AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin has introduced a new brand message, “What Starts Here Changes the World,” that emphasizes the impact of the work of its faculty, students and staff and the university’s key role in a creative community.
The brand message, which debuted in August 2004, is already a prominent feature on the university’s Web site and has been incorporated into a number of key publications produced by administrative units, such as Admissions and Development.
The components of the university’s brand strategy can be seen at www.utexas.edu/opa/utbrand.
The Web site describes the process that led to the development of the message and outlines ways members of the university can use the theme.
“What Starts Here Changes the World” resulted from a partnership among the university’s Office of Public Affairs, the Center for Brand Research in the College of Communication and the advertising firm, GSDandM. The message debuted in fall 2004 in the university’s institutional advertisements aired during televised football games. GSDandM produced the ads in concert with the Office of Public Affairs. (These ads can be viewed at www.utexas.edu/inside_ut/tvspot.) Graduate students in the Center for Brand Research, led by branding expert and Professor of Advertising Neal Burns, conducted a year-long research project that informed the development of the theme.
“We are extremely pleased with the support we’ve gotten for our brand strategy,” said Don Hale, vice president for public affairs. “By communicating clearly and consistently the contributions our university makes to society we will build greater public understanding, in Texas, in the nation and the world, of the value and importance of The University of Texas at Austin.”
“What starts here at UT is an amazing array of life-altering events,” said Deborah Morrison, associate professor of advertising and creative lead on the brand. “Certainly, this theme speaks to that energy and optimism.”
Central to the strategy is the university’s location in Austin, recognized as one of the nation’s most creative and dynamic cities. The brand team viewed Austin as an asset that differentiated the university from most large public research universities.
Hale said the university’s brand message will resonate with the theme of a national campaign called “Solutions for Our Future,” which is to be introduced on March 14. The “Solutions” campaign, initiated by the American Council on Education, is aimed at building public understanding of the “critical role colleges and universities play in serving the public, solving pressing societal needs and preparing people for our country’s future.”