Update on strategic positioning for July 2022 | Brand Book released + a look ahead
Our latest update on the reputation strategy is focused on marketing and branding updates, reflecting work completed this past month with hints to what you can expect in the fall.
On June 18, DU’s refreshed Brand Book with accompanying visual and editorial style guides was released to the campus. We’ve also shared it with various vendors to aid in creating the next phase of projects—from unit marketing projects to campus signage and wayfinding to year 2 of the For the Difference marketing campaign. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to explore all the chapters of the Brand Book, get familiar with the content, and register for training sessions as they’re offered.
I am so proud of all the work that our working groups, community members, and collaborators contributed over the past two years. Regarding DU, we know who we are, understand better what sets us apart, and articulate clearly why we do what we do. We’re learning better ways to connect those insights to prospective undergraduate students and are on our way to understanding more about our other audiences. And we’re just beginning.
When we hosted the first brand training session with campus practitioners, the positive energy was palpable. It was fun to see individuals from different teams collaborate and experience “aha” moments. I was in awe of our community’s amazing creativity. Seeing it come to the surface as they worked together to unravel the brand to put it into practice for the variety of sub-brands that make up DU was very gratifying. Miss out? Don’t worry. There will be more opportunities for you to join in. We will continue offering training opportunities throughout the brand implementation. Keep an eye on your inbox for a personalized invitation to participate. You can read about this one-of-a-kind, DU-specific training in the MarComm Blog.
As you’ve heard me say, our brand is living and breathing; it requires continuous care and feeding. Though we’ve worked together to produce a brand book and revitalized style guides, this is not content that we’ll put on a shelf and catalogue. Rather, we’ll treat the brand as part of who we are and how we operate. As such, you can expect enhancements to help ensure it resonates in noisy markets and more resources to make it easier to use day to day. We’re planning to continue releasing tools, training, and talking points to keep the brand in the spotlight where it belongs. The following updates are in the works:
Logo kits for the overarching University and academic units have been released and are housed in the University’s digital asset management system. While working on the second wave of logo kits, we hit a speed bump because of inconsistencies within unit titles. With clarity and consistency being key to a brand that is easy to understand and use, we’re taking a momentary pause to allow time for the creation of a recommended approach regarding unit names moving forward. More information will be shared very shortly, and we thank you for your patience. Facing the occasional speed bump while simultaneously launching so many “new-to-DU” things is expected. The pauses will allow us to shore up cracks as we continue creating the foundation necessary to future-proof the brand.
Sometimes, speed bumps create opportunities. We received a relatively low response on our offer to help generate new brand video assets for academic units, with most everyone wanting to shift this project to the fall. The good news is that we’ve created space in our September video schedule to allow for academic unit b-roll development when students return. At this time, the offer is limited to academic colleges/top-level schools. In the future we’ll set aside additional dates for other units.
This summer, our video team seized the opportunity to start working on another project—branded content and b-roll packages for our Unique Value Propositions. These assets will be available for everyone on campus via Widen in the fall. Shout out to the video team for their resourcefulness and agility in pivoting quickly to find new ways to support our collective work. Thanks for helping us continue to move forward.
New font packages
We hit a couple of particularly sticky speed bumps with the new fonts, which delayed our ability to share files. The first came during procurement, as we ran into legal challenges. These are now resolved! The second came during our work to distribute them through Widen; we’ll have restricted use based on variable licensing agreements. While we’re still working on a best long-term solution, in the short run, we have a fix. Look for details on how to access the new brand fonts next week.
Style guide updates
Information on how the brand will show up in Athletics as well as how to use the University seal and the Oxford comma are a few of the elements you can look forward to in the style guide enhancement release this fall. We will communicate new resources through a forthcoming Brand Resource website.
Have I mentioned yet how excited I am for all the fun things we have ahead?! In closing, I want to thank you all once again for your collaboration, patience, thoughtfulness, tenacity, and commitment. Not only to DU but also to the brand and the path we’re on together. As we head into fall, I’m looking forward to the public launch of the brand and the opportunities we’ll have to reach new audiences.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me, Johanna Blickenstaff (Johanna.Blickenstaff@du.edu), or Shira Good (Shira.Good@du.edu) with any questions you might have regarding our marketing, communications, and strategic positioning efforts.