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Case study

Winona State University

Winona State University was already No. 1 in the Minnesota State system, but it needed a new recruitment strategy to stand out in a fiercely competitive market.

The higher education marketing experts at Vendi delivered with a results-driven campaign leading to a 250% increase in conversions year over year.

Services provided

  • Brand
  • Creative
  • Digital
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Photography & videography
  • Research
  • Strategy
  • Web

Vendi develops new recruitment campaign driving enrollment and igniting passion at Winona State University

Winona State University, a vibrant college community nestled between the Mississippi River and the bluffs in southeast Minnesota, faced a common problem in higher education marketing. How do you stand out to prospective students?

Winona State leaders needed a forward-thinking, research-driven recruitment strategy, and they knew just the right partner to deliver. The higher ed marketing experts at Vendi created “Take the Torch”—a bold new campaign that not only differentiated Winona State from its competitors but also brought a renewed sense of energy and pride to those already on campus.

Vendi’s brand awareness and perception research helps inform campaign strategy

The research experts at Vendi conducted in-depth quantitative research to:

  • Gauge target audiences’ awareness and perceptions of Winona State University relative to its key competitors
  • Identify why students did/did not choose Winona State University
  • Reveal points of differentiation and messaging hot buttons
  • Determine prospective students’ communication preferences during the consideration phase

Research included online surveys of current and prospective students. Based on the survey results, Vendi researchers created audience segments and personas to better target campaign messaging. 

Vendi’s video and photography elevates Winona State brand identity 

Leveraging in-house expertise, Vendi's video and photography pros produced original creative assets for the "Take the Torch" campaign. Aligning with Winona State’s established brand identity, the campaign's video and photography showcased the university’s beautiful campus, diverse student body and dedicated faculty and staff. This resulted in compelling visuals that fostered a sense of community and shared purpose, resonating deeply with the target audience.

The success of "Take the Torch" is a testament to the power of collaboration, creativity and the understanding of a true partnership between Vendi and Winona State.

Winona State University — Take the Torch billboard
Winona State University — Take the Torch Meta ads
Winona State University — Take the Torch Meta carousel ad
Winona State University — Take the Torch landing page and email
Winona State University — Take the Torch campaign style guide
Winona State University — Take the Torch 30-second ad