Navigating a Name Change or Major Rebranding

Episode 76

EP. 76:

Navigating a Name Change or Major Rebranding

Allison featuring Christen Engel and Aubrey Hinkson

with Christen Engel and Aubrey Hinkson

Christen Engel’s Bio:
Christen Engel is an award-winning communications and marketing executive with more than 10 years’ experience in healthcare and higher education. In her role as interim vice president of communications and marketing for Augusta University and Augusta University Health, she works to drive strategic enrollment and health system revenue growth through brand and public positioning, issues and crisis management, earned and owned media. In addition, she oversees mass internal communications and executive communication for an institution with more than 10,000 employees; the university and health system websites; the employee intranet; and institutional photography, videography and graphic design. Fun fact, Christen and Allison actually went to college together!

Aubrey Hinkson’s Bio:
Aubrey Hinkson prides herself on bringing the work efficiencies of an agency model to the health care and higher education marketing space. During her time at Augusta University, she has been challenged with multiple brand transitions and unique opportunities for process improvement and team transformation. As the AVP for Marketing, she is responsible for the development and implementation of marketing strategies, plans and initiatives for the university. Aubrey is an instructor in the Hull College of Business at Augusta University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Master of Science in Marketing from Clemson University.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Christen shares why her collaboration with Aubrey has been powerful, especially during the process of navigating the institution’s huge rebranding to Augusta University
  • What challenges and opportunities arose from the consolidation between Georgia Health Sciences University and Augusta State University to become Georgia Regents University
  • Why not including the community in the decision on the new name created lots of brand buy-in challenges, and why the institution renamed and rebranded again as Augusta University
  • How, in spite of feeling disheartened by having two years of rebranding work abandoned, Aubrey and her team rose to the challenge of doing another rebrand so quickly
  • How the right partnerships made a huge difference in the success of the second rebranding, and how intentionality and collaboration were crucial resources for getting buy-in
  • Why pushing people to be brand advocates rather than serving as the “brand police” has been an important lesson and mindset shift
  • Why Christen feels the rebrand was a monumental success, and how the rebrand created a unique opportunity to highlight Augusta University’s unique offerings
  • How Augusta University is navigating the challenge of tailoring messaging to different groups of students and alumni
  • Why Augusta University isn’t for everyone and doesn’t try to speak to everyone but instead focuses on students who are looking to break the mold
  • Why authenticity is absolutely critical for addressing today’s students, and what advice Christen and Aubrey would share for anyone going through a major brand change


Additional resources:


Christen Engel and Aubrey Hinkson

Associate Vice President, Marketing, Christen & Interim Vice President, Marketing and Communications at Augusta University., Aubrey Hinkson, MSM