University implements new branding initiative

This is the first such campaign in the University’s recent history

Elizabeth Worthington, News Co-Editor

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Just as any successful business or company has a specified branding and marketing strategy, so too must an institution of higher education. The University is undertaking a comprehensive new branding initiative that will set guidelines for both internal and external communications. According to Chief Communications Officer Andy Hirsch, the motivation behind this new initiative is the belief that the University needs to be more “intentional and aligned” in how it tells its story.

The theme of the new brand is entitled “By Way of Bucknell.” Its aim is to express to both prospective and current students the stories of the many different paths available to students at the University as they strive for personal and professional success.

“We feel strongly that, with internal alignment on a well-defined brand, we are better positioned to tell Bucknell’s story and distinguish the University from its peers, raise its national reputation, and build upon what is already a strong sense of pride within the Bucknell community,” Hirsch said.

The overarching vision of the brand was the result of the effort of many different groups. According to Hirsch, over 1,400 students, alumni, parents, faculty and staff offered input through one-on-one interviews, focus groups, and surveys. The theme is a summation of what was expressed during these interactions.

The University also had help from Ologie, a national branding firm that specializes in higher education and was highly recommended to the University by colleagues at other institutions. As a partner in the project, Ologie members spent time on campus during a “discovery” phase, where they learned as much as they could about the University.

“We didn’t ask Ologie to tell us who we should be. We asked them to come in and to discover for themselves who we are, and then to help us present an authentic vision of that identity in ways that resonate with all of our various audiences,” Hirsch said.

Implementation of the initiative began last month with distribution of communications to prospective students and families. The visual language will soon begin to be incorporated on campus, and Hirsch affirms that there are plans to have open discussions and information sessions throughout the academic year.

“I’ve said from the beginning of this initiative, this is an evolution; fully implementing the brand will take some time,” Hirsch said.

There is a specific page on the University’s website that lays out the visual language to be used in materials distributed to the campus, or in external communications distributed on behalf of the University. To learn more about the specific typography, color palette, and overall style used by the University in such communications, visit https://www.bucknell.edu/bywayofbucknell.

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