Creativity & Branding

Presented by University Relations: Laura Johnson and Katie Eissinger

Communications within the University of Minnesota must be kept on brand, but how do you be creative while still complying?

Laura and Katie started off the presentation by defining what they think of the brand: It’s the space that you occupy in your audience’s mind.

Elements of the brand are positioning, tone and voice, and visual identity. These help our audience cut through the clutter.

Driven to Discover is the brand position and it showcases who we are, how we’re set apart. The brand position is broken down further. Driven is our passion to understand our world. Discover is our focus and passion to change our world. It empowers the students and the community. The brand position was established in 2006 and was all about connecting to the mission of the University of Minnesota.

The voice of the brand is leaders and being imaginative and daring. The tone is engaging, intriguing, and motivating.

Why is it important to connect to the brand? It helps with recruitment of students and faculty. It engages alumni pride. The brand helps secure research proposals and grants. It’s an umbrella under which we can communicate our messages.

By connecting to the brand, departments can capitalize on what’s already working as the brand is held in high regard nationwide. Departments can leverage the university’s investments and it helps to amplify the departments’ stories too.

Staying on brand means the primary colors used on all communications should be maroon and gold. To be creative, there are accent colors that can be used to help differentiate departments, and different graphic elements may be employed.