Aerial view of the UWM campus

Build the Brand

As our competitors increase their marketing investment, UWM must make the best use possible of its limited resources to recruit and retain students. An updated brand that’s relevant to current and prospective students will foster connection and affinity, helping us attract and retain students for whom UWM is a good fit.

An updated brand also will foster engagement and affinity among alumni and supporters of the university. This, too, is critical for recruitment. The No. 1 reason students consider a university is because they had a friend or family member attend.

Build the Brand is a multiphase project aimed at elevating UWM in the minds of students, alumni and supporters. It has five parts:

  • Brand perception survey
  • UWM brand update
  • Student-centric web
  • New marketing campaign
  • Visual identity update

This will be UWM’s first brand update in more than 20 years. The Division of Marketing, Communications & University Relations (MarComm) strategically reduced spending to allow it to undertake this important initiative and position UWM for the future. It also received central funds specifically for the web work, which furthers the university’s 2030 goal of being more student-centric.

Students holding a UW-Milwaukee flag in front of the fountain on campus

Project Phases

Brand Perception Survey
MarComm worked with the agency 160/90 on the university’s first brand perception survey in more than a decade. The survey fielded in Fall 2023 asked prospective students, their families, alumni, donors and a subset of Wisconsin residents how UWM compared to its closest competitors.
 
Results will be shared with our campus community during the spring semester.
UWM Brand Updates
A brand refresh is more than just a new logo or tagline. It’s a strategic initiative to position UWM in the fiercely competitive landscape of higher education. Our updated brand personality and messaging will convey who UWM is at its best and guide the way every member of the UWM community talks about their experiences and academic accomplishments.
Our new brand should be reflected in the place where students interact with us first — on the web. Along with updated messaging, this work will introduce a new navigation and content structure for UWM’s web presence. This new structure will prioritize students’ needs and reflect how students think about the university. This project will further UWM’s goal of being student-centric by making it easier for students to complete tasks and find information critical to their academic success.
Learn more about Student-Centric Web
New Marketing Campaign
UWM’s brand update will be followed in 2024-25 by a new marketing campaign that’s inclusive of all UWM student types — undergraduate, graduate, non-degree and in-person and online. The campaign also will aim to raise UWM’s profile among the general public and increase engagement among alumni and friends of the university.
Visual Identity Update
UWM will introduce a new visual identity in 2024-25. The university’s visual identity includes its logo, typography, primary and secondary colors and graphic elements. One major goal is to make UWM typography more accessible for those with visual impairments.

Meet Our Partners

MarComm is partnering with Carnegie Dartlet, a leader in higher education marketing. Carnegie’s commitment to research-based, data-driven brand development complements UWM’s identity as an R1 institution. Its consensus-building approach is a good fit for our campus culture, which values shared governance, collaboration and respect for diverse viewpoints. In addition, Carnegie’s psychometric methodology, which blends propriety data with psychological insights, results in strategy and messaging that not only communicates information but also forges human connection.

The Carnegie Web Team, formerly known as mStoner, is one of higher education’s most trusted web strategy, design and technology partners. Established in 2001, they have worked with more than 350 colleges, universities and professional schools in the United States and abroad to craft powerful, human-centric online experiences that illuminate their clients’ brands.