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The Heroes of Jose Rizal University


CIA Bootleg Manila helped to solidify the school’s pedagogy and value proposition by extracting its essence and creating a strong brand identity that reflected the values, motivations and life stories of its entire community. “Find Your Inner Hero” became a mantra that resonated with all its members, and it shaped all the experiences that would emanate from JRU – from the journey of the students, faculty and staff, to the design and execution of the curricula, services, marketing campaigns and overall future direction.

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Founded in 1919, Jose Rizal University (JRU), has become a leading and respected university in the country. However, after over 100 years of operations, it was time for the university to take stock of its milestones and successes, recognize the evolving needs of its students, and respond to the rapidly-changing education and learning landscape. JRU’s leaders knew that they had to create a more compelling brand strategy for its university that not only resonated with students but also respected and integrated with the school’s academic philosophies and pedagogy.

Our Solution

CIA Bootleg Manila helped JRU’s execom, academic and non-academic heads make sense of the complex external and internal environments that affected the university. Our academic practitioners studied the latest trends and best practices in education and learning – from pedagogies, new academic courses, alternative learning methodologies, learning experiences and materials, educators, school spaces, edtech, and school marketing.‍

Our psychologists and sociologists immersed in the lives of JRU’s students, interviewing them, facilitating ideation workshops and asking them to journal and document their lives. We also interviewed JRU’s alumni, as well as the executives of companies that employed JRU’s graduates. We also studied JRU’s marketing executions, comparing and contrasting them against the competitors. We also conducted DNA discovery sessions with over 60 of JRU’s leaders.

The entire process allowed us to craft JRU’s brand DNA – “A Cradle for Modern-Day Heroes,” which was further articulated into “The Husay Rizal” promise, a set of competencies inspired by our nation’s greatest heroes that the school aimed to imprint into its students:

  • Talinong Rizal (Rizalian Intelligence)
  • Tatag Rizal (Rizalian Resilience)
  • Taos-Pusong Rizal (Rizalian Empathy)
  • Talentong Rizal (Rizalian Creativity)

These new brand identity ideas were codified into a new school mantra or tagline: “Find Your Inner Hero.”

We then ideated the rest of the brand experience, aligning it with the university’s pedagogy, ensuring that its brand and academic promises are seamlessly integrated and complementary. The Husay Rizal competencies were translated into new courses and electives, as well learning objectives to guide curriculum design for all school levels.

A new student experience was ideated, including the student journey, new centers of excellence, services and learning interventions. An integrated marketing campaign for the various stakeholders was developed, with dedicated campaigns and events for the students, parents, alumni, faculty, and JRU staff.

What We Did

Brand Strategies:

  • Brand DNA
  • Brand Identity
    • Ideal students & Brand Promise
    • Brand Personality & Philosophy
    • Brand Emotions
    • Brand Mission
    • Brand Tagline
  • Major Strategic Pillars
  • Student Journey Experience Framework
  • Brand Experience
    • Learning Products
    • Service Ideas
    • Environment Strategies
      • Campus experience
      • Digital platforms
    • Interactions & Engagement Strategy
      • Student and parent engagement strategy
      • Integrated Marketing Campaigns
      • Website experience
      • Social media strategy and content buckets

Insighting and Research

  • Psychological student interviews
  • Sociological immersions: students’ lives
  • Interviews of alumni, employers
  • Interviews of JRU functional leaders
  • Brand and marketing critique
  • Competitor analysis
  • International trends: Education and Learning
  • Internal DNA discovery insighting workshops

“CBM is a thoroughly creative, competent, professional and responsive organization. It was quite seamless to work with them, going through an almost 1-year project during the pandemic. We are a 100-year-old university, and needed -- amidst the pandemic and our centenary - a revisit and path forward of our brand. CBM gave us a research-based pathway, that we started implementing last year. We've totally revised our branding, challenging our students to "Find Your Inner Hero." That has resonated so far. We really like the way CBM moved beyond the brand itself, into applications, by providing an exhaustive set of projects to move the brand forward.”

Vincent K. Fabella
President, Jose Rizal University