Thanks to Vineet for pointing this out Darden launched its new web site this morning after months of focus groups, benchmarking, design meetings, and training. A limited soft, or internal launch, took place in July.
The new site, which plays an important role in Darden's communication and branding efforts, will mirror the School's branding campaign in design and message. Interviews with almost 300 Darden students, faculty and staff, as well as students from other business schools, helped determine the characteristics that define Darden and differentiate the School from its competition. That information was used to create the campaign and to redesign the web site.
The branding campaign, which appears mostly in BusinessWeek and the Wall Street Journal, features four ads, each touting one specific Darden quality: top professors; the case method; rigors of the program; and commitment to ethics and honor.
"Darden's new web site will do more than mirror the branding campaign, though," said Darden's Vice President for Communication & Marketing Ken White. "It will have tools other b-school web sites simply do not possess. First, the site is designed to be audience-centric. Everything is designed and written for the external visitor who, in many cases, is a prospective student. Most b-school sites target people who work for, or attend, the school—a group already familiar with the organization."