Denver, CO, February 25, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- John Lichtenberg of Walsh College in Michigan was named the 2010 International Brand Master today, due in part to his uncanny ability to come up with new, low-cost strategies and tactics to reach audiences during tough economic times. And he did it in Michigan, too, one of the hardest-hit state economies in the nation.
Lichtenberg cut his own marketing budget by 33%, which surprised his own administration. In spite of the cuts, he has managed to achieve remarkable results over the last several years.
Mr. Lichtenberg, Vice President, Chief Marketing & Enrollment Officer at Walsh College, is a breed of branding professional rarely seen in higher education – a true risk-taker.
Mr. Lichtenberg won top honors in the second annual International Brand Master competition in which Teri Luci Thompson from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and Larry Hincker from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia were runners up.
As part of the branding, Mr. Lichtenberg and his communications team started with traditional research to search for what Walsh could embrace. As they went into the creative process, John begged his creative people to make him nervous. He works with the words “safe is death” hanging on his office wall.
Walsh College went from a lackluster business degree option to a new-look business school seated just outside of Detroit. He worked with other school administrators to create an abbreviated Master of Management and Master of Science in Finance which students in the area were craving.
Using words and sketches on yellow note paper as his creative campaign, Lichtenberg developed a series of online, print, TV and outdoor ads promoting the college’s business programs. He augmented those marketing efforts with some attention-catching tactics in key areas around town, including deploying a team of briefcase-carrying ambassadors, coined the Walsh Yellow Suits for their distinctive yellow and blue striped suits and a custom yellow with blue striped rickshaw.
He also worked to embed Walsh College into the community. The initiatives included free courses for displaced workers, creating a resource for small and growing businesses, and adopting two first-grade classes.
“John is an extraordinary example for how to do effective brand marketing despite economic challenges,” said Bob Brock, President of Educational Marketing Group of Denver, the sponsor of the competition. “He’s a creative, strategic entrepreneur, and we’re delighted to name him the 2010 International Brand Master.”
For information on John Lichtenberg, the winning brand manager, see: http://www.emgonline.com/site/Pages/EMG-Academy/International-Brand-Master/International-Brand-Master/About-the-Award.
John Lichtenberg Background
John Lichtenberg has been at Walsh College for three years as the Vice President, Chief Marketing and Enrollment Management Officer, where he oversees the marketing, enrollment management, public relations, and government relations functions at Walsh College. Since joining the College in April 2008, he has driven top-line revenue and enrollment to the highest levels in its 88-year history, surpassed all budget forecasts by double-digits, tripled brand awareness within nine months, moved unaided awareness as the “top business school in Michigan” from fifth to second, quadrupled direct and web inquiries, and helped the “Live. Breathe. Business” campaign win more than 30 industry and trade award plaques. For more information on John Lichtenberg see: http://www.walshcollege.edu/JohnLichtenbergSME.
International Brand Master Award Background
The International Brand Master award was established in 2009. EMG received nominations from organizations around the world including the Netherlands and the United States. A blue-ribbon panel of volunteer international judges reviewed supporting materials provided by the nominees. The judges narrowed the pool of eight nominees to three from the United States, John Lichtenberg of Walsh College, Teri Luci Thompson of Purdue University, and Larry Hincker of Virginia Tech. The three finalists were asked to provide a 500-word and three-URL statement which were voted on by professional marketers from around the world. Over 1,600 votes from around the world were cast. The winner was chosen by a combination of public votes and the volunteer panel of judges. For more information see: http://www.emgonline.com/site/Pages/EMG-Academy/International-Brand-Master/International-Brand-Master/About-the-Award.
EMG is a full-service, integrated brand development and marketing agency that provides custom-tailored research, brand development, creative, development, new media services, and media services for universities throughout North America. Headquartered in Denver, the company was established in 1997 and has operated in the higher education arena exclusively for over a dozen years. Clients have included Washington State University, Virginia Tech, Cal Poly, Dalhousie University, University of Victoria, University of Colorado, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Wyoming, and many others. More information can be found at www.emgonline.com.