While Sweet Briar College was in the process of changing its campaign through a new Media, Marketing and Communications approach to be able to reach more perspective students, the current students felt as though they were left in the dark on most of the decisions that were being made very quickly. Many students attended the meeting that was held last year when they presented the new marketing campaign to the world, but students learned that most of their input was no longer useful because the campaign had already been decided on and implemented. Yet still students spoke up about the things that could be changed such as the colleges new website and the promotional videos that would be seen by millions of perspectives. Most students spoke up about their dislike of the new campaign being represented by the word “Flourish” and there are still many debates on if “Flourish” is the right message Sweet Briar wants to portray to students who will look at the college in the future, but some students agree with this change in the campaign.
Melanie Rinehart ’14 spoke about her feelings on the new campaign, “The Flourish campaign has the opportunity to encompass *how* we grow and learn at SBC, especially with our (highly regarded) professors creating such a strong academic environment. The issue many of the current students have is that we don’t feel using a cartoon to advertise an open house, for example, is the best way to represent the school in a serious academic light. Within a year, I was able to make the best friends of my life, find my academic passion, and become confident in my abilities as an academic while still having FUN with the traditions and women I go to school with- that is what Flourish is!”
Kelsey Allman, a perspective student agrees that the new campaign is great, “I think the new Flourish campaign embodies what SBC aims to inspire in every girl. SBC wants us not only to thrive, but to blossom and grow as women. The only weakness I see in it is that the message is not immediately perceptible, but, in my opinion, that separates the Vixens from the Hollins girls! I go to Marist School, an independent Roman Catholic school run by the Marist fathers, in Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve known several good friends of mine that are either current students or that have graduated from SBC. What initially attracted me to the school was the riding program, but what kept my interest was the feeling of welcoming that I got from the website and through the information I was mailed. SBC feels like a giant family, and I’ve always wanted a sister! I hope to have 700 sisters next year!”
And some think the “Flourish” campaign can mean many other things as well.
Rachel Lasky ’12, a senior at Sweet Briar and a representative of the “Think is for Girls” campaign, spoke about her feelings on the new campaign and other changes, “I appreciate their efforts to bring in a new color scheme and that the new campaign actually gives us an object to picture (the flower). I overall liked the “Think is for Girls” campaign better, but it didn’t give any room for a single visual object to become a logo for the school. I’m not really a fan of the fact that our logo is a flower though. It’s a women’s college, yes, but I don’t know any other accredited university to have such a “fluffy” logo (for lack of a better term). I also don’t like the word “Flourish” at all because I want my education to be taken seriously and “Flourish” just reminds me of a finishing school where they will “water us and watch us grow into beautiful young ladies.” Though SBC girls are beautiful, I want us to be primarily viewed as intelligent women who were fortunate to get the education that is unique to Sweet Briar.”
Laura Leitch ’14 also a current SBC student agrees that some things just need to be changed in the “Flourish” campaign, “As a current student, I don’t mind the concept of “Flourish”, but I don’t like the way it’s been implemented. I hate the brown that has inundated all of Sweet Briar’s literature, and the rose is not one of my favorite logos. I think the idea of using the rose is fantastic, but I don’t think that it’s been designed well or used well and the idea that we may change our Vixen mascot to that Rose is horrible. I really liked the “Think is for Girls” campaign, especially the “girly-ness” of it. We are a women’s college, and the overt way that that campaign showed that appealed to me. I feel that the “Flourish” campaign occasionally goes to far and becomes something to mock, not something to draw in prospective students.”