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Developing DU's voice

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Renea Morris

Renea Morris

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Just as your personality makes you uniquely you, DU’s brand voice humanizes our brand and enables us to communicate capably through all of our written and visual content. Whether to evoke emotion, promote engagement, or nurture the relationships that matter most, a distinctive brand voice is the way. The power of DU’s brand lies in its ability to consistently and clearly express our values, shape stakeholder interactions, and communicate our story in ways that resonate with our audiences. Whether it’s by focusing on respect for people, their cultures of diversity, or stellar customer service, MailChimp, Airbnb, and Zappos are three examples of companies that express characteristic brand voices. Articulating DU’s identity, using a similar signature approach, will enable our audiences to engage with us in ways that are important to them. 

As I mentioned in a previous post, every touchpoint with DU is a potential connection and every connection is an opportunity for a relationship. Our brand voice—our unique personality and method of sharing our unique story—paves the way for how we will cultivate and nurture these relationships. As DU begins to roll out a revised and refined brand strategy, developing a brand voice that is consistently recognizable and relatable is the next step. Our voice will facilitate the improvement of our reputation, our recruitment efforts, and ultimately, our revenue. This first initiative of this multi-year plan will focus on making DU’s brand easy to understand and use so that we can: 

  • Increase top-of-mind awareness and DU’s relevance in a crowded marketplace 
  • Inspire more affinity and preference for DU
  • Infuse DU’s pipeline with new leads and conversions 

A strong brand voice doesn’t just happen. It requires a team with an intimate understanding of our brand to approach the task strategically. Our Strategic Messaging Workgroup, made up of representatives from MarComm and several units on campus, will embark on this work, creating the following deliverables:

  • Unique Value Propositions, proof point library, and editorial themes for the brand
  • A brand book outlining DU’s “why” as well as our personality-infused voice and positioning statement
  • An editorial style guide and brand voice writing guide with insights and training to empower the DU community 

Providing the guidance and the inspiration, the Strategic Messaging Workgroup will work collaboratively to create powerful and enduring brand messages that are distinctly DU, ensuring a bold, sustainable future for our students, employees, alumni, and communities.