see the evolution from that day.”

Arcadia has partnered with SimpsonScarborough—a well-known higher education marketing agency—to discern the University’s market position and ensure the brand is relevant. In addition to hosting focus groups, SimpsonScarborough led an open session on Jan. 23 for community members to hone in on Arcadia’s strengths, misperceptions, and opportunities.

“I appreciated the opportunity to have my unique experiences be taken into account for the development of the University’s future,” said Sociology major Caitlin Joyce ’20, who participated in a focus group. “I wanted to bring the perspective of a student who’s engaged in both my department and the surrounding Glenside community.”

“We all play a role in building Arcadia’s brand experience,” said co-chair Laura Baldwin ’12MBA, vice president for Marketing and Communications. “This is a collaborative process that will represent the entire University community, which is why it’s crucial that we all participate and remain invested in the initiative.”

Community members can submit their comments to Baldwin and Ryan through email. The next phase of the initiative will be online surveys, available for community participation in March.