What is a brand?
The public image, reputation and identity of an organization. A brand is the culmination of our experiences, interactions, feelings, and sensations. Every time someone interacts with our institution, that interaction shapes their perceptions of what UC Berkeley is and stands for.
One of the ways that we can help define our brand is through our marketing and communications. We maintain guidelines over the way that the UC Berkeley brand is expressed visually and in writing.
Our brand guidelines define the use of our logos and marks, colors, fonts, photography, and graphic elements — and offer guidance for how to talk about our university.
Some large organizations use a “house of brands” approach. An example of this is Procter & Gamble, which owns Pampers, Crest, and Swiffer, to name just a few of its brands. A “house of brands” contains disparate products or services. Marketing must be targeted to each product. Protecting, promoting, and growing each brand can be expensive.
In contrast, look at a company like Apple, which uses a “branded house” framework. Apple makes and markets various products and services, but they are all branded as Apple.
At UC Berkeley, as is the case with most universities, we strive to be a branded house. Our colleges, divisions, departments, programs, and units have their own unique traits, stories, and history, but we are united under one common identity.
UC Berkeley is a world-class institution with a reputation for excellence and a billion-dollar global brand. The strengths of individual units and programs contribute to the strength of the institution, and vice versa. As the saying says, a rising tide lifts all boats. By aligning with our institutional brand standards, we act as One Berkeley, and we protect, strengthen and leverage our over 150 year reputation for generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value — and challenging convention — to reimagine the world.
In 2023, the current iteration of the Berkeley brand guidelines will turn 10 years old. There’s a lot to celebrate: We’ve seen widespread brand alignment across the campus, and the brand has transformed the way that Berkeley is perceived in the world. Over the past year, the brand team has conducted an audit of campus communicators to learn how people use the brand. We've taken note of what our community sees as the brand’s strengths and weaknesses, and where we see opportunities for improvement.
Our brand is evolving
Going into the next decade of the UC Berkeley brand, one of our top priorities is to explore the feedback presented by our community and to make updates to the brand that help communicators better tell the university’s story. To encourage feedback and ensure buy-in from a broad and diverse cross-section of campus partners, we’ve created a brand advisory council and a design-focused subcommittee through which all brand updates will be vetted.
Meet the Brand Advisory Council and Design Subcommittee