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UB is ready to tell its story worldwide, with Buffalo at the heart of it


Wed, Apr 13th 2016 10:15 am

Strengthened reputation will result from distinctive brand and cohesive identity

By the University at Buffalo

The University at Buffalo will begin telling its story worldwide in a more compelling and cohesive way with the launch Tuesday of a new identity and brand strategy for the institution. 

"Our alumni, students, faculty and staff have all expressed a strong desire for the university to be much bolder in telling the world about what a great university UB is," said UB President Satish K. Tripathi. "Today, we embark on a new university-wide effort to do just that."

"As UB continues to rise in the ranks of the nation's great public research universities, the world is increasingly taking notice," Tripathi said. "Our university, and what makes us distinctive, will become even more widely known through this strategy, and it will benefit the entire university, as well as the Buffalo community."

This long-term identity and brand strategy, to be fully implemented over the next several years, will strengthen UB's reputation and visibility worldwide, Tripathi said.

It will draw more top students to UB from across the state, nation and world, and aid in the recruitment of world-class faculty and staff. It will build pride among alumni, help to increase research funding and generate philanthropic support. It will cement Buffalo's status as a destination for smart, driven students and the world's best scholars and researchers.

"Our carefully crafted strategy communicates UB's distinctiveness in a relevant, consistent and authentic way to all audiences," said Nancy Paton, UB vice president for communications. "This is a university-wide strategy that defines who we are, what we do and why it matters."

"Increased competition in higher education for students, faculty, research funding and philanthropic support is indicative that we are entering a new era," Paton said. "Differentiated and distinctive institutional reputation is vital to UB's future success."

'Here is How': A New Framework for UB Brand

The new strategy features two key components, both of which resulted from a yearlong process involving the expertise and input of thousands of alumni, students, faculty, staff, prospective students and community members.

The first component is a brand framework that conveys UB's distinctiveness. Based around a concept called "Here is How," it presents UB as an extraordinary university in an extraordinary city - an institution that represents not only a place, but also a unique way of getting things done. 

" 'Here is How' captures UB's unique personality, expressing distinctive traits and attributes identified over several months during the initiative's research phase," Paton said. "UB is an ambitious and inclusive community of big thinkers and doers. We are tenacious in pursuit of our goals, and we bring a global context to all that we do."

These traits are shared by the people and City of Buffalo, she said. "It's in the way we do things, and it's reflected in Buffalo's renaissance and UB's role in this renaissance."

This new storytelling framework will be conveyed in all facets of the university, ranging from admissions brochures and alumni magazines to the university's websites, signage, photography and social media.

"Our 'Here is How' framework conveys a sense of what it's like to be at UB and in Buffalo," Paton said. "It is a sustainable platform from which we'll tell stories that will permeate the entire university, creating consistency and showing UB's impact. They're stories about how we teach, create and impact the world - and we do that right here in Buffalo, New York."

The "Here is How" concept is captured in this video that launches the initiative: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmneuHGWnvc.

Uniting around the 'University at Buffalo' Name

Just as important as the "Here is How" framework, the new identity and branding initiative is focused on clearing up longtime confusion about the university's name, Paton said.

For what may be the first time in UB's history, all of the university's schools and units will be aligned under one official name: the "University at Buffalo," with the interlocking UB as the official university logo. UB's affiliation with the State University of New York will continue to be a major part of the university's name, particularly for international markets where the SUNY name is widely known and valued. 

As a result of this effort, UB's School of Law and School of Architecture and Planning are now more closely aligned with the university's official name. The Division of Athletics and all UB athletics teams also are more closely aligned with the university's name and will use "UB" and "Buffalo" as their primary identities. Athletics also is introducing a new spirit mark for the UB Bulls and will use the text tagline "New York's Public Powerhouse" in marketing materials to emphasize UB's strength in New York state and UB's stature as one of the nation's leading public research universities.

"The university's academic strength has always been a key athletics message in promoting UB to student-athletes, coaches and other universities nationwide," said Allen Greene, director of athletics. "UB Athletics' refreshed identity helps to further amplify that message and builds on our successful efforts to promote UB's academic stature across the state and nationwide - a message with strong appeal to the coaches, staff and student-athletes we recruit."

For examples of how all UB schools and units are incorporated into the university name, go to http://www.buffalo.edu/brand

"It is very important to UB's future that we have a clear and consistent identity across the entire university," Paton said. "Building momentum and consistency under the University at Buffalo name and interlocking UB symbol will forge a strong identification for the university and eliminate confusion."

The new branding and identity initiative will be cheered by UB's 243,000 alumni, said Mary Garlick Roll, president of the UB Alumni Association. "UB graduates all over the world are ready to share their pride and support," she said. "Like me, I'm sure they'll be very excited to see the new UB brand come to life."

UB deans, faculty, staff and students from across the university also have shared their support for the new brand and identity strategy: http://www.buffalo.edu/ubreporter/stories/2016/04/brand-council-quotes.html.

"I think the branding initiative has been thoroughly researched and the final product really reflects the culture and values of this university," said Joseph Pace of the undergraduate Student Association and a UB engineering major. "UB is an extremely diverse place with so many great things happening every day, and this new campaign will showcase what UB has to offer."

"UB has an awesome story that needs to be shared; the new brand launch will be an integral exercise to execute this narrative," said Philip L. Glick, M.D., chair of the UB Faculty Senate and professor of surgery. "The new brand launch should also help to build better and stronger connections between departments, schools and the entire university."

Over the next five to 10 years, the university will align the "Here is How" framework throughout the university while maintaining a consistent university identity. "Each of UB's schools, units and departments will tell their stories through this framework," Paton said. "Collectively, we will show the world what it means to UB."

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