Case Study: Elsevier

Learn how Elsevier, the global leader in health science publishing helped build its Evolve online platform brand and acquire new customers through a unique “Student Rep Program.” 

This case study provides insight into: 

  1. The objectives behind the strategy
  2. How the strategy was developed
  3. Execution, measurability, and reporting

Case Study Overview

Executive Summary

Elsevier, the world’s largest health sciences publisher engaged Strategic Glue in the development and management of a “Student Rep Program” for its emerging Evolve brand of electronic products including free Resources and paid online Courses based on a wide variety of industry-leading textbooks.

About Elsevier

With roots dating back to the 1500’s, publishing works from such luminaries as Galileo and Stephen Hawking along with the world’s most prestigious health science journals and textbooks, Elsevier remains a leading global information and publishing powerhouse.

“Strategic Glue came up with a unique strategy to tackle a new challenge. The Student Rep Program was both effective and a great brand-building tool.”

Jant Blanner

Former Senior Vice President and GM of Marketing Services, Elsevier


Promotion and adoption of Evolve Resources and online Courses at colleges throughout the US. Unlike traditional textbook adoptions, Evolve had to be promoted in a unique, efficient, and effective way.


A Student Rep Program that would incentivize students enrolled in nursing and health science programs to promote the Evolve brand. Student reps could earn Points toward textbooks, resources, and more by helping drive awareness, adoptions and increased usage, while providing necessary campus coverage where company rep visits were infrequent due to large territories.


Incentivizing a large cadre of students across many campuses through the US meant the solution had to be web-based. Utilizing, Strategic Glue’s proprietary Elastick Rewards system, the program was conceived, developed, tested, and launched in a matter of weeks versus a minimum 6-month development and 6-figure cost.


The Evolve brand grew significantly during the one-year student rep program with online Course adoptions increasing by 24%, and utilization of free Evolve resources increasing by 37% at participating schools. Textbook adoptions increased as well as Evolve Courses and Resources were developed from best-selling textbooks resulting in a cross-promotion of print and digital.

The Evolve brand gained significant brand awareness, loyalty, and relevance among existing and incoming faculty as well as students.

Evolve helped instructors and schools make the leap to e-learning by using free Resources, or complete turnkey Courses that were already fully-developed at a fraction of the cost and time to develop a course from the groundup.

Students were motivated to promote the Evolve brand because they earned Points toward books and other materials; solidified their relationships with faculty; and built their resumes with an on-campus position from the leading health sciences publisher.

The Evolve Student Rep Program exemplifies the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of leveraging an existing platform that could be customized at a fraction of the cost and time than a “from scratch” development.

“We would never have been able to develop and launch this type of program; much less in such a short amount of time. Strategic Glue handled the on-going program management including the recruitment and training of the Evolve student reps.”


Increase in utilization of Evolve at participating schools

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