How psLondon used Gen Z insight to disrupt university marketing

psLondon developed a values-based marketing model that shook up a stagnant sector.

Market analysis
London, UK
10-50 employees


psLondon, a creative and brand consultancy, were looking for insight to differentiate between the multiple UK universities they work with. They needed insight from Gen Z to create a unique and compelling proposition for each university.

When you’re working with as many universities as we do, it quickly becomes apparent that a lot of them are saying the same thing. We wanted to be able to offer some insight into what makes a particular university unique, and so we turned to Attest.

Kendra Rogers, Head of Insight and Strategy, psLondon


Inspired by social psychologist Milton Rokeach, who proposed that 18 ‘terminal values’ guide all human decisions, psLondon aimed to discover the values people associate with different universities. 

They used Attest to survey prospective undergraduate students and students currently enrolled at universities. Then, they compared how the values ascribed by students at (or considering) a specific university differed from the results as a whole. 

We found there were clear areas where universities were standing out from each other in terms of values – for example, one of our universities really over-indexed for the value of freedom. It was a really exciting insight that led us to a proposition of ‘the freedom to achieve’.


Following the success of their first values-led university rebrand, psLondon have rolled the model out across four more UK universities. They are currently working on campaigns and rebrands for a further three universities. 

These universities have subconsciously been building their brands for a really long time. If we can tap into the values that the students already associate with the universities, we can start to create marketing and communications that feel more authentic and more interesting.

So unique is the approach that psLondon have published white papers on the topic and spoken at higher education marketing conferences. As well as revolutionising the stagnant university marketing space, the model has become a key differentiator for them as a consultancy and a driver of new business.

Attest is like a playground for all of our ideas. It opens up a lot of conversations that we wouldn’t usually have as we’re able to test our hypotheses early and quickly, and that in itself is really exciting.

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