SAE, part of the Navitas Group, is the world’s largest creative media institute with 54 campuses in 27 countries. Incling was initially asked to provide recommendations around the merger of the two key brands: SAE - from an audio engineering legacy, and Qantm College - a computer gaming institute. Because of the equity value in both brands, it was not an option to remove or change either of the names, yet they needed to present as one entity and be positioned as the “world's leading educator for the creative media industries.”
We conducted both quantitative and qualitative research of audiences including current and prospective students, staff, industry, and employers. We undertook competitor analysis and facilitated a brand positioning workshop with key stakeholders.
Key findings indicated that students identified more with their chosen area of study than the that of the SAE or Qantm brands. Student personalities, attributes and aspirations differed significantly between course disciplines, forming distinct ‘tribes’ within the broader SAE family. SAE's heritage in audio engineering also marginalised students enrolled in other disciplines.
Based on research insights, Incling redefined the course architecture by creating an identity for each discipline, each acting as a distinct sub-brand with its own personality traits.
In addition to the rebrand and collateral produced, research informed brand guidelines outlining tone of voice, vision, personality and values for use across all communications and collateral to create a strong unified global brand that appealed to, and attracted, students from around the world.
There was an immediate positive impact on global student acquisition. In the 2.5 years since implementation, turnover and profits have increased by more than 300% in regions where the new brand has been adopted. Incling received universal praise from all international SAE and Navitas management teams and the new brand was subsequently rolled out globally.