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Dublin Business School Realise Ambition

DBS, the largest independent third level college in Ireland, has undergone a great deal of positive change in the past few years, but this change had not yet been reflected in the branding. There was a huge opportunity for the college to credibly stand out within the third level education sector both in Ireland and on the international stage.

The challenge

Dublin Business School has always held a strong position in the market, focusing on education for life, allowing people to achieve more in their careers and for themselves.

DBS had really prospered in recent years. They won the top award at the National Education Awards 2018 for Overall Excellence in Education, attracted students from around the world, and they were partnering with some of Ireland’s leading corporate brands to deliver bespoke professional education. They had developed an array of online learning opportunities and were backed by one of the largest and most diverse education providers, Kaplan. However, the DBS brand identity had dated and was not reflective of the education provider’s current position.

McCann Dublin was tasked with delivering a new brand proposition and visual identity that would communicate the depth and quality of a DBS education and experience to all.

Our approach

McCann Dublin wanted to create a new brand position that all key stakeholders across the DBS landscape could believe in and feel part of, allowing them to stand behind DBS.

The strategy team undertook extensive research, carrying out in-depth one-to-one interviews, focus groups, forums and surveys in order to really understand the people in DBS’s world. Participants involved in the research included current and potential students and parents, graduates, the DBS academic community, administrative staff, key personnel from the parent company, Kaplan, accreditation bodies, corporate partners and execs, international education partners and agents, the HEA and Education in Ireland.

All of the knowledge garnered allowed us to verify and articulate the positive change that had already occurred and capture the momentum for further progress. We developed this into a clear brand strategy and a new brand proposition grounded in brand truth that could inspire future growth.

The execution

The new brand proposition of “Realise Ambition” informed the design of an exciting new brand identity for DBS complete with a new logo, bespoke typography, graphic devices, colour palettes and design templates.

Principles were established to help guide those implementing the new brand and its assets in the form of shiny new Brand Guidelines. These were designed to be more than simply an instruction book for designers. This evolving document is the DBS Brand Bible, telling the story of how the college has evolved, its vision and promise to itself and its stakeholders for the future.

This contemporary, future-facing visual identity gives DBS the portal for both Irish and global audiences to see DBS is the place to support ambitious individuals in achieving their education and career goals in an increasingly dynamic world.

At DBS, everyone can realise their ambitions.