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Telling Saint Mary’s story: Brand refresh and website redesign update

September 21, 2021

Cardinal Update News Newsletters

The Marketing and Communication team is making great strides on our brand refresh and web redesign project thanks to the wonderful support and ongoing feedback from many individuals across Saint Mary’s community.

We started working with an external partner this summer on the brand refresh and a total web redesign, including a new content management system. These two key initiatives will help advance Saint Mary’s strategic priorities with a focus on building reputation and revenue.

Here’s what’s happened since June:

  • Current website audit and competitive analysis
  • Initial sitemap created to guide the website redesign, informed by Google Analytics (user demographics, most visited pages, time spent, etc.)
  • Quantitative and qualitative research on brand perceptions and the website (focus groups and surveys including current undergraduate and SGPP students; prospective students; alumni; faculty; and staff
  • To support this critical work, the MarComm team has recently onboarded three new staff members:
    • Dan Berdal, director of web services
    • Rachel Bjerstedt, director of digital marketing
    • Diane Riggs, marketing account manager
  • Meetings with faculty and staff across all three campuses to help ensure technical requirements are met and many voices are considered when developing student journeys and a website structure that will support them.
  • Met with our compliance team for insight on compliance issues as we move toward engaging more users across the university in managing content and strive for a more streamlined approach to website updates.
  • Research analysis based on focus groups and surveys completed in September.

Key next steps include:

  • Brand foundation work including messaging and tone, design, and brand standards.
  • Persona development and customer journey mapping to aid in website navigation and structure.
  • Brand refresh proposal shared with the president and cabinet.
  • Initial website technical requirements will be shared with Modern Climate, our brand and website redesign partner, but the discussion about requirements, structure, and content will be ongoing.

Project timing

We hope to have an approved set of brand standards, graphic style guide, and templates in winter 2022, and the new website by summer 2022. We will plan a brand rollout with education and engagement opportunities so the entire community has an opportunity to ask questions, get resources, and understand the refreshed brand and overview of the website. We will continue to send out regular updates that reflect our most current launch estimate.

As always, we appreciate all the thoughtful questions, feedback, and support from the community on these projects. Lots more to come! Please let us know if you have any questions.