Kent State adopts new marketing slogan

Tim Magaw

Tagline ‘Excellence in Action’ will replace old branding and feature an individual message from each school or college

A new message will be emerging in all aspects of the university’s marketing campaign, replacing the “Imagine” branding which has been around for the past six years.

The new message, “Excellence in Action,” has been in the works for the past year, said Kathy Stafford, vice president for university relations and development.

“You don’t use the same message forever,” she said, adding that although the “Imagine” campaign was effective, it was a natural time for transition, especially after hiring a new president.

She said the university is just adjusting its brand message, which will be used in the overall marketing campaign.

Thomas Neumann, associate vice president of university communications and marketing and the university’s chief marketing officer, said discussions took place with President Lester Lefton to assess his vision of Kent State. Because Lefton lived out of state, he was able to view the university objectively. Neumann said Lefton saw excellence and student success from the university.

Talking with various groups around campus, Neumann said the “Excellence in Action” campaign was the front-runner for the new slogan.

“It kind of rose to the top as we talked about it with a few groups,” he said.

The “Excellence in Action” branding would be featured along with a tagline for each school or college. At last month’s Board of Trustees meeting, trustee Brian Tucker gave the example of tagging “On paper, on air, online” onto the campaign for the College of Communication and Information. Neumann said his office is meeting with the individual colleges to determine what other additional taglines would be.

He said the new “Excellence in Action” message shows there are a lot of great things happening at Kent State. The “action” aspect shows that many progressive things are happening at the university, and the “excellence” aspect shows the quality of the programs.

“You combine the two together and it says Kent State is trying to take things to the next level,” Neumann said.

He said marketing campaigns are important because there is a lot of competition between universities to get fundraising support and new students.

With a positive message for the university in place, Neumann said businesses will think highly of the institution when they’re hiring students.

“Hopefully it’s helping students out when they go out looking for jobs,” he said.

Contact administration reporter Tim Magaw at [email protected].