Elevating the Brand of an Upper-Division University

Brand Strategy and Website Development for Athens State University

A Tradition of Serving the Non-Traditional Student

Athens State University has never wavered in its mission to meet Alabama’s diverse student population – no matter the need – with an affordable education. Not only is it the oldest public institution of higher education in the state, but it’s also one of 10 Upper-Division Universities in the county–a mission that is as critical as it is unique. Yet, what makes Athens State undeniably unique is ultimately what makes its story harder to tell.

Athens State University logo

Bridging the Cliff

Athens State University wasn’t immune to the impending demographic cliff. However, unlike most public institutions, Athens State’s unique mission placed them at the center of multiple emerging market threats. Not only was the institution facing these new market realities, Athens State lacked a consistent brand which led to uncertainty around the institution’s true value.  

Athens State needed clarity around their truly unique position in the market to ensure that it continued to sustain its mission and it’s goals for enrollment growth. And to bring that clarity, they needed a compelling brand strategy–one that would help the community and state understand what Athens State does now and will continue to do in the future.

It's How You Finish

To bring clarity to Athens State’ brand we created a brand strategy that included a brand platform and a brand identity campaign. The campaign elevated their modern approach to creating career-ready graduates and spoke to their unwavering effort to offer degree options for non-traditional students ready to finish their education.

Athens State University Banner

We arrived at a message of hope and anticipation: It isn’t how you begin your education that matters. It’s how you finish. This clear and compelling message has become a beacon for the brand and who it serves, as well as, tie together the relationship between Athens State being an Upper-Division University and their resolve to provide a high-value education unburdened by debt, no matter a student’s life stage.

Athens Instagram

At the center of the brand launch was a website redesign. Improving the site’s information architecture, creating clear navigation paths and a content strategy with a clear audience in mind, led to the biggest benefit–telling the Athens State story in a more compelling and effective way. 

The Results

The site launched early 2021, and the results have everyone involved excited.

Brand Results

Branded Search Traffic up


in the first 6 months

Website Results

Conversion Goals Increase by


in the first 6 months

Key Website Metrics

Page Load Time


Bounce Rate


Increase in Page Views