Iona looks to rebrand college within year

Krystal Ortiz, News Editor

Iona has been hosting a series of focus groups geared towards students and faculty regarding the new rebranding of the college’s logo expected next year.

Organizations should rebrand every three to five years, according to Vice President of College Marketing & Communications Mary Clare Reilley.

“Rebranding is also an opportunity to re-examine not just what we use to visually represent ourselves, but really to ask ourselves some important questions: Who are we now? How do people know us? Who do we want to be and how do we want people to know us?” Reilley said in an email interview.

The last time Iona rebranded was seven years ago, making the rebrand overdue, according to Reilley.

Many aspects have been going into the process of finding a new brand that will fit Iona College. Beginning the process, the school looked for experts to assist, selecting two outside partners the college is currently working with: Lawrence & Schiller for the rebrand and mStoner for the website redesign.

Iona spent several months in the “discovery phase,” where the college made sure the agencies fully understood the college, according to Reilley.

“They got to know us even better through focus groups on campus with faculty, staff and students, and via an online survey of faculty, staff, students and alumni that asked about their experiences at Iona, perceptions of Iona and associations with Iona’s branding and logos,” Reilley said.

The focus groups emerged as the team and agencies considered all of the input received and developed several creative options, including brand stories, positioning statements, logos, mood boards and color palettes.

The creative options were tested with focus groups composed of faculty, staff and students the week of Feb. 16. The agencies and team will continue testing and refining until the new brand will be unveiled in the spring. An internal launch will happen in May and the new website is expected in July. The broader launch of the rebranding is expected to take place at the beginning of August.

Rebranding is much deeper than just a new logo, it also conveys the identity of the college, according to Reilley.

“Rebranding is not about coming up with a catchy new slogan or new logo. More than that, it is about redefining how we represent ourselves and how we tell the Iona story,” Reilley said. “Iona’s mission; vision and values; our heritage and history; the legacy of the Christian Brothers; the students we serve; and the experiences of Iona’s alumni, students, faculty and staff are all being taken into consideration.”

The new brand is expected to have a large, positive impact on the students and faculty on campus.

“We expect that the new brand will reflect all of the energy we have on campus while hopefully igniting some fresh inspiration,” Reilley said.

Students that have attended the focus groups are excited for the campus’ new brand which will give the college a more “modern” look, such as senior Tiara Griffith.

“I think the new logo will positively affect the Iona community as it will show them that Iona is undergoing change and it will portray Iona in a new, modern light,” Griffith said.