Johnson and Cornell are strong brands and great, powerful names that have existed for years. To support our school’s Strategic Plan, this branding initiative has focused on updating the brand strategy for Johnson in light of the competitive environment and changing dynamics in the MBA and executive education marketplace.
Our brand is an articulation of who we are and what we do best. It is a signal and a promise to a wide array of audiences. By virtue of our proud connection to Cornell University, we have a strong endorser brand which is embraced wholeheartedly in our new brand strategy. In the Johnson master brand, however, which has not been well-defined, we saw an opportunity to differentiate ourselves, while staying authentic to the experience we provide.
The brand positioning statement, support statements, and logo were an outgrowth of extensive research throughout a two-year timeframe, beginning with the Strategic Plan. The research included the input of thousands of students, potential students, alumni, recruiters, faculty, and staff as well as extensive market research of the top fifteen business schools in the country.
Research strategies included four quantitative studies, the most recent being a 2010 student survey with a sample of 438 students and accepted but not-matriculated students; hundreds of interviews; and more than twelve focus groups to develop and test positioning strategies, names logos and advertising messages. The results of this research have culminated in the updated brand positioning, name, and logo that make up our brand.
Updated Johnson brand promise
Promise: Johnson graduates know how to harness the collective strength of others to create extraordinary results.
Support statement: More than ever, leaders must be capable of sustaining, mining, and getting the most out of an organization. Through collaborative learning and immersion in real-world challenges, Johnson students gain essential business skills plus direct experience in leveraging the talent and knowledge of others, yielding more ideas, more possibilities, more thoughtful, well-rounded solutions and, ultimately, extraordinary results.
When employers hire a Johnson graduate, they get more than one person. They get the strength of many.
Updated Johnson logo
We are a named institution — the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. This has not and will not change. And while we still use the Cornell University insignia and the Cornell University name in the new logo, just as before, we have given the “Johnson” name more prominence as a first step toward enhancing name awareness and recognition. The campaign piece on the opposite page shows off our new logo and how it integrates with our current advertising.
How you can help make Johnson truly our brand
You can help by making an effort to understand the brand positioning and its support statements, and adopting it as part of your communications with others when talking about your experiences here at Johnson. We have created a campaign micro-site at www.johnson. cornell.edu/brand that contains information on the development and implementation of the new brand strategy. Visit the brand site or email the Johnson marketing team at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have.