Follow Your Why
For 45 years, Walden University, has been serving the higher education needs of adult learners. Today, more than 47,800 students from all 50 U.S. states and more than 150 countries are pursing bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees and certificates online in a broad range of disciplines. Even with the large amount of students, overall brand awareness for Walden is low compared to other competitors in the industry.
Walden wanted to invest in a brand campaign to increase general awareness as well as inform consumers of their dedication to social change. The team took this opportunity to steer away from the typical higher ed marketing of smiling people wearing caps and gowns, to instead position Walden as a lifestyle brand that stands out. The team developed "Follow Your Why" to both share stories of alumni using their degrees to impact the world and to also ask the audience what are they driven to do and remind them a Walden degree can help get them there. Along with strong messaging, the "Follow Your Why" style included bold type, a striking color palette and original photography, art directed to capture aspirational black and white portraits.
The campaign was geo targeted in markets across the US and included elements such as outdoor, airport signage, print ads, a microsite, HTML banners, social media, emails and more. The campaign proved successful with brand uplift higher than 50% in some markets.