In the heavily crowded higher education industry, colleges seek messaging that not only resonates with prospective students, but also serves as a key differentiator relative to competitive institutions vying for that same student.
For one of our higher education clients, DRA conducted a study among the college’s prospective students, its current students, and competitive college students to evaluate potential positioning and messaging statements in terms of personal relevance, language, believability, and appeal; however, each session yielded dramatically different findings, with no single concept rising to the top or falling out of contention. There was no consensus even within each of the three student segments. So, when analyzing the findings, DRA more thoroughly reviewed the recordings and transcripts. By listening to each individual’s personal story and his/her specific reactions to the positioning concepts, it quickly became evident that the findings aligned by psychographic/lifestyle segment as opposed to the three recruited student segments. Participants’ personal stories, category perceptions, and life experiences allowed them to be clustered into five distinct need-state/lifestyle segments.
By cutting the data a little differently and creating user profiles, DRA was ultimately able to identify the positioning concept that best resonated with each lifestyle segment. We then helped the institution to optimize each concept and develop campaigns targeted at each of these cohorts.