Celebrating and re-branding Mount Mercy University

With the impending launch of University status in August 2010, in 2009–10 the efforts of the institution focused on the rebranding of Mount Mercy as a university, rather than a college.

The branding strategy for Mount Mercy University comes from a nearly four-year evaluation of the institution’s past identity. Months of internal and external research, including evaluation of current awareness perceptions of Mount Mercy, contributed to creation of the new brand that will emphasize Mount Mercy’s educational heritage and promise.

Along with University status, Mount Mercy introduced a new logo during the August 23 University press conference. The logo, which stacks the words Mount, Mercy and University alongside an adaptation of a Mercy cross, places greater physical importance on “Mercy” and “University,” highlighting the institution’s focus and connection with the Sisters of Mercy and its new designation. Previous Mount Mercy logos had placed primary focus on the institution’s location — a hill or mount — rather than its founding values.

“The new messages and brand launched in the marketplace on August 23 in traditional media and social media,” says Molly Altorfer, assistant vice president for communications and marketing. “Once the creative was launched, we began hearing positive feedback. Many people said ‘We see Mount Mercy everywhere!’ It was gratifying to hear that kind of immediate reaction, and we plan to work diligently to maintain the presence of Mount Mercy University in the media.”

One of the keys in promoting the re-branding of Mount Mercy University was to engage the campus and the community in the evolutionary and exciting change. Three days of events celebrated University status, including a press conference announcing the redesignation, a celebratory mass offered by The Most Rev. Jerome Hanus, Archbishop of Dubuque, and a campus-wide picnic featuring alumni-fueled rock band Aeroroot.

In order to communicate the messages of the University celebrations, a special Web site was constructed to inform visitors about Mount Mercy’s history, future, reasons for changing to a University.  Additionally, later this year Mount Mercy will launch a re-designed Web site.

To hear clips of the new Mount Mercy University radio spots, click on a title:

MountMercyUniversity – Adult 60 spot
MountMercyUniversity – Undergrad 60 spot
MountMercyUniversity – Graduate 60 spot