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How University of Denver Strengthened its Strategy with an Improved Value Proposition

University of Denver's partnership with EAB's Strategic Advisory Services

The University of Denver (DU) is a private research university in Denver, Colorado. Founded in 1864, it is the oldest independent private university in the Rocky Mountain Region of the United States.

Private Research University
Denver, CO

The Opportunity

DU needed a clearer value proposition to stand out in an increasingly competitive higher ed landscape.

Amid heightened competitive pressures in higher education, the DU leadership team knew they needed to develop a clearer message about what differentiates DU to be in the best position to attract the next generation of students, staff, and funding. DU had spent several years advancing its student experience across the university, but value messaging remained siloed across schools, departments, and audiences.

The Solution

EAB’s Strategic Advisory Services team helped DU leadership identify core differentiators and how to communicate them.

DU’s senior leadership visited EAB’s Washington, DC office for a two-day workshop, and took part in virtual and on-campus sessions with EAB focused on identifying the most unique and marketable aspects of their institutional brand.

The Impact

DU launched a new strategy anchored on three core brand themes.

DU developed a unique value proposition that anchors on three core brand themes: Research for the Public Good, the 4-Dimensional Student Experience, and Two Campuses, One University. These brand elements are now embedded into every marketing and communications campaign across the university and have been central to efforts to attract and engage Gen Z audiences.

How DU Revitalized its Student Value Proposition

The differentiation sweet spot is the intersection of audience needs and institutional capabilities—and importantly, in a space difficult for competitors to copy.

DU found their sweet spot with three core brand themes that are part of every marketing and communications outreach to current and prospective students:

• Research for the Public Good: R1 research status, focusing on liberal arts and social science research

• Two Campuses, One University: Access to both an urban and mountain campus

• 4-Dimensional Student Experience: Multidimensional, adventure-driven education

Implement Change With Confidence

To learn more about Strategic Advisory Services or speak with an expert, please fill out the form or contact us at 202-747-1005.


Working with EAB has been a real inflection point for our strategy and thinking about what makes DU stand apart.


Dr. Jeremy Haefner, Chancellor

University of Denver