DeVry University

Tone of Voice




Brand Development

Account Lead

Once Simon/Myers determined the target audience for DeVry University, the question became: Exactly how should we talk to current and prospective students?

The good news was, we weren’t starting from scratch. As a result of our target audience research, we knew our prospects’ state of mind. And through our StyleTile exercise, we had established a visual tone. We also knew which voices hadn’t worked in the past.

From there, it was all about collaboration. We brought all of our insights together in a half-day workshop with DeVry, where we reviewed the benefits of a strong voice, then shared examples from inside and outside of the higher-education arena.

Finally, we did a no-holds-barred assessment of 20 potential DeVry personas. By the end of the workshop, we had united around a single, differentiating brand persona, along with six words to define the persona’s tone of voice.

The white board got quite a workout during our tone-of-voice workshop with DeVry University.

In the end, the choice for DeVry’s persona was “Personal Trainer”, someone who listens to what each student is trying to accomplish and provides the tools, guidance and encouragement to get there.

The voice of the Personal Trainer, which should be reflected in all marketing copy, is motivating, understanding, assertive, supportive, straight-shooting and inviting.

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