What is Branding?
"A brand is something that lives in your head. It is a promise that links a product or service to a consumer. Whether words, or images, or emotions, or any combination of the three, brands are mental associations that get stirred up when you think about or hear about a particular [product or organization]." Source: Brand Simple
A brand is a promise to deliver a certain set of benefits, both rational and emotional, to its audience. A brand isn’t a logo or a tag line. Specific colors, smells, music, and graphic elements are brand signals. Rational benefits, conveyed through University of North Dakota’s brand, include innovation, creativity, and an environment filled with an entrepreneurial spirit.
Branding is about reputation enhancement and management. It is a set of attitudes or beliefs that a person or audience holds about an institution when they hear the name mentioned. The brand is intended to be a unique positioning statement which helps the institution differentiate itself from its peers.
By sending a single, consistent message to its target audience, branding consistently builds credibility while contributing to the overall success and image of the organization. Branding helps an organization differentiate itself to their respective target audiences.
The purpose of branding is to manage all the institution’s communications (print and electronic) so the look and feel sends a consistent message. Branding a university is much more than a name, logo, or tag line; it’s a promise. Our promise is extended to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the general public.
The brand strategy is quite simple: to continue to provide an exceptional education for our students through our globally respected research faculty, while continuing to deliver on our promises to our constituencies. However, due to declining high school demographics in the state and region, and growing competition from around the nation, it is essential to form a brand strategy to differentiate the university. The brand strategy will incorporate the idea of distinguishing ourselves through our distinct brand drivers while continuing to deliver on our brand promises, in an environment filled with innovative, creative, and entrepreneurial spirit.