Brand Guide Execution Guidelines
Intro to the brand

About the ASU brand

What is a brand?

A brand is the way an individual perceives an organization based on the sum of their exposure and experiences to that organization. ASU has many types of constituents who experience the ASU brand in a variety of ways. It is critical that communication and experience offered by ASU be as clear and consistent as possible, to create and maintain our intended perception. For that reason, the ASU brand is centered on the brand platform.

The ASU brand platform

Introduced in 2014, the brand platform makes up the foundation for all the ways in which we express the brand to our audiences. Imagery, colors, writing style — all are informed by the brand platform.

The ASU brand platform is an enduring, strategic, internal statement that defines and guides the positioning of the university in the marketplace and throughout the world. It informs how the brand essence is communicated and it helps keep those communications and creative manifestations consistent, unified and complementary. 

The brand platform was designed to:

  • Provide unified direction for marketing communications, strategy and development of tactics by everyone within the ASU enterprise.
  • Create and sustain differentiation from competitors.
  • Build loyalty and affinity among constituents.
  • Optimize resources and efforts across ASU’s distributed marketing and communications ecosystem.
  • Identify and explain the fundamental human value at the center of the ASU brand, most appealing to those at the entry point, primarily students.

The ASU brand platform — and the fundamental human value at its core — was developed through research among students and has been validated through repeated research to ensure relevance with the entry point. 

In 2022, the ASU brand platform evolved to reflect changes to the ASU public enterprise and its ambitions. A team of leaders from across the enterprise participated to ensure accuracy and alignment. Research among key constituents found the evolved platform both relevant and compelling. 


Read the details of the brand platform


ASU brand platform and the ASU Charter

The two are neither synonymous nor competitive. The ASU Charter for the New American University model conveys what we do as an institution. The ASU brand platform conveys why we do it in a way that is motivating and relevant for constituents.  

Brand portfolio

The ASU brand reaches people from all walks of life, across the country and around the world. People may experience many parts of ASU, such as a four-year undergraduate student, or be exposed to one small element, such as someone who listens to a single podcast created by an ASU college. The brand portfolio was developed to provide communicators from across the ASU enterprise a framework to ensure the ASU brand always shines.

The ASU brand is strong because of how each component serves the person interacting with it and how they can build upon it with others. The ASU brand portfolio approach documents how each unit is positioned and helps them better leverage the brand to promote themselves more effectively.

This work was designed to create: 

  • A shared vision for the ASU brand among major units with critical roles in building awareness, perceptions of excellence and pride in ASU.
  • Communication and feedback loops to improve effectiveness and minimize disruptions to better enable individuals to act.
  • Holistic, proactive planning that applies a common framework to be used across colleges and evolved year over year.

The intent of the brand portfolio is to: 

  • Enable units to be more nimble through a shared foundational alignment.
  • Access common areas of strength and knowledge across the enterprise among our people and processes.
  • Identify and navigate areas of messaging conflict and confusion.
  • Increase stability of plans and outcomes during times of staff transition.

In FY23, the first group of units — known as the Brand Portfolio Management Group — worked together to document its positions within the ASU brand portfolio. That work paved the way for other units to define and document their position. 

Read this presentation

How the ASU brand should be executed and expressed

Intro to the Brand