Just as graphic standards ensure that what we produce at the university is consistent in look and style, branding — the promise we make to key target audiences — offers the same opportunity for consistency of message. When the look (graphic standards) and the brand (our promise/key messages) are clear, concise and consistent, all of our target audiences will better understand who we are. The definitions below help with understanding what “branding” and “key messages” mean.


The Brand is defined as "a warrant, a promise that an organization makes to its internal stakeholders and external customers." Brands exist only in the minds of people. A successful brand is perceived by your most important external audiences as the only solution to a problem they have. Internal audiences must perceive the brand promise as worthy of their commitment. As such, all audiences must perceive a brand to be important, believable and unique.

Brand Portfolio (Parts of the Brand)

  • The promise
  • Brand components / key messages (words or phrases you want to own)
  • Tagline (‘shorthand’ version of the brand promise)
  • Graphic standards / identity (the visual elements of the brand):
    • SVSU logo
    • University seal
    • Cardinal logo
    • Secondary icons
    • University colors
    • Fonts
    • Stationery system
    • Masthead design

Brand Promise

The SVSU brand promise suggests that people here have opportunities to lead, create, build and learn. They have opportunities that they would not have otherwise in other places. In coming here, they are seeking their future and a chance to be a better person with opportunities to do more, be more engaged and make a difference.


Visit the glossary for detailed definitions of terminology used on this page.

Linda L. Sims

"As SVSU begins its fifth decade of service, our brand is the front door to the university, much as our new entrance welcomes visitors to campus."

"Managing a brand is a long-term business initiative, requiring focus, dedication and resolve. Our SVSU brand helps us market our products and services, defines our organizational roles and establishes our organizational culture."

  • Linda L. Sims
    Former Chair,
    SVSU Board of Control