Most schools, whether colleges, universities or independent schools are, at this point, awash in market data—much of it vital and on point—some of it, well—not so much. But while good data, well interpreted, can offer support to the decision to move forward, it can’t manufacture an effective brand message.
That requires insight, interpretative skill, and creativity—the ability to understand an institution’s inner nature, and then tell the institution’s real story in an accessible and emboldened way. It requires the development of a strong narrative, and the willingness of the people of the institution to tell the story. We can help with this.
There are many very good schools, that are not, we might agree, great “brands.” If you’ve ever mused that your school is surely “the world’s best kept secret,” you know what we’re saying.
What separates the “well kept secret” from the “acknowledged leading brand” has very little to do with resources; it has rather to do with differing levels of confidence and conviction that a school has a compelling story to tell that could well change for the better the course of a given person’s life. Effective storytelling is a real responsibility, not only to your school, but to that given person.
Cognitive Marketing produces high impact brand communications in service to student recruitment, alumni engagement, and fundraising success. We work for educational institutions that recognize that their ability to tell their own powerful story effectively depends on having not only a clear and compelling foundational message, but an internal community of stakeholders committed to advancing and telling the same consistent and powerful story. Our Market Voicing approach is designed to ensure that the work we do not only responds to the market data, but is informed by creative insight. We engage all constituents of the schools we serve in deep dialogue, with the result that the work itself is not just recognizeable, but welcomed, and willingly put to use by the people it is meant to represent.
Through Market Voicing we discover an institution’s DNA—the essence of the school. Together with our clients, we build their brands around the stories that are uniquely theirs.
We developed our Market Voicing brand development process specifically to help our clients discover and use their most distinct, competitive, and differentiating institutional voices to meet challenges, unite community, and advance their relationships with all constituencies. The process is a highly qualitative exploration of your school’s brand through progressive conversations with members of every constituency of your community. Market Voicing is a disciplined, analytical, and yet ultimately creative process that helps form strong, emotional bonds between your school and its many communities.
Great brands are found in stories. At the heart of our work is the sifting of countless stories of the people of an institution. We carefully read the history and engage in conversations with key members of the community. We search for the stories that have the power to reveal the distinctive nature of the school and convince others of the school’s essential truth and value. These are the stories that will combine to form a coherent whole, an anthology of brand.
Great brands are great because they’re affirming. The brand must allow for all who are invested in the institution—students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents—to find their own memories that affirm their satisfaction and pride.
Great brands are built on elegant, simple, and timeless ideas. They transcend the moment. Great brands of educational institutions are a conversation between the very first students granted a degree and the ones about to enroll.
We believe that the work of educators is fundamental and of vital importance to our society, and that worthy schools can only become better schools if they are able to attract, through effective communication and self-expression, the people and the resources necessary to assure their forward progress. Our commitment is to helping good schools become stronger and more capable of providing for the common good.
We seek to delight our clients with what we produce, not just meet a need. The “delight factor” is achieved by the quality of the creative work we produce, and the care with which we serve every account. We serve people first, and through them, the institutions they work for.
Because each of us is a consultant to the education marketplace in our own right, we each endeavor to develop our own personal area of specialized knowledge, and to freely share that knowledge to colleagues and clients alike. In so doing, we are able to present Cognitive Marketing as a multi-dimensional resource to educational institutions.
We are committed to delivering great solutions to our clients, and therefore cannot settle on the easy or predictable or merely satisfactory. Our goal is always to find the solution that will most surely stand the test of time, maintaining its own integrity and tensile strength. To accomplish this, we willingly hold our ideas to close personal and collective scrutiny.
We are avid students of the industries of which we are a part—marketing communications and education. We are always seeking new information about trends, issues and communications solutions, and we assume the obligation to teach and to mentor those who work at our client schools in order to help them develop their own skills and confidence. We serve people first, and through them, the institutions they work for.
We each recognize that we play an important role in maintaining connections between our company, our partners, and the people of the industry we serve, whether or not a given connection is of immediate importance or relevance to the work we have in front of us. There is no such thing as an “ex-client” or “ex-friend” of the firm.
Peter is our Strategic Director. He developed Cognitive's Market Voicing process, and leads our brand identity engagements. A graduate of Gettysburg College (B.A. English) and Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications (M.S. Advertising), Peter's career has included account management work in the Advertising & Sales Promotion Operation of General Electric Company; design and management of an in-house marketing operation at the National Flood Insurance Program; and account supervision at three advertising agencies, including the Rochester, NY offices of BBDO (Omnicom Group) and Young & Rubicam. He's also an alumnus of The Harley School and the Preparatory Department at Eastman School of Music.
Josanne is our Creative Director. She oversees the development of all creative aspects of integrated marketing plans and identity systems, forming and leading teams of writers, designers, media planners, and Web development specialists tailored to the needs of individual clients. Josanne is a graduate of the State University of New York College at Buffalo (B.S. Design) and has served as adjunct faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology. Prior to co-founding Cognitive Marketing in 1993, Josanne was Senior Art Director at a Rochester-based design firm. Josanne currently serves on the Advisory Board of Horizons at The Harley School, a summer learning and enrichment program for city school children, and is a volunteer with the Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association.
Julie brings a background in market research to her work with our clients. A graduate of Ithaca College (B.A. English), Julie began her career in Washington, D.C., at OCM, a direct mail marketing firm with a substantial college and university client portfolio. Julie returned to her native western New York in 2003 to work at Harris Interactive, where she worked in service to that company's strategic decision to convert the entirety of its business from traditional direct mail and telephone research, to online. At Cognitive Marketing, Julie coordinates our survey research service, oversees client services, and personally manages specific client engagements.
Catherine is a Communications and Brand Development Consultant. Her experience as the Director of Creative at Houghton College provides Catherine with an informed perspective on the importance of managing a school’s brand in order to meet institutional goals. Her diverse creative background spans several industries including healthcare, media, retail, and entertainment, within which she served as Senior Manager of Off-Air Creative for Viacom/MTV Networks and as a Creative Advertising Supervisor for Gannett. She is skilled at interpreting business and brand strategies, and understands marketing fundamentals including media plans, strategies, budgets, and schedules. Catherine is a graduate of the State University of Oswego (BFA Graphic Design) and Cazenovia College (AAS Advertising).
Brandon joined Cognitive Marketing the old fashioned way—by interning here during his senior year in college, and doing outstanding work. A 2011 Graphic Design honors graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology (with a minor in Advertising and Public Relations), Brandon brings wonderful talent, high energy, and generational perspective to his work as a graphic designer. His work already reflects years of vigorous exploration of the intersection of technology, communication, and the graphic arts. And, of course, Brandon willingly takes on the responsibility of keeping his elders in touch and up-to-date with what it takes to reach, inform, and compel his contemporaries!
Susan served as a PR director for two universities and one not-for-profit agency and as senior writer for a nationally focused communications firm before becoming an independent writer devoted primarily to the education market. We are delighted to have a close working relationship with Susan; she has produced excellent work for every client we have engaged her in service to—work consistent with and revealing of each institution's distinctive brand identity. An expert in student recruitment writing as well as development/fundraising and feature writing, Susan has worked with dozens of educational institutions, creating messages and stories to help them recruit students, launch multimillion- and occasionally billion-dollar fundraising campaigns, and engage or re-engage alumni. As part of the Cognitive team, she has been the lead writer for a range of admissions and development initiatives we have undertaken for Wells College, Georgian Court University, and The College of New Jersey. Susan earned her B.A. in English from Kutztown University.
Amy is a frequent Market Voicing brand development team member, lending creative intelligence and extensive copywriting expertise to this specialized work. Over the course of Amy's long association with Cognitive Marketing, she has produced messaging standards guides, recruitment materials, websites, and advertising components for many of our client schools, including for Georgian Court University, Utica College, and Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of our broadcast development team, and is skilled at directing television, radio, and video productions. Amy holds a B.A. in English from St. John Fisher College and was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow in Poetry at Harvard University.
Jonathan is a Syracuse University graduate with a B.S. in Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He sharpened his storytelling talents as a newspaper editor and educational journal editor before diving into the ad agency world. There, he served as senior copywriter on national campaigns for Fortune 500 brands such as Xerox Corporation and MasterCard Worldwide. In the academic world, Jonathan has written for NYU's Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management; the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester; Nazareth College; Hobart and William Smith Colleges; and The Harley School. In his association with Cognitive, Jonathan served as lead writer for advertising and brand strategy projects for Georgian Court University, Millersville University and Keuka College. An active independent writer, Jonathan is a published poet, short fiction author, and blogger, and serves on the Board of Directors of the award-winning poetry press, BOA Editions, Ltd.
Michele brings fresh thinking to her work as an art director and designer. Through her analytical yet intuitive approach, and responsiveness to sound brand strategy, Michele consistently delivers smart, thoughtful, and inspirational design work. Michele earned her B.F.A. with high honors in graphic design from Rochester Institute of Technology. She began her career as a designer and marketing manager at a leading Rochester graphic design firm, working in service to Fortune 500 companies, colleges, and nonprofits. Michele is the lead designer of the work we are doing for Utica College, Wells College, and Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She is a board member of the Rochester Advertising Federation and an avid cyclist and triathlete.
Lisa is a veteran of the marketing communications business, having spent the first decade of her professional life in administrative and account service positions at two of Rochester's largest advertising agencies. Lisa joined the Cognitive team in 2000, and is responsible for seeing to the smooth and efficient operation of our company.
Adworkshop is an award-winning employee-owned, digital marketing agency offering strategic and creative solutions to the destination marketing and economic development industry and businesses in New York State. Since 1977, it has effectively delivered measurable results across the full-suite of marketing services from its Lake Placid, N.Y. location. The integrated capabilities of the agency allow it to stand out among larger agencies, while its intimate size gives it agility. Layered with talent from different backgrounds, wrapped with passion and experience for digital marketing, Adworkshop channels this energy to build successful brands.
Founded in 2000, dPost is an award-winning production and post-production company located in downtown Buffalo. The company offers a comprehensive and cost-effective destination for every aspect of the motion image process for broadcast, multimedia, and corporate projects. dPost specializes in a diverse range of capabilities, including full production services, nonlinear editing, motion graphics, 3D animation, color finishing, sound design, and more. In the higher education arena, dPost has worked closely on regional branding initiatives for Niagara University, Canisius College, Millersville University, Georgian Court University, and Medaille College. With Cognitive Marketing, dPost is pivotal to the firm’s Video VoicingSM service to educational institutions.
With an unparalleled dedication to client service, Tipping Point Public Relations reaches target audiences with thoughtful messaging that delivers measurable results. The agency provides a full range of PR services including publicity and media relations, planning and strategy, crisis management, public affairs, video production, special events, media training and social media. Tipping Point brings an extensive background in serving higher education clients, and its partnership with Cognitive Marketing has resulted in successful campaign for institutions such as Millersville University and Georgian Court University.