Telling our Story
It takes strategy to tell an effective story that celebrates our impact, elevates our strengths, captures our personality and defines what the world can expect from us. Simply put, it’s the blueprint for building our brand.
Everything we say and everything we do as a brand is built on this brand strategy. It’s how we tell the world: Here is who we are, why we exist and why it matters. Every element of the strategy is the result of focused decisions to establish the positioning for our brand and a platform for our big idea. This is where it all starts.
Who are we talking to?
What do we want people to remember about UF?
What do we say and why does it matter?
How do we look, sound and feel?
We need to understand and prioritize who we’re speaking to, so we can establish goals for each audience and effectively engage them with the brand. While all of these messaging recommendations should be considered, we prioritize different key ideas when we communicate with each segment.
Friends of the university
Make sure that internal stakeholders know what the evolved brand means to them, their programs or their units, and the value they add in bringing the brand story to life
Brand training will go a long way toward a successful rollout – as will access to branded assets, templates, toolkits and support
Higher Education influencers
Highlight the ways that UF is moving the needle – telling stories of impact that increase visibility and reputation
Our university’s distinct culture and the strength of our offerings are what contribute to our impact. Prospective students and partners are especially interested in what makes UF the right choice for their future involvement.
Current Students, Faculty and Staff
- The ways that UF’s values, the differentiating aspects of our culture, and the lived experience on campus connect to the brand expression
- Clarity about UF’s vision for the future, and how they have a prominent and integral role in getting us there
- Information about the ways their units can express their individuality within an aligned UF story
- Ways the can share their ideas and accomplishments, promoting pride
Alumni and Friends
- Exciting updates about UF’s impact in the world
- The idea they have an integral role in UF’s rise to prominence
- How the university is building on our historic strengths
- Clear goals for how they can support the university as a whole
- Ways the can share their own stories that showcase the exemplary experience at UF
Prospective Students and Influencers
- UF’s momentum and continual rise in excellence
- How UF will help them develop expertise in their interest areas
- Ways that UF makes tomorrow better than today
- The culture of organic collaboration and connection
- Outcome stories
- How UF uses or location to enhance the student experience
- The value of a UF degree
- How UF educates the best and brightest from all backgrounds
Higher Education, Media, Lawmakers, Industry
- The wide array of opportunities available for partnership and engagement
- Ways that UF research is moving the world forward
- The impact of the university across industries and around the world
- UF’s commitment to providing a world-class education to students of all backgrounds
- Stories that highlight remarkable achievements by UF graduates
- UF’s goals for further ascension and global impact
It’s also important to keep in mind the ways that messages overlap within each group.
Positioning is how we want to be thought of in the minds of our most important audiences. It’s not how we express ourselves externally, it’s about what we want people to remember about the University of Florida when they walk away.
The message map prioritizes the most important messages for telling our story, and it illustrates the relationship between attributes and benefits. It organizes our key messages into a hierarchy to ensure that our communications are clear, consistent and compelling.
The message map prioritizes and organizes the most important messages for telling the UF story, by illustrating the relationship between attributes and benefits. Our story always connects to the center of the map: the core value proposition. Based on the needs of the target audience and the specific message we need to deliver, we can then determine an appropriate secondary message and a set of proof points.
Personality humanizes the brand and shapes the overall tone of our communications. It helps bring our materials to life with greater resonance and emotional strength.
Note: You don’t always have to use them all — choose the most relevant traits for your target audience. These can be dialed up or dialed down, depending on the goals of the piece you’re creating.
And we communicate how we do things in a unique way that’s all our own. At the University of Florida, we create our own path forward.
Each of us brings something distinctive to the university. Our brand gives a voice to every member of our community.
We communicate this by showing our fierce, competitive spirit. We fight hard in everything we do.
Our voice showcases the human heart and deep compassion that make us who we are. People are the core of our brand the reason for all our work.
We show the innovation that drives everything that we do. We are unafraid to dream big, and pursue massive, world-changing ideas.
There’s a joyful spirit of discovery that runs through all of us. We do this stuff because we love it.