harvard-business-school-alumni-wilderness-survival-guide

Using Creative Digital Experiences to Engage Harvard Business School Alumni

Harvard Business School

How Genuine’s post grad navigation guide helped HBS set a new next level standard for Alumni Relations - and won a Webby

The Overview

One of the biggest challenges Harvard Business School faced with alumni engagement was keeping post-grads aware of and active with the various programs, tools, services, and opportunities available to them.

HBS came to Genuine to develop an innovative marketing campaign that would re-introduce alumni to the many benefits of being a graduate of HBS, regardless of how recently or long ago students attended

The Objective


Create an inventive way to increase Alumni awareness and engagement of resources and services available through the HBS Alumni network

The Target


Harvard Business School Alumni 

The Strategy

Genuine wanted to create an immersive digital experience that alleviated the stress of navigating post-grad life. The experience would reintroduce the HBS alumni network as an innovative lifelong resource to help graduates no matter their career path, age, or locale. Genuine and HBS knew that in order to reach the busy HBS grad, they would have to really stand out in the sea of emails and solicitations they receive daily. By combining humor, nostalgia, and some self-improvement motivation, alumni would not only engage with the content, but feel encouraged to explore and discover all that is available to them as graduates.

The Invention

Harvard Business School and Genuine launched the HBS Alumni Wilderness Survival Handbook, a unique wilderness guide-themed website and series of videos providing info to school resources and services.

HBS Alumni Wilderness Survival Guide

The survival handbook is an interactive “instruction manual” creating  a visual analogy between the journey of an HBS alumnus in the real world and the journey of a hiker in the wild. Along the way, users experience a series of interactive sections detailing various tips & tricks to get the most out of their alumni experience including locating and meeting other alumni, business networking, volunteering, attending alumni programs, reunion planning and more.

To generate awareness, Genuine created a series of short video chapters with snippets pulled from the full site, which were shared across HBS social media channels as well as print and banner ads. Genuine also designed an illustrated booklet for use at alumni events, bringing the handbook beyond the digital world.

The Impact

Since launch, The HBS Alumni Wilderness Survival Handbook has 10% more click-throughs to HBS tools on-page and brought innovation to alumni services marketing. The site and campaign has been widely celebrated in the advertising and marketing industries, winning several awards including a Webby, Reggie, MITX, Hatch and w3 distinctions.