At The Cohl Group, we realize “higher education is different.” Unlike the corporate world, linear, top-down “transformation” is next to impossible in most educational settings. In higher education, consensus is critical for success. Period. Indeed, the most successful university transformations have been the result of consensus-oriented strategic thinking—and stakeholders who demand change. Success in higher education is an iterative process.

Our group understands this process intimately. As a multidisciplinary group of educators and scholars, communicators, designers and deep strategic thinkers, The Cohl Group sees higher education differently than our peers.

Driven by a shared dedication to excellence, we leverage decades of proven, interdisciplinary experience to build comprehensive and creative solutions to the deep strategic, organizational, development, admissions, and communications challenges our clients face.

Simply, we’re great listeners and we love to learn.

As a group, our people have launched new schools and new programs. We clarified, codified, and re-crafted centuries-old missions and created powerful new identity systems. We’ve developed curriculum and raised awareness. We’ve helped to transform entire institutions—and brought opportunity to deeply challenged lives.

Most of all, we are dedicated to advancing educational institutions, nonprofit organizations—and the causes they serve.

Our integrated services include:


  • Brand strategy
  • Messaging and voice
  • Brand architecture and Naming
  • Training and implementation
  • Value proposition development by constituency and segment
  • International collaboration and partnership design
  • Organizational development/advancement
  • Collaboration with domestic tertiary institutions
  • Collaboration with corporate universities
  • Constituency mapping
  • New dimensions of assessment
  • Supplementary credentials
  • Bridge programs to prepare graduates for work
  • Action Learning pilot program design


  • Comprehensive competitive analysis
  • Competitive landscape assessments
  • Communications audits
  • Historical reviews
  • Online, in-person, and telephone surveys
  • Discussion groups
  • Total Immersion (TI), including tours, visitations and social observations
  • Communications audits
  • Historical reviews
  • Online, in-person, and telephone surveys
  • Data analysis and review
  • Retention studies and analyses
  • Outcomes and analyses
  • Reputation studies across multiple media environments, including “traditional” news sources, internet, and social media
  • Research fusion
  • Media audits


  • Visual identity system strategy and development
  • Logo and wordmark development and design
  • Identity guidelines
  • Brand implementation introduction and training
  • Collateral design and production
  • Interactive strategy, design, and production
  • Advertising design and production
  • Data mining
  • Trend analysis
  • Development and alumni relations strategy
  • Capital campaign and annual fund strategy, messaging, naming, and design
  • Case statement development, design, and production
  • Direct mail and collateral development, design, and production


  • Market analysis
  • Marketing strategy
  • Integrated marketing and media plans
  • Strategic communications
  • Integrated communications development, design, and production
  • Interactive communications development, design, and production
  • Media analysis
  • Advertising development, design, and production