Blennd transformed the Western Colorado University brand experience from the top down. It began with a brand strategy and design system, and resulted in a cutting-edge website, multiple successful digital marketing campaigns, and an ongoing growth partnership.
It all started with a $80M philanthropic donation. DONATION Paul Rady, a Denver philanthropist from Antero Resources donated an $80 million dollar gift to the University. As an alumnus, Rady’s initiative was to build a new state-of-the-art School of Computer Science and Engineering. Along with that came a goal to transform the Western brand, highlighting the unique, high-quality education of a small university.
Defining the Western Experience
Blennd developed internal relationships with key stakeholders to execute in-depth discovery and strategy sessions throughout the organization. Our work spanned the entire brand experience: from brand architecture and strategy, to a robust identity system with comprehensive guidelines, to a fully reimagined website and digital experience.
Update the Western brand and its digital footprint to accurately reflect the unique high-quality education offered by the University.
78 PROJECT MILESTONES
5,000 HOURS OF WORK
12 MONTH TIMELINE
Unified branding that creates fluency across all channels.
When communicating with such diverse audiences, defining what’s right and wrong is highly complex. Blennd answered these communication questions with a 63-page brand guide, creating brand fluency and effective messaging across all channels – both internal and external.
63 PAGE BRAND STRATEGY GUIDE
Discovering unique stories at Western.
Western is rich with alumni success stories and world-renowned hands-on educational opportunities. However, these stories weren’t being told in a digital environment. We changed that by executing 500 hours of photo / video work and 175 pieces of written content to invoke emotion and interaction.
500 HOURS OF PHOTO & VIDEO WORK
175 PAGES OF WRITTEN CONTENT
Journey Mapping & UX
Creating a best-in-class user experience.
We completed a comprehensive audit of the old 3,000+ page website and reimagined the site structure with a 14-page site architecture document. It defined the functionality requirements, operational/environmental needs, maintainability, support, and security and privacy guidelines. Our website strategy also included UX/UI, research, attributes, goal setting and development of 5 key personas, each including journey mapping across the many digital touchpoints.
15 USER FLOW DIAGRAMS
Website Design & Development
Building a modern and effective website.
Blennd custom designed and developed a cutting-edge 2000+ page website on Western.edu. It utilizes modern expertise in each area including effective user experience, lead flow, analytics/tracking, and overall functionality, resulting in overall university marketing and operational effectiveness.
CourseLeaf integration that is synced with the database to easily manage courses on program pages
Slate CRM Integration & tracking 255 program & 70 department pages that dynamically populate program and department-specific content
Custom built academic program page, with filtering features to easily search and find programs
Extensive caching system to improve site speed and reduce the server resources needed to generate content
Dynamic, custom built breadcrumb and subpage menu structure for better UX and site architecture
Digital Advertising & SEO
A data-driven digital transformation.
After 12 months and 5000+ hours of digital marketing transformation work, Blennd launched state of the art, data driven paid media / digital advertising, while closely tracking user journeys, attribution, cross-domain conversion tracking and ROI metrics for the first time in the University’s history.
61% INCREASE IN OVERALL USERS
$57 AVERAGE COST PER APPLICATION
200% BETTER CTR ABOVE INDUSTRY BENCHMARK
50% BETTER CPC BELOW INDUSTRY BENCHMARK
A complete digital transformation with impressive results.
Amid the economic crisis of COVID-19, Western’s new student applications went up, along with all other valuable metrics – across the board. We took an idea, challenged internal teams, broke barriers, rigorously executed work, and delivered a complete internal and external digital transformation in 12 months.