It's not easy to capture over 100 years of innovation into a single sentence, but that's exactly what the University of Saskatchewan set out to do when we embarked on our Institutional Positioning Project.
Visual Expression Guide
Our brand is who we are as a university.
Externally, a strong brand will ensure that our identity resonates with our audiences and will build an emotional bond with them. Internally, it helps us stay true to who we are.
To be effective, our brand must be truthful, foster loyalty and be integrated into all that we do. It should give us a clear sense of direction for all of our marketing and communications efforts. An integral part of defining our brand was the Institutional Positioning Project in 2010. The project helped us to understand our strengths and what made us different from our competitors, in other words, our position.
The U of S
U of S Fact Sheet
As part of the Institutional Positioning Project, we asked ourselves:
- What is special, unique or distinctive about the University of Saskatchewan and the experiences we provide?
- What matters most to our key stakeholders (top academics, key funders, prospective graduate students, and prospective undergraduate students)?
- How can we ensure that our key stakeholders believe in and trust our newly defined position?
The university’s first positioning statement was approved in June 2010, and what we determined was: We are a rising team that is building the future.
Our personality is: Resourceful, collaborative and dynamic.
Our ambition is: To be among the most distinguished universities in Canada and the world.
- Impact: We work together to experiment, to learn and to make groundbreaking discoveries that will change Saskatchewan, Canada and the world.
- Connections: We reach across disciplines, into our communities and around the globe to build life-changing connections and to think differently about the issues of our time.
- Support: We provide freedom and support to push the boundaries of knowledge.
With our Institutional Positioning Project complete, it now serves as the foundation on which to build our brand. It is an honest reflection of our identity and serves as a compass for our operational, marketing and communications efforts.
It reflects our history and builds on our strategic directions, our foundational documents and our integrated plans. We defined the U of S position together through a highly engaging process of research and consultation with key stakeholders. It is an integral part of our brand.
Bringing our position to life
The U of S reputation is our most valuable asset, and our positioning statement allows us to enhance our profile and showcase our strengths in a more memorable way. Given our university’s complex nature, it’s imperative that we use clear and consistent messaging when communicating with our many diverse stakeholder groups. Use the positioning language when you talk about the U of S, not only in words, but in your images too. It’ll help us build our brand.
This project has worked well to increase the consistency and co-ordination of our marketing and communications materials, but we always have room to improve. Our verbal and visual guidelines, advertising examples, templates and slogan will help you understand how you can use the position in your work. It’s much more than words on a page—it serves as the foundation upon which we continue to build a strong reputation. Together, we can continue to build a strong U of S brand.
Leveraging the history and prestigious reputation of the University of Saskatchewan’s brand is an effective way for campus units to build awareness locally, provincially and nationally. However, we have recognized that there are certain circumstances when a distinctive identity may be appropriate.
The U of S has a broad range of programs, disciplines, colleges and units and a strategy is currently being developed by the Institutional Identity and Assessment Group to determine each entity’s relationship with the U of S brand to ensure a standardized visual graphic identity system is in place for everyone to follow.