A topic that is often overlooked in our industry is properly reflecting your brand’s values online. A brand must be all-encompassing, embraced by all and tell the story of who you are.
“A topic that is often overlooked in our industry is properly reflecting your brand’s values online”
With these principles in mind, SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences together with its parent company, the SRH Holding – a leader in education and healthcare in Germany – embarked on a full rebranding strategy in 2020.
Revealed early December, SRH Berlin began 2021 with a fresh look, a brand-new website and reinvigorated values.
At the centre of the SRH teaching & learning experience lies the CORE Principle – Learning for Life, designed in house by Jörg Winterberg, CEO of SRH Higher Education.
SRH Berlin comprises five schools in three cities: Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg and offers state-accredited bachelor and master programs in engineering, IT, business & digital entrepreneurship, media and communication, film, music and audio design.
The challenge the university faced was that its brand no longer fully reflected its tech-forward degrees, the variety of programs or its diverse international community. Although it could be argued that the old brand was effective – enrolment was healthy, and the university’s reputation strong – it no longer fit the shape and character of SRH Berlin.
As a first and essential step towards the new brand, the SRH Holding invested time into exploring and establishing their set of values. What they discovered was a need to strongly place people – both staff and students – at its heart.
Creating a new brand identity is a considerable undertaking. It took two years to develop and included the active involvement of over 1,000 employees representing every part and level of SRH.
To achieve this, SRH enlisted the expertise of Martin et Karczinski, iconic branding agency known for working with companies such as Lufthansa, Swiss Air and Audi.
During this process, three pairs of values were established:
– Warm and empathetic: An important characteristic of SRH;
– Well-founded and thought-out: Reflected in the use of tested methods and evaluations for over 50 years;
– Courageous and consistent: Values to guide SRH towards the future.
Oana Lelcu, marketing & sales director at SRH Berlin, further explains: “We take our mission very seriously, to provide sustainable education focused on personal support, skill-building and critical thinking to our students.
“We’ve always been deeply aware of the responsibility we have towards our students’ future, so this value-driven approach is not new. What is new, is having an innovative website and brand that fully reflect it.”
Values have actually been the cornerstone of the institution’s programs for many years.
The MBAs, for example, place emphasis on social responsibility and soft skills as well as industry insights.
Education has, in recent years, gone through a profound process of digitalisation, with far reaching effects on both students and learning. It was therefore essential that the new SRH Berlin website, developed in cooperation with Jung von Matt advertising agency, provide a smooth, agile “Touch and Feel” experience to students and partners.
Moreover, the website had to be technically capable of managing the strains of increased digitalisation – especially in the “new normal”.
In a time when life is lived online, SRH Berlin’s new website will lie at the heart of all recruitment, marketing, and student life.
The website sets the tone for the culture of the university. When on-campus life is, at best, heavily disrupted, having a website that students can identify with and engage is crucial to the success of the university and its community.
About the author:
Korinne Algie is the founder of KAIE Marketing, an education marketing consultancy based in Germany. Having been involved in international education for over 20 years, Korinne offers a number of content, digital and social media related services.