Copenhagen Business School invites business leaders of the future to ‘be the change’

Increasing public awareness

Following the financial crisis, the executive master program Master of Management Development (MMD) at CBS, experienced a decreasing number of applicants. To turn things around, MMD wanted to make its strengths more visible to increase awareness and attract new participants. Based on an analysis of MMD's existing strengths, we delivered a new visual identity and created synergies between real life experiences and media efforts. Through a combination of events and press communication the public attention increased significantly, resulting in a doubling of applicants.

Understanding the brand

The participants at the program are leaders wanting to develop their management skills. Participants had to design their individual educational course and set goals for their own learning. The absence of a set curriculum forced leaders to reflect on their own learning – and the learning of others.

Authentic strengths of MMD

The inherent strengths of an organization can constitute a valuable source of inspiration for developing the brands future direction, identity, vision and culture. Therefore, the process began with a mapping of MMD’s authentic strengths. The analysis revealed five authentic strengths that made MMD stand out from other executive master programs:

  1. Relational, research-based and active learning
  2. Personal learning: You learn how to learn
  3. Develop yourself as a leader and human
  4. Analytical and reflective leaders
  5. Implementation of experiments in practice

We decided to develop the future strategic and visual direction in correspondence with the authentic strengths: personal and relational learning and reflectiveness. Consequently, these authentic strengths laid the foundation for new MMD’s payoff:

Your development. The company's transformation

Creating a visual identity

To secure the necessary visual anchoring we adjusted the visual expression of MMD to fit the new strategic changes. The new identity came to life through several communication materials and created a unified perception of the brand.

The new identity was developed within the overall design guidelines from CBS, as it utilizes the CBS font and overall color scheme. However, to give MMD its own unique identity and distinct expression, we developed a new logo and changed the colors. The business blue of CBS runs through all communication activities to create recognizability as a CBS program, while the green color underlines the seriousness and professional approach of MMD.

Logo

In the development of the new logo for MMD we did a graphical clean-up of the previous logo, and secured a clear and comprehendible message in the brand.

Colours

The dark blue situates MMD within the business environment, while the green color creates a playful expression underlining the social aspect of MMD.

Typeface

The new visual identity for MMD utilizes the corporate font of CBS, to position MMD as one of CBS’s executive programs.

Graphics

By redesigning the visual identity of MMD we created a more coherent and recognizable brand, which made MMD stand out as a professional Executive Master Program.

Learning through relationships

During the process of mapping the authentic strengths, it became evident that the participants of MMD work and study in reflection pairs. As a result, the new identity primarily emphasizes the ability to learn through relations and the knowledge embedded in these relationships. To emphasize this authentic strength all visual elements illustrate selected MMD reflection pairs.

The pairs exemplify the positive energy and the collective learning embedded in the relationships.

Inspiring brochure

As the new visual identity has a strong focus on the reflection pairs, we created a brochure for the program that reflected the new identity and the strength learning through relationships. Handpicked reflection pairs decorated the cover and exemplified the unique MMD energy.

The brochure both communicates the unique structure of MMD and its professional content.

Experience communication

By adopting an experience communication approach we actively engaged participants and ascribed a deeper and more emotional meaning to the brand. We communicated to a small target group on a more active level, creating a personal relationship with the audience.

To strengthen the process of recruiting participants for the program, we created both digital and real life experiences where potential participants could feel what it is like to be a part of MMD. Instead of adopting a traditional campaign approach, we developed a relevant conference that demonstrated the benefits of MMD to potential participants.

Be the change conference

As a pivotal point of the communication we developed and executed the conference “Be the change”. More than 140 executive leaders participated to get inspired by speakers from leading international corporations, together with CBS professors who spoke about the importance of changing yourself in order to change your organization. We planned the conference, booked the best speakers, venue, and media coverage, to ensure that participants would get an eventful and inspiring day with MMD.

Be the change encapsulates the strengths of MMD - Management development of the individual and of others to move the organization to new levels in an ever-changing world. That’s the essence of MMD. Lise Balslev
Program Director, MMD.

The conference was held in the magnificent hall of the National Musum. The beautiful and historic surroundings set the scene for an inspiring event.

Professor Jane Dutton emphasized the importance of relations in the quest of becoming a positive leader.

140 active participants joined the conference and gained inspiring insights from some of the most prominent speakers.

At the conference participants could experience Professor at CBS, Jan Molin, talk about how the management creates changes.

Program Director at MMD, Lise Balslev, was exited to see so many attendees gathered in the National Museum.

Besides inspiring presentations, the day offered many laughs and smiles from participants and speakers.

Video and podcast

We recorded the whole event in order to create small films of each speaker, vox pop videos with the participants’ reflections and short films with highlights of the day. The films were distributed through MMD’s Facebook page, website and newsletters to create long-lasting momentum. We also produced a series of short podcasts with professors at MMD. The podcasts were posted on MMD's website to inspire and attract future participants:

Podcast to MMD website

Professor Majken Schultz talks about the importance of management in branding processes.

Podcast to MMD website

Head of MMD Jan Molin underlines how management creates changes

Video from conference

Professor Jane Dutton talks about how you become a positive leader through relations.

An event holds a wide range of opportunities to tell the target group about the brand and its key messages, and constitutes an opportunity for creating strong personal relations. Combining real life experiences with digital communication activities created a strong platform for MMD that secured long-lasting value on social media platforms, the website and newsletters.

Press

To create public attention that supported the events and digital experiences, we conducted a wide range of press communication activities for MMD. The synergy between articles in the largest Danish daily newspapers and the inspiring ‘Be the Change Conference’, strengthened the position and credibility of MMD’s brand among the public.

To support the brochure, we placed a long line of stories about MMD in professional media, management magazines and daily newspapers. The content of the external communication mirrored the look and content of the brochure and illustrated some of the unique features of MDD, such as ‘Job Swops’. By drawing parallels to previous communication efforts, we created synergies across communication activities, which resulted in a total value of press coverage of 340% of the investment.

With the joint effort of a new visual identity, a sharpened brand payoff and the use of different communication efforts, we increased the public awareness of MMD and doubled the number of applicants.