University of California, Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences


Nuffer, Smith, Tucker was engaged by the University of California, Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences to determine how best to brand the college to strengthen support from its key stakeholders.

To develop a positioning strategy, NST conducted in-depth research to determine stakeholder perceptions and develop strategic and technical recommendations to create greater stakeholder understanding and value for the contributions of the college.

In order to formulate a new positioning strategy for the university’s CAES, NST embarked on a three-phase process of discovery, assessment and recommendations. This process allowed NST to analyze internal and external perceptions of the college, identify the gaps or the disconnect between the internal and external perceptions, and develop a tactical framework to improve the college’s communications efforts.

To achieve these goals, NST facilitated internal workshops to assess what may be working for and against the college; identify assumptions on current external perceptions; outline priority stakeholder groups; pinpoint desired stakeholder behavior; and develop project deliverables.

From the research, NST developed a new positioning strategy for the college that used research to help California agriculture remain competitive by seeking out and applying science-based opportunities to add value to California agriculture products and to provide solutions to survival challenges.


University of California, Davis launched a number of new collaborative centers and institutes where researchers from across the campus could leverage knowledge to better meet the needs of agriculture.

New institutes reinvented the college’s communication outreach to better match the university’s research with the needs of their stakeholders.