What is branding?

A brand is the essence of one’s own unique story. The set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a person’s decision to choose one product, service, or academic institution over another.

It’s far more than a logo, visual identity or tag line - it’s what you stand for in the hearts and minds of the people with whom you are working to engage – be it students, alumni, donors, faculty or staff. It’s about what you are as much as it’s about what you aren’t.

Why is it important for UNB to define our brand?

The world of higher education is as competitive as any other industry – and UNB faces a unique set of challenges. StatsCan is forecasting a 21% decline in high-school age population in New Brunswick – our main source of undergraduates. Maritime university enrollment as a whole is declining, the popularity of community colleges continues to increase and competing universities are stepping up their own branding efforts. It’s critical that UNB takes action to address the very real threats on our horizon.

Some people might feel that branding shouldn’t play a role in post-secondary education – but even schools like Harvard have invested in brand-building activities in recent years, highlighting the need for post-secondary education institutions to clearly define what they stand for. A strong brand is a key tool to attract the top faculty, top graduate and undergraduate students, donor dollars and public support to UNB.

Having a clear brand foundation built on a common vision will provide UNB with a powerful filter to help guide us in decisions about what is (and isn’t right) for our university.

Everyone at the university is part of building our brand: from our professors who deliver amazing in-class experiences and conduct world-class research, to our staff who work with alumni, donors and government representatives, to our students who live the brand every day. Everything we do contributes to our overall brand reputation.

By creating a common understanding of what UNB stands for among our staff, faculty, and students, we will ensure that we align our efforts to clearly communicate the top-tier academic and educational experiences and knowledge creation that we deliver.

For more information, please contact Sarah Martell, Director of Marketing, or email brand@unb.ca.

This project is made possible through the generous support of UNB donors.