Brand Background

Why Branding?

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon

Westminster’s brand is our reputation—what people say and feel about the college.

The college saw a need to influence those conversations for the better based on the following:

  • Public Perception Study (Simpson Scarborough, 2013)
  • CBE Program Study (Cicero Group, 2016)
  • Why Westminster campus survey (2015 Provost’s Office)

Research found overall awareness about Westminster is low. What people do know about the college is often vague, misdirected, or incorrect. And, the behind-our-back conversations do not align with the experiences our students and alumni can attest to (or to the experiences and motivators we shared in the Why Westminster survey conducted by Provost Lisa Gentile).

A desire to improve awareness and better communicate what makes us special was the genesis of this initiative. As we asked “Why Westminster?” and endeavor to improve campus culture, the timing was right.


Westminster’s journey of discovery began in September 2015 when we hired the creative agency, STRUCK, to guide us. In November 2015, work began in earnest and will continue through fall of 2017. Along the way, STRUCK engaged with prospective students, parents, current students, alumni, faculty, and staff to ensure the end result was both authentic and powerful. The brand is not new. It is a better expression of what we’ve always been.

Step 1

Brand Discovery
  • Brand audit
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Evaluation of past research, industry research, and data on millennials

Step 2

Brand positioning
  • Brand wheel and brand essence

Step 3

Messaging and Audience personas
  • Personas
  • Brand personality
  • Voice and tone
  • Brand narrative

Step 4

Visual identity
  • Logo system
  • Color palette
  • Photographic guidelines


The college’s authentic identity is now uncovered and we have a well-developed framework to share Westminster’s stories.

Every student, professor, and employee is an embodiment of the college brand—each of us is Westminster.

One key of successful brands is consistency. For Westminster’s brand to reach outside the campus, everyone on campus must embrace and exude the brand elements. Consistency across all communications and in the experiences we provide are crucial to success.

Public Launch

The college will internalize the brand through the end of 2016 in preparation for a public launch in January of 2017. The new visual identity will be incorporated across campus; this will take time. STRUCK will continue working with the Office of Marketing & Communication to develop templates and tools for implementing messaging and visuals.

Thank You!

The brand process has been a team effort. STRUCK and the Office of Marketing & Communication have worked with stakeholders from all over campus to ensure the brand will authentically represent who Westminster is and where we are going. Thank you to all who have lent your time and expertise.