Over the summer of 2012, the University of Denver began unveiling a new branding platform and visual identity that will help define and differentiate the institution for local, national and international audiences.
“After a year of market research and development, we have learned that many people know of the University of Denver, but they don’t know enough about us. We are going to change that fact,” says Kevin Carroll, vice chancellor of the Division of Marketing and Communications and the University’s chief marketing officer.
“The branding platform grew out of months of research,” he explains. “We developed the new branding platform and identity by asking thousands of people from across the U.S. and in our community what our university means to them.”
The research helped to clarify the University’s identity within a crowded and competitive education marketplace. The Division of Marketing and Communications worked with a host of stakeholders—among them current students, their parents, alumni, faculty, staff and Denver-area employers—to explore the institution’s strengths and distinctive attributes.
Incorporating insights gleaned from this research, the new brand platform brings to life DU’s vision: to be a great private university dedicated to the public good. “The brand expresses how we put our vision and values into action,” Carroll says, “and it is the lens through which we set and carry out attainment of our goals.”
The new platform is brief and easy to remember: The University of Denver is a catalyst for purposeful lives, ignited by a personalized educational journey and inspired by Denver’s Rocky Mountain spirit of exploration and openness.
This approach to education is supported by an emphasis on collaboration, vast opportunities for experiential learning, a culture dedicated to creating positive impact, and the diverse perspectives, from local to global, that color day-to-day life on campus. These attributes, Carroll explains, align closely with the University’s mission and vision. They also capture a decade’s worth of focus on program and curriculum development.
From this platform, Carroll adds, new, fresh and contemporary communication will be created.
The research also helped shape a new logo that includes the date of the University’s founding, 1864, and features signature campus buildings and a mountain backdrop.
Already, the new logo has been incorporated into the University’s website, its major publications and an array of way-finding signs installed in midsummer. In addition, the brand platform informs marketing materials across the institution’s many divisions.
Carroll expects the brand platform will not only help the institution communicate with various audiences, it also will play a critical role in strategic planning.
“You can be confident in knowing that our brand positioning is truly a reflection of what we know and believe about our University,” he says. “Everyone on campus is an ambassador for our brand, and we must unite to reflect this essence in all that we do, every day.”