Thanks to the help of Creative Ink, the student-run marketing firm on campus, Columbia Regional Airport administrators say they have a better understanding of their marketing needs and how to proceed with future branding efforts.
“It certainly was a fantastic experience to work with Creative Ink,” said Steven Sapp, spokesman for Columbia Public Works. “They became the teacher—they taught us to think on a long term-basis. We would not have gotten to this point had we not started working with them.”
The airport board is now ready to proceed with hiring a professional firm to carry out marketing efforts. Creative Ink was originally tapped to rebrand the airport; however, Sapp said the process brought to light the need for ongoing services.
Creative Ink is managed by seniors who graduate and move on to careers.
“That’s what happened in this case,” Sapp said. “They were working for us for free, and we didn’t want to ask them to continue to do that as they were moving on in their professional lives.”
Kate Gray, faculty adviser for the firm, said the process was extremely beneficial to students who worked on the airport project.
“We pride ourselves in providing students real-world experiences,” Gray said. “In this case, our students were able to shed some light on branding and marketing procedures and really help the airport board and staff better understand their needs.”
Creative Ink has worked with the city in other capacities, including designing the new brand for the Columbia Transit bus system and a new branding logo for the Office of Cultural Affairs, as well as for Columbia Public Schools.
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