No One Understands Marketing to Students Like Us
Creating a bold identity and brand story for a new student apartment community, and connecting the legacy of the university and the city it calls home with the modern offerings of a signature lifestyle.
Looking to get a foothold in the student housing industry at Ole Miss, Homestead Development Partners reached out to our team to create an inviting brand for their newest student housing initiative in Oxford, Mississippi.
Since the Oxford community has a hyper-local culture, our team designed a student housing marketing brand that respects the traditions of the town while looking into the future. To effectively blend the old with the new, we developed a brand identity with a rich narrative and dynamic personality. As a college marketing agency, we set out to honor the integral features of the Ole Miss student experience. Our team put a modern twist on this historic, literary, and passionate college town to build student interest and awareness.
leasing rate ahead of the next highest leased property in the market achieved in ARCHIVE’s first year.
Strategy & Positioning
Naming & Architecture
Driven Female Students
This audience values diversity over everything: our research showed that 87% always strive for equality and 81% believe it’s important for them to be surrounded by different cultures and lifestyles. ARCHIVE is a home for students seeking more than just a place to rest their heads. This complex is close to campus, but far enough away to feel different. It’s a home for women who seek community, interaction, engagement, and a uniquely Oxford experience that’s authentically connected to the charming college town, which makes it the perfect place for Driven Female Students.
As ARCHIVE is looking to provide a tranquil space, students wanting to concentrate on their work while immersing themselves in the rich culture all around them are a perfect fit. By forging an inclusive brand for a student apartment, we were able to appeal to anyone looking for an authentic Oxford experience. This group mainly uses the internet for studying, streaming, and social media, and most use their mobile device for two to three hours a day. They are deeply connected online, so we knew ARCHIVE needed to be, too. We used digital ads to drive targeted and impactful messaging to our audience.
How we did it.
With the goal of creating a brand that felt familiar yet reinvented, we immersed ourselves in the culture of Ole Miss. To deliver effective student housing advertising, our team produced an authentic brand experience that highlighted the elements of Oxford culture that make it truly shine. We identified passion for learning, determination to succeed, and the desire to belong as the driving forces for our audience and designed a brand to connect all three.
Rich history surrounds Oxford and Ole Miss. The area is full of soul, character, and echoes from the past that are still defining the story of today—through its people and the spaces they inhabit. The home of William Faulkner and more recent famous writers like John Grisham, Oxford has a literary angle that our team knew we could use to connect this property with the city on a higher level. Diving deeper, we searched for a name that encompassed both cherished memories and the idea of moving forward. An “archive” is a collection of important and historical documents that one protects even while focusing on the future, which was perfect for our purposes.
We built a website to serve as an interactive extension of the Archive brand. On top of creating a digital home for the brand story and a dynamic visitor experience, our creative team chose to partner with Entrata Software Management in order to ensure systems integration and application automation. Our web developers also utilized WordPress to leverage its Google maps capabilities and update management. We then included some front-end touches to resonate with the students of Oxford on a deeper level. We added cinemagraphs, a local lexicon page, and an explore page that hadn’t been in the project scope in order to build a comprehensive and engaging resource.
As Oxford and Ole Miss are intertwined, we developed a complex brand that pays homage to all that Ole Miss is and all it can become. Like an archive itself, Oxford is full of rich history that shapes its future. Our team visited Oxford to be fully immersed in the history, vernacular, and culture of the city before beginning the creative process. Delivering two comprehensive campaigns, we crafted a full set of designed deliverables in stationary, bus wraps, window clings, and brochure mock-ups that explored two branches of growth for the ARCHIVE brand. The first campaign was centered on building new traditions inspired by the monuments of the past, while the second focused on writing your own next chapter. The first paid homage to the traditions and culture of Oxford and emphasized an immersive, historic culture for ARCHIVE residents. The second avenue looked to the future of Oxford. For this campaign, we made growth the core of each piece. The team portrayed prospective residents as the building blocks of something bigger. As an integral part of creating a modernized Oxford that’s in command of its incredible potential.
To bring the brand directly to students, we created eye-catching collateral. As we had crafted a brand that fits smoothly into the community, weaving it throughout the city was a natural progression. Coordinating with the leasing center and other local representatives, our team was able to drive interest through a tangible and consistent presence in the lives of prospects. From shirts to bus wraps, our team leveraged stylish creative pieces to introduce the students of Ole Miss to ARCHIVE.
Our student housing marketing expertise enabled us to create an engaging balance of traditional Oxford and the modern student body of Ole Miss. ARCHIVE developed into an amazingly inclusive brand that resulted in unprecedented pre-leasing as well as an impressive grand opening. Still leasing well above Homestead Development’s average, ARCHIVE’s intricately woven brand has proven to be a resounding success.
“Seeing firsthand how impactful the campaign and branding was for the success of this district has only made me want to collaborate with Bigeye on future projects,” said Jared Miller of Homestead Development.