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Long Island University to Launch Rebranding and Recruitment Initiative

New visual identity program and multimedia marketing campaign to establish a unified identity for the University and its campuses, raise the institution's profile and support new enrollment strategies


Kim Volpe-Casalino
LIU Marketing and Public Relations,

Brian Harmon
LIU Brooklyn,

Rita Langdon
LIU Post,

On January 1, 2012, Long Island University—one of the largest and most comprehensive private universities in the nation—will rebrand itself as LIU. A bold and greatly simplified logo will be introduced. This effort represents a “double rebranding” for the University, because simultaneous with the launch, the names of LIU’s six campuses will receive shorter, more telegraphic designations, uniting them under the new LIU brand, making them more modern and memorable in a Facebook and Twitter world. For example: the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University will be referred to as LIU Post.

“We will present the University in a more contemporary way—to appeal more strongly to future students and other stakeholders,” says Dr. David J. Steinberg, president of LIU. “We will accentuate the connective tissue of our University and the unique experiences to be found on each of its campuses.”

The University’s Rebranding and Recruitment Initiative has been undertaken, following a resolution by the LIU board of trustees. “Our objective is to develop a campaign that would create a unified identity, reaffirm our student-centric focus and distinguish the university in the higher education sector,” says Edward Travaglianti, Chairman of the board of trustees. To achieve these objectives, the University brought in advertising industry veteran John Ferrell, former creative director of Young and Rubicam, to collaborate with the institution’s marketing and public relations team on this major initiative. Mr. Ferrell’s work includes landmark campaigns for Met Life, Hallmark Cards, Ford Motor Company and Advil.

A committee of University trustees with marketing expertise across industry sectors was formed to oversee the process. Mr. Ferrell was brought into the University family by trustee and alumnus Stan Barshay. Mr. Barshay, who retired as president of consumer health care for Merck & Co., leads the trustee committee that is shepherding the new initiative.

“It’s critical to have a single message communicated to all of the constituents of the University—faculty, administration, alumni, trustees, parents, donors, high school counselors and the community at large. By speaking with one voice, we can engender a greater sense of pride," Mr. Barshay says. “In the past, emphasis in communications was on individual campuses and programs. Today, our new message will accentuate strength in unity and resonate with more people.”

“We set out to create a campaign for LIU that would at once separate it from all competition,” says Mr. Ferrell. “The positioning idea that drives the campaign—‘Find Out How Good You Really Are’—encourages all prospective students to attend LIU to discover their full potential. The theme is a challenge. A rallying cry. An urge to action. A reaffirmation of each individual’s talent and basic worth. The need/inclination toward self discovery, which the campaign addresses, is so powerful—and so fundamental—that the campaign is both enduring, and timeless.”

By combining all advertising and promotional efforts within a common theme, this new initiative more effectively leverages the University’s marketing budget, ensuring that each ad will benefit all campuses. The campaign provides a strategic template for highlighting student achievement, celebrating faculty as scholars and educators, illuminating each campus’s attributes and reinforcing the idea that each unit of the University is a part of something greater.

The first phase of the advertising campaign features the success stories of recent graduates coupled with the “Find Out How Good You Really Are” theme. Qualitative research conducted with focus groups at both of LIU’s residential campuses showed that students responded best to factual life accounts of recent alumni who were able to secure jobs in today’s tight economy. Subsequent ads will feature faculty, and older alumni who have graduated from LIU and have had the opportunity to achieve significant success in their respective professions.

The January launch will take the University's marketing efforts to a new level. “We will seek to ‘dominate’ the market for several months in both traditional and digital media, with the latter dramatically expanding our national and global reach,” Dr. Steinberg says. Ads will run in major newspapers, including The New York Times, the Daily News and Newsday; in the New York City subway system; on Long Island Railroad platforms; in Penn Station; on billboards in high-traffic areas; on cable television; and on the Web. The campaign’s message points will be amplified through the University's social media networks. A “Find Out How Good You Really Are” app is also in development.

University trustee and alumnus Richard Nespola, chairman and CEO of The Management Network Group, believes that the digital component of the campaign is key. "In the digital age, electronic advertising and media have no geographic boundaries," says Nespola, who was engaged in the process as a member of the trustee committee. "This translates to having the University brand and awareness presented to students worldwide, supporting continued growth and diversity in LIU’s student body at no incremental advertising cost."

Richard Gorman, vice president for University relations, observes, “Encouragement to invest in oneself through education is essential during this period of personal and social uncertainty. This campaign is an acknowledgment of each individual’s innate desire to explore and to achieve. Growing throughout life is the result of learning from within and without. LIU is committed to enabling the pursuit of learning in both respects. ‘Finding out’ is where the journey begins.” "We are confident that this new approach will raise our institutional appeal among prospective students who seek to gain for themselves a higher orbit of opportunity, and will foster greater pride of affiliation within our network of nearly 185,000 living alumni," Dr. Steinberg says.

About LIU

In its ninth decade of providing access to the American dream through excellence in higher education, LIU is a multicampus, diverse, doctoral institution of higher learning. One of the largest and most comprehensive private universities in the country, the University offers more than 575 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs and certificates, and educates over 23,000* students in degree-credit and continuing education programs in Brooklyn, Brookville (LIU Post), Brentwood, Riverhead, and Rockland and Westchester (LIU Hudson). Other academic units include LIU Pharmacy (the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences), which prepares students for successful careers in the fields of pharmacy and health care; LIU Global, which provides a wide range of study abroad options at overseas centers in China, Costa Rica and India, and through programs in Australia, Ecuador, Peru, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey; and LIU Online, which harnesses the latest technology to offer online and blended programs.

LIU’s more than 630 full-time faculty members provide outstanding instruction, which is supplemented by internships and cooperative education opportunities. The accomplishments of nearly 185,000 living alumni are a testament to the success of its mission – providing the highest level of education to people from all walks of life. The institution also provides enrichment for students and the community through the world-class arts programming at LIU Tilles Center, NCAA Division I and II athletic teams and the nationally renowned George Polk Awards in journalism.

*This number includes high school students enrolled in one or more degree-credit courses.

For more information:

  •  LIU Rebranding and Recruitment Initiative FAQ

Posted 12/29/2011

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