University of Western Australia

The Australian Business Award for Brand Excellence recognises organisations that have achieved outstanding results through initiatives that demonstrate excellence in brand management.

“Our Pursue impossible brand campaign launch was a huge milestone for The University of Western Australia and we are delighted to receive this award. The University is proud of its past century but recognised the need to continually evolve in a rapidly changing world and reflect its place as a contemporary global hub of excellence. Pursue impossible means that at UWA, we understand that before people achieve great deeds, they often face the thought or the fear that it is not going to be possible. However, at UWA, we are committed to helping people make the most of all possibilities and inspire progress.”

Paul Johnson, Vice-Chancellor, University of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia (UWA) is a medium sized research-intensive University located in Perth city. The University was established in 1911 and now hosts more than 25,000 students and employs 3,500 staff.

After identifying a need to respond to competitive pressures in their industry following a reflection that their market share had substantially declined, UWA embarked on a plan to revitalise their marketing strategy. To achieve this the university conducted comprehensive research to determine which direction it should take, reviewing its social media presence, auditing its brand assets and conducting interviews and workshops with stakeholders.

As a result, UWA identified the need to reform their marketing practices so that they were relevant, approachable, engaging, contemporary and inspiring. It was established that people wanted the university to inspire them, encouraging people to aspire to achieve something they might not have ever thought was possible. This formed the basis of their new brand proposition – pursue impossible.

To facilitate the launch of the pursue impossible message, the Brand and Marketing Team was expanded, with the recruitment of a Corporate Brand Manager. A television commercial was then commissioned, showcasing the new pursue impossible proposition. In addition to featuring UWA students, film makers and one actor travelled the world filming in multiple locations. Additionally, an outdoor campaign in Perth, with statements of how our students are pursuing their own impossible, famous points in time where impossible was achieved and famous quotes about pursuing what might seem impossible were seen on buses and large format billboards.

This was compounded by a focus on international markets, with income from international students being regarded as crucial to the university’s future. A global brand activation campaign was commissioned called Pitch the Course of the Future. The competition encouraged international communities to think about what careers might exist in the future and therefore what courses would need to be created to make that career a reality.

Since launching their new marketing strategy and brand proposition, UWA has experienced international student growth year-on-year and unprompted brand awareness has grown significantly. The University of Western Australia has received a Brand Excellence Award for the development and implementation of their new marketing strategy.

The Australian Business Awards are the regional chapter of an integrated, hierarchical leadership program conducted on a national and international level. Eligible organisations from each region are invited to participate in the international chapter of the program at The World Business Awards. Conducted annually and currently in the second year of its international launch, The World Business Awards seeks to engage with the world’s business, innovation and technology leaders through a global recognition and knowledge building initiative that is underpinned by the program’s established framework. The program engages with organisations worldwide to benchmark the full spectrum of their products, services and initiatives and to review their business performance. The cycle culminates in the recognition and celebration of organisations that implement world-class business initiatives and industry leading products and services on a prominent and far-reaching scale. All entries must be entered in the regional chapter where the organisation is based.

Organisational participation includes private companies, publicly listed companies, multinational subsidiaries, not-for-profit organisations, non-government organisations, educational institutions, franchise systems, partnerships, government departments, government agencies, local government and statutory bodies operating in Australia.

Initiatives can include but are not limited to projects, programs, processes, systems, technologies, developments, ventures and undertakings.

Entries are assessed utilising a robust and dynamic framework to ensure that the assessment process is pertinent and objective. The World Business Awards Framework (WBA Framework) is utilised as a structured model of assessment that enables the participating organisations to be benchmarked against world class performance standards. The Framework consists of specialised assessment modules pertaining to the evaluation criteria for each of the award categories. The criteria and sub-criteria provide a robust set of requirements that are used as the methodology for benchmarking and learning among the participating organisations.

Organisations that participate are provided with the unique opportunity to benchmark themselves against the top performers globally. The recipients are acknowledged for their achievements and recognised as the elite of their industry earning a place amongst a distinguished group by having their products, projects, initiatives, contributions and achievements recognised on a prominent and far-reaching scale. The program provides the ultimate platform for building knowledge, increasing brand awareness, equity, loyalty and retention through increased exposure, recognition and prestige. This establishes a valuable resource that can be used extensively to create opportunities for publicity, positive organisational profiling and heightened brand awareness within the respective industries both nationally and internationally.