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My Friend's Place Case Study

If investors, key stakeholders, and the general public do not know who you are or why you matter, why should they support you and your work?  

This was the key question for the Experiment Station Section - now known as agInnovation. 

With financial investment and public support waning, the directors of the Land-grant University system decided to take action. 

That is where PIVOT stepped in to help.

THE OBSTACLE

What are your pain points?

Financial investment in - and visibility of - the essential impacts of agricultural research and innovation has been in decline for decades.

 

The Experiment Station Section's (one arm of the Land-grant University system) name and the message the name and logo communicate to friends, partners, and the general public remained unchanged for nearly 120 years. Despite the desperate need for a new identity, the research and results coming out of Land Grant Universities are powerful and transformative to our nation. The ESS team wanted to shine a brighter light on their important work and they believed a rebrand was a critical next step to that end. 

THE OPPORTUNITY

Our plan for agInnovation

PIVOT Creative & Consulting was engaged to position Agricultural Experiment Stations as the global leader in agricultural research, innovation & discovery. To do this, PIVOT embarked on an 18-month initiative with the goals to:

  • Assess current digital persona and outreach efforts 

  • Develop an online presence that speaks clearly to an external audience. 

  • Modernize ESS's identity and give a fresh voice to agricultural research

  • Move past outdated and stagnant branding and messaging

  • Establish a focused and cohesive direction for outreach

  • Engage and grow audiences who benefit from your research, education and innovation

  • Leverage the new idenity of ESS/AES for increased financial investment and engagement from strategic partners

PIVOT'S RESULTS

Achieved outcomes

PIVOT collaborated with a team consisting of 20 leaders from Land-grant Universities, representing the five regions (Northeast, South, North Central, West, and ARD). Together, we crafted a renewed identity for the Experiment Station Section. Our initial focus involved defining the essence of ESS, understanding its trajectory, and leveraging this insight to develop a fresh brand identity and communication strategy.

The project yielded tangible outcomes, including an updated mission/vision/values framework, a revitalized brand identity with comprehensive guidelines, message mapping, and key talking points. We conducted socialization presentations reaching hundreds of community members, devised a robust stakeholder engagement and roll-out plan, and designed a new website seamlessly integrated with existing supporting sites. Additionally, we provided a comprehensive communications toolkit, encompassing social media graphics, custom backgrounds, document and presentation templates, and more. Essentially, we equipped the agInnovation teams with everything necessary to proudly showcase their new identity to the world.

One of the most significant achievements of the project was the heightened sense of value and importance that key stakeholders now attribute to the Agricultural Experiment Station.

PIVOT is impressive, highly professional, extremely responsive, and easy to work with. The firm guided an organization steeped in history and blind to how it was perceived to achieve a modern brand that resonates with a multitude of audiences outside of the organization. The magnitude of this feat cannot be understated. 

Bret Hess, Executive Director of the Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (agInnovation West)

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