Appalachian State University Brand Platform

The Brand Platform represents Appalachian State University's foundational values, competitive advantages, and unique traits of excellence. It describes the place Appalachian seeks to own in the marketplace and also identifies our aspirations. The Brand Platform is composed of the Brand Position Statement, Brand Promise, Brand Drivers, and Brand Personality.

I. Brand Position Statement

(The Brand Position Statement serves as the core defining statement for Appalachian State University in the marketplace. It typically remains unchanged over extended periods of time.)

Appalachian State University is a dynamic university that combines the best attributes of a small liberal arts college with those of a large research university. Small classes and close interactions between faculty and students create a strong sense of community that has become an Appalachian hallmark. The beautiful mountains surrounding campus provide unique opportunities academically, culturally and recreationally. Known for its value and affordability, Appalachian offers high-quality academics, life-changing co-curricular activities and an energetic campus life that prepares students to succeed in a complex, ever-changing world. Appalachian graduates become leaders in their communities and professions because they exemplify a pioneering, entrepreneurial spirit achieved only through the "Appalachian Experience."

II. Brand Promise

(The Brand Promise is a shorthand version of the position statement created to be memorable in the minds of stakeholders and target audiences.)

Appalachian State University is a dynamic university that combines the best attributes of a small liberal arts college with those of a large research university. Known for its value, affordability and mountain location, students experience unique opportunities academically, culturally and recreationally. The "Appalachian Experience" means close collaboration between teachers and students, rigorous scholarship, and life-changing co-curricular activities that develop students equipped to succeed in a complex, ever-changing world.

III. Brand Drivers

(The Brand Drivers ensure that all messages created by Appalachian support the Brand Position and the Brand Promise by consistently focusing on recurring themes in institutional communications.)

  1. A Challenging and Affordable Academic Experience
    Student learning and student success are derived from a challenging academic curriculum, active classroom environments, a strong honors emphasis and close collaboration between faculty members and students on scholarly activities. Multiple opportunities for student research, international experiences and interdisciplinary connections coupled with an extremely affordable tuition rate are at the core of the "Appalachian Experience."
  2. Preparing Students for a Complex World
    At Appalachian, students learn to adapt to new environments, integrate knowledge from diverse sources, and continue learning throughout their lives. An emphasis on entrepreneurship, community service, internships, the arts, campus involvement and recreational activities make the campus a lively, energetic and engaging environment where life-changing learning takes place all the time.
  3. Highest Quality Research in Select Areas
    Appalachian has chosen two areas of research focus through 2015—health-related fields and research at the nexus of energy, the environment and economics. In addition, high quality student, graduate and faculty research is being conducted in all colleges and schools.
  4. Unique Mountain Environment
    Appalachian enjoys the benefit of a mountain location that provides unique opportunities academically, culturally and recreationally. The natural setting puts outdoor recreation and experiential learning programs at our doorstep and the heritage of the region is alive on and around campus. Our location also attracts students, faculty and staff interested in sustainable development and the economics of sustainability. A strong sense of community permeates the campus and gives rise to the familiar phrase "the Appalachian Family," which ensures lifelong connections are forged here.
  5. Passionate and Successful Alumni
    One of Appalachian's greatest assets is its 100,000-plus alumni. They live and work all over the world and are demonstrating and appreciating the value of their Appalachian education every day. Appalachian's alumni are leaders in their communities and in their professions and they exemplify how Appalachian can and does make the world a better place. They are loyal and passionate about Appalachian and actively give back to the school they believe gave them so much.
  6. A Valuable Public Resource
    Appalachian is a valuable resource to the public. Activities that support the health and vitality of our region and our state include focused research, community service, public health care out reach, economic development, professional and entrepreneurial training and continuing education. Appalachian has more than 70 programs with a community outreach focus and is continually developing new ways to serve and partner with the community to ensure the university's resources promote the public good.

IV. Brand Personality

(The Brand Personality statement describes the characteristics of Appalachian that should be reflected both visually and editorially in institutional communications. Tone, images, color palette, typography, logo and other design elements work together to create Appalachian's Brand Personality.)

Appalachian State University's brand personality is energetic, forthright and welcoming. It is inclusive and caring about others, as well as curious about the world and its people. Enthusiastic, approachable and with humility in all things, Appalachian's brand personality is optimistic and genuine. In all we do, Appalachian faculty, staff, students and alumni strive for the highest quality, and desire to make a positive contribution in the lives of others. We forge lasting relationships and remain passionately committed to Appalachian and its success in all stages of our lives.

The following adjectives and phrases describe Appalachian State University's communications style and personality and should be reflected editorially and visually in all University communications.

General Impressions

  • Authentic
  • Current
  • High Quality
  • Confident
  • Professional
  • Clean/Fresh
  • Approachable
  • Diverse
  • Optimistic
  • "Green"
  • Outgoing

Editorial Approach

  • It's About People
  • Compelling Stories
  • Images Are Key
  • Short Copy
  • Direct
  • Emphasize Location
  • Forward Thinking/Embracing the Future

University Communications

Promoting the strategic initiatives and special character of Appalachian State University.

Need help with...?

• Communications Planning
• Critical Communications
• Publications and Graphic Design
• Photography, Video and Podcasts
• Mobile Apps
• Audio/Visual Setup
• Media Coverage
• Web Design / Redesign
• Writing and Editing
• Social Media
• Signage
• Event Promotion
• Paid Advertising


Licensing products

Through the licensing program, Appalachian State protects and enhances its reputation by ensuring that only licensed and approved products displaying University trademarks appear before the public. Additionally, the program enables the institution to share in the benefits derived from the commercial use of these trademarks.

For more information, please visit the Office of Trademarks & Licensing.

Next Communications Liaison Team Meeting

  • November 8, 2017
    1:00pm - 2:30pm
    I.G. Greer Room 224 (Conference Room)