Varsity Vibe is a young and fun company that negotiates deals with brands that students love, they then promote those deals to their student communities who have all signed up to be a part of the ‘vibe’. They launched in 2010 at the University of Cape Town and experienced such great success that, in 2014, they decided to roll out the program at both Wits and Tuks University.
ADD-ON’s roll was to conduct research into the student market and formulate a sound strategy for the company as a whole. In our research we discovered that brands trying to communicate with students will attempt to do so, on a broad national scale. Students were hungry for platforms that were unique to their varsities. So instead of rolling out Varsity Vibe to both Tuks and Wits University, we decided to roll out two sub-brands that were customised to work with the vibes of both varsities. Wits Vibe and Tuks Vibe were born. Varsity Vibe is now the holding company and is used to communicate directly with their partners.
The Varsity Vibe corporate identity needed to clearly indicate to partners and possible clients that no one knows the student market quite like Varisty Vibe does.
Wits Vibe formed a strategic partnership with the Sports Society at Wits, so the identity needed to tie in with the already built up brand equity of the society. Namely their colours yellow and blue as well as their their mascot: The Kudu.
Tuks Vibe formed a strategic partnership with the students from the reses and after a few meetings with them it was obvious that we needed to adhere to the varsity sports colours as well, except they wanted an icon that was more representative of themselves. After seeing the Varsity Vibe identity, they asked us if they could have the same icon in the centre of their logo. That is how the Tuks Vibe identity was created.
The identities also needed to be able to live alongside one another, we ensured this with rigid consistency making it obvious that they were all related to one another.
The idea of ensuring consistency across the brands was carried over when we built the websites. We decided to roll out a single Premium WordPress theme for all the brands, adjusting the look-and-feel of each to fit in with their unique brand colours. Since the students were mainly away from their desktops’ when they wanted to find out what deals were available to them; they needed to be able to access the deals from their phones and do so quickly and effortlessly. So we ensured that the sites were responsive, prioritising the location of the deals on the varsity sites.
We also created official partner stamps that are placed on posters in partner stores to indicate to student members that that store is part of the vibe.