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As you prepare to create any department- or campaign-specific materials, always refer to these brand guidelines first. If followed consistently and properly, they will help ensure your materials will accurately represent the Indiana State University brand.
Brand positioning is a phrase that defines the unique impression we want to make in the minds of our target audiences. It’s important since it constantly helps shape perceptions of Indiana State University and creates preference/choice for the brand.
The following paragraph shouldn’t be used verbatim, but marketing/communications efforts should draw on it for inspiration.
Indiana State University provides a transformative academic experience by prioritizing student achievement. We elevate the educational experience through a range of carefully crafted programs, each one focused on students’ ultimate career success. We provide small class sizes and acclaimed professors who actively engage with students, in a campus environment that is supportive, stimulating, and inclusive. We also offer stipends for out-of-the-classroom learning, alongside countless extracurricular opportunities. In total, the Sycamore experience provides more opportunities for students to succeed — making us one of Indiana’s most powerful economic forces.
Key messages should be benefit-focused and communicate “What’s in it for me?” to the target audience. Depending on the audience and goal of the communication, any number of the following high-level key messages/benefits may be used.
FUTURE PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS (empowering discovery and achievement)
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT (life skills)
CONNECTED ENVIRONMENT (resources to succeed)
LIFELONG FINANCIAL SECURITY (ROI)
These messages should be accompanied by reasons to believe (facts and figures) to help support the communication. Each execution will likely feature different reasons to believe, based on the purpose of the piece.
Tone / Personality
The brand’s tone is important to help communicate the personality we want to express in our communications. Prospective students, donors, and faculty, as well as legislators, neighbors, and alumni, should all get a sense of “who we are” in the way that we speak as a university. Here are a few of the most important characteristics of our tone and personality.
WELCOMING: Providing a sense of community, where anyone can find their place. (We’re academic, but not stuffy.)
SUPPORTIVE: Fostering an environment and structure to ensure student success. (We help all Sycamores reach their fullest potential.)
INSPIRING: Building a foundation for students to excel. (We’ll help you push beyond what you thought possible.)
BOLD: Being confident in who we are and the benefits we offer. (Go Trees!)
PROGRESSIVE: Ever-evolving to anticipate and meet the needs of students and the state. (We were founded in 1865. But we live in the now.)
The brand promise is a simple statement, reflecting what our brand works to deliver. This is how we address the emotional needs of various audiences across every touchpoint. The brand promise is not a tagline. Rather, it’s an internally-focused statement that acts as a north star for decision making, operations, and communications. Another way to think of it is as Indiana State’s, “WHY?” Why do we exist? How does our existence help make the world better?
Based on these needs, here’s a phrase that serves us well:
CREATING CONNECTIONS THAT EMPOWER A LIFETIME OF ACHIEVEMENT