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Brand Stewardship

Brand Stewardship

It’s up to each of us to represent DePaul—anytime and all the time. To do that, we need to understand our brand and, just as important, we need to know how to communicate our story.
 That begins with a solid understanding of our brand strategy, story and messaging.

Remember these five ways to be a strong brand steward.

1. Lead with our story, not our stats.

21,000+ students. A 17:1 student-teacher ratio. While these are impressive numbers, they don’t even begin to define us as well as our three qualities—education, environment and ethos—do. Always lead with what makes us unique and pepper in our facts, figures and statistics as you get deeper into our story. Every institution has facts, and everyone can spin them to sound impressive. Our story is much bigger than that.

2. Don't talk about chicago, talk why Chicago.

Instead of simply mentioning or showing our world-class city, share the advantages Chicago provides as a living laboratory for DePaul students, including access to major companies and industries, a powerful connection to more than 210,000 alumni, great opportunities for employment during and following their time at DePaul, and the ability to interact with people from all over the world. Our students are ready to achieve more in the real world, because that’s exactly where they received their education. Being a citizen of a global city empowers them to think and act with confidence, while embracing scale and complexity at every turn.

3. Add value to Vincentian values.

The Vincentian values are critical to our story, but they can be difficult to articulate, particularly when an audience doesn’t know us well.  So it’s important that we describe our values (our ethos) in everyday terms. Our respect for others is apparent in our service actions, our well-rounded nature and absence of ego. We are engaged in our communities at every level. Here, diversity isn’t a buzzword; it’s a way of life. We are open to diverse people and ideas and welcoming of diverse cultures, backgrounds and points of view. This makes our students agile, open-minded and accepting of change. At DePaul, this is what it means to be Vincentian.

4. DePaul offers a great education. Every other institution says it does, too.

We can’t merely talk about our education. We need to show what makes it distinctive, unique and undeniably DePaul. That means describing our dedicated, passionate faculty who teach from experience, using real-world applications and a hands-on approach; our rigorous curriculum that is greatly informed by today’s global issues and anticipates tomorrow’s challenges; and our emphasis on individual attention. Together, these “extras” define a great education at DePaul.

It’s not a tagline or a headline. It’s our brand essence. Instead of using it to pay off what we communicate, everything we communicate should pay it off. Explain how a practical educational experience makes our students capable, qualified and ready from day one of their lives after graduation, how learning in the midst of Chicago makes them connected and confident, and how Vincentian values ground our work and our students with meaning and purpose.

When you’re crafting a communication, make sure you’re on track by asking these six questions:

1. Is there a clear tie back to our brand messages?

2. Are you getting right to the heart of our story?

3. Do you pay off every attribute with a benefit?

4. Have you tailored the communication to your specific audience?

5. Is there a clear call to action?

6. Does your communication convey our personality?