Duke, the number seven-ranked university in the country, needed a brand to match the boundless opportunities it offers its students.
After a steady ascension into the top 10 national rankings, Duke was looking to convey how it offers an experience that differs from its Ivy League competitors, and compete head-to-head with top institutions like Harvard, Yale and Princeton.
In analyzing what differentiated Duke from other Ivies, it became apparent that what had been seen as a detriment — Duke’s relatively short history compared to the 400-year history of schools like Harvard — was actually a benefit. Duke has a versatility and adaptability as an institution that allows it to create unique programming and curriculum innovations. This resulted in brand positioning, “An Open Source Platform for Brilliance” to convey Duke’s truly boundless, modern programs through which students experience Duke’s pioneering approach to education on its beautiful 8,500-acre, North Carolina campus (and on all seven continents).
In its first year, the dynamic, vibrant brand helped draw the most academically elite class in Duke history. More than 32,000 students applied for the final class of just 1,700 freshmen, marking the lowest acceptance rate ever for Duke. S.A.T. scores were an all-time high and the class featured 719 international students, the most in Duke history.