Putting Ideas into Action:
Mason Launches First Brand Profile

Posted: July 1, 2014 at 3:46 pm, Last Updated: July 3, 2014 at 7:51 am

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By Colleen Kearney Rich

George Mason University this week will introduce its first-ever comprehensive brand profile, the culmination of a yearlong process intended to unify the institution and increase knowledge around its strengths.

George Mason is one of the nation’s most diverse and innovative institutions, defined by a myriad of ideas and perspectives. By embracing this brand profile, the university can focus on its strategic goals, be more readily identifiable and speak with one voice.

“This is no small matter,” says President Ángel Cabrera. “By raising our profile as a university and building our image, we will support strategic priorities ranging from admissions and development to growth in research and success in career placement. We will also build pride in Mason and strengthen our self-image.”

The brand profile consists of three parts: Mason’s brand, message guide, and visual identity and style guide. The brand profile has been designed to bring a new level of consistency and impact to all the university’s communications.

“Everyone in the Mason community represents the brand in some way,” says Renell Wynn, vice president for communications and marketing. “Whether you are recruiting prospective students or talking about Mason in the community, you will want to become familiar with the contents of the profile and, more importantly, become ambassadors. There is something for everyone.”

There are four core messages and phrases that resonate with Mason audiences both internal and external. Eleven impressive strengths have also been identified. The guide also includes a toolkit, which instructs the user on how to write compelling and engaging headlines; it notes when and how to use proof points and introduces six themelines to replace a single tagline.

With the new brand profile, the tagline “Where Innovation Is Tradition” has been retired. In addition, the “Mason IDEA” will not be used as prominently, although those four descriptors—innovative, diverse, entrepreneurial and accessible—are core to the university’s identity and are now among the 11 impressive strengths.

The profile also provides guidance on tone and voice, and introduces a new visual identity and style complete with fonts, color palettes, design examples, and advice on use of photography and graphics. The Office of Communications and Marketing will be holding information sessions throughout the summer introducing the brand profile and the toolkit.

PDFs of the Brand Profile and Quick Start Messaging Guide can be downloaded here



Write to Colleen Kearney Rich at ckearney@gmu.edu

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