A state college in Wisconsin with a strong reputation for its technical education was considering a name change and rebranding to help attract future technical students who might not otherwise know about its core focus.
We developed a quantitative research tool to research perceptions by distinct audiences including alumni, parents, current students and prospective students. Specifically, our objective was to assess the meaning of a potential new name with aided and unaided definitions. We conducted the survey, which had an astounding 87% response rate for students and 76% for parents of prospective students.
Research data showed that a new technical name would not be as readily identified or understood by prospective students and parents. The current name held higher brand recognition than was previously thought. The recommendation was to continue with the current brand but to enhance and strengthen stories, taglines and representations around the technical courses and student experiences at and after college.