University of Consistency First:

How UCF Uses Integrated Marketing Communications to Strengthen Their Brand

               In my experience in higher education, I cannot tell you how many poorly designed websites and other marketing communications I have come across. In universities, different departments have different leadership and, unfortunately, it leads to disjointed brand messages. While it may seem like a daunting task to maintain brand consistency and deliver a powerful message to the distracted generation, there are some universities that are doing it right.

               The University of Central Florida, the largest university in the country by population, knows how to reach its students. Their branding is consistent across all digital and nondigital platforms, including their interior design on campus. Their brand colors and mascot are seen everywhere and their slogan “charge on” is a promise students and staff can get behind. Anyone can give themselves a cool slogan of course, but to make it stick it needs to ring true to the audience. By featuring their achievements in innovation prominently on the website, they are reinforcing that slogan at this touchpoint. They add credence to their claims by providing references, accolades, and statistics. Additionally, they describe their beliefs which reinforce their “charge on” mentality.

               In their “news section”, they highlight multiple achievements regarding their research programs, their financial aid, as well as community news. On their social media, they remain very consistent with their colors, imagery, and language, with slight alterations in tone based on the marketing channel. For example, their twitter account RT’s achievements and ties to notable alumni, with, of course, the hashtag “#ChargeOn.” Instagram features candid photos of students. Youtube offers a tour of the campus, all the while extolling innovative or unique features, traditions, and technologies. In each of these platforms, the images, videos, and texts featured all include consistent brand elements.

               It is refreshing to see an institution that is so conscious and proud of its image that it invests the time, money and effort into ensuring its consistency and value. It’s time for other universities to follow as UCF charges on!