College Forward (Co-Fo) is an Austin-based nonprofit organization whose intensive, culturally-appropriate mentoring programs propel students from underserved backgrounds to collegiate success and remunerative careers.
Co-Fo originally offered services in both college access and college completion. In 2014, College Forward launched two new initiatives to begin a transformation journey towards a shift service offerings:
- Success Partnership – established to redefine the way post-secondary institutions support student success.
- CoPilot – a student information system connecting students with expert practitioners to transform the college completion industry.
In order to improve student outcomes, Co-Fo aimed to distill ‘best practices’ into highly-efficient program models and develop critical data for longitudinal research.
They needed an actionable plan to achieve their strategic objectives:
- Establish core brand identity
- Increase number of Success Partnerships
- Demonstrating and gaining recognition for College Forward’s expertise
- A transition from direct services to a consulting model
Over the course of six weeks, Sense Corp conducted discovery sessions, a marketing, and positioning analysis, and wrapped up with a value-feasibility analysis to prioritize recommendations into an actionable roadmap.
We started with establishing College Forward’s key differentiators:
- deep expertise in the student experience
- proprietary technology that uses data to drive action
- personalized student-services model – proven to be effective in increasing college completion rates
Next, we developed a marketing strategy that leveraged Co-Fo’s re-branding to expand its reach to more post-secondary institutions. In order to help Co-Fo better tell their story, we outlined opportunities for taking a consistent message across all mediums – from social media to conference presentations.
Then, we developed an actionable roadmap of marketing and programming initiatives and transitioned foundational tools to enable the internal Co-Fo team to jump-start each initiative.