Our positioning highlights our strengths, captures our personality, and communicates what the world expects from us. It’s the backbone of our brand.
When we tell our story, we need to make sure we always have our audiences in mind. Each communication should be tailored to a specific audience, keeping in mind when and where we are speaking with them and what we want the intended outcome to be.
What we do
We leverage technology in every aspect of education.
We foster a transdisciplinary approach that integrates technology in all spheres of inquiry to create transformative learning experiences.
How we do it
We support people in their quests to push the boundaries of knowledge into the future.
We are focused and tenacious. We excel in specialized fields and explore the interconnectedness of diverse disciplines.
Why we do it
We are a force for positive change in the world.
We are driven to serve. Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).
Virginia Tech reimagines the roles of education and technology in every aspect of life to serve as a force for positive change in a world without boundaries. This value proposition states our attributes and benefits. Virginia Tech’s attributes are that we reimagine the roles of education and technology. The benefits, meanwhile, are that we serve as a force for positive change.
Our motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), is the foundation of our value proposition. The motto is at the very heart of Virginia Tech and the value we hold most sacred and true. It should never be over-used or used casually, as in a play on words. It should be used sparingly with great reverence.
The university delivers on the value proposition through three brand pillars: research, culture, and learning. The brand pillars were revealed through branding discovery work as the attributes that our alumni and external audiences most value about Virginia Tech. The brand pillars give us a storytelling framework for Virginia Tech’s mission, which is the university’s promise to the world.
Remember that the value proposition expresses our attributes (Virginia Tech reimagines the roles of education and technology in every aspect of life) and our benefits (we serve as a force for positive change in a world without boundaries). To fulfill this value proposition, each of the university’s three brand pillars holds an attribute and a benefit:
- Attribute: Research that is adaptable, tangible, and future-focused.
- Benefit: Research that discovers real and sustainable solutions to complex problems that affect individuals and communities worldwide.
- Attribute: A culture that is inclusive, immersive, and spirited.
- Benefit: A culture that welcomes people who have the breadth, depth, and experience to make an impact and provides a foundation for their success.
- Attribute: Learning that is collaborative, experiential, and transcends disciplines.
- Benefit: Knowledge that fuels innovation and creativity and prepares graduates to thrive on diverse teams and broadly apply their expertise on scales from local to global.
Together, the value proposition, motto, and brand pillars create our messaging map, seen here in narrative form and map form.
Virginia Tech leverages technology in every aspect of education through research that is adaptable, tangible, and future-focused; through a culture that is inclusive, immersive, and spirited; and through learning that is collaborative, experiential, and transcends disciplines; in order to serve as a force for positive change in a world without boundaries. We discover real and lasting solutions to complex problems that affect individuals and communities worldwide; we welcome people who have the breadth, depth, and experience to make an impact, and provide a foundation for their success; and we fuel innovation and creativity; all of which are built upon the foundation of our motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).
Motivated by our motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) to be a force for positive change in a world without boundaries, Virginia Tech leverages technology in every aspect of education. Our research is adaptable, tangible, and future-focused, designed to discover real and lasting solutions to complex problems that affect individuals and communities worldwide. Our culture is inclusive, immersive, and spirited. Hokies have the breadth, depth, and experience to make a true impact. Our learning is collaborative and experiential and transcends disciplines, designed to fuel innovation and creativity in our problem-solving.
Colleges and divisions can explore how they fulfill the value proposition by considering each of the brand pillars:
- How do we serve as a force for positive change through research?
- How does our research leverage technology?
- How does our college create a culture that thrives in a world without boundaries?
- How does our culture serve as a force for positive change?
- How does our college or division leverage technology?
- How do we facilitate learning in a world without boundaries?
Our history is the cornerstone of our personality. We are naturally earnest, tenacious, and proud, and these qualities will resonate the most with our audiences. Hokies aspire to be inclusive, courageous, and adaptable. To ensure these aspirational traits become a natural extension of our brand personality, we will emphasize them in the way we communicate.
When communicating with audiences, it may be advisable to pair one or more of the traditional traits (earnest, tenacious, and proud) with one or more of the aspirational traits (inclusive, courageous, and adaptable) to reach the audience with messaging that is both familiar and forward-looking.
We deliberately ensure that everyone in our community feels welcome and valued.
We break new ground and blaze new trails to improve the world. We’re not afraid to disrupt the status quo to advance society.
In a rapidly changing world, we have the flexibility to embrace new ideas and change our approach.
We have a sincere work ethic and a genuine passion to serve in profound and meaningful ways.
Hokies get it done. We’ve got the perseverance and resolve to push past any obstacle.
We truly love being Hokies, and we’re always excited to share our spirit and devotion with the world.
Our story isn’t just about what we say; it’s about how we say it. Our brand voice brings our personality to life so that every message is uniquely Virginia Tech. The guidelines in this section help us all speak the same language.
Our brand platform is the simplest statement of our messaging using our brand voice. Our communications should always capture the spirit of these three words: CLAIM YOUR ROLE
What it is
- The authentic essence of who we are and who we want to be.
- A representation of our ever-evolving role as individuals, as a community, and as an institution.
- A declaration of our innate drive to be a force of good in the world.
What it isn't
- A tagline or campaign theme.
- A representation of a singular or static role in the world.
- Something obligatory or forced on us by others.
TIP: The examples shown are not meant to be a script that should be lifted verbatim into the copy. Instead, it is meant to serve as an inspirational explanation of what we mean by “Claim Your Role.”
This is the place where boundaries are blended and virtual meets physical. Here, we link drones to public policy and big data to emergency response so we can reimagine how we connect to one another.
Here, we merge heart with tech, empathy with science, literature with light. We wring out the answers and aim for better questions. We innovate, iterate, synthesize. We listen to our world.
We do this because there is a fiery drive inside us to be a force for good.
Simply put, it’s our role in the world.
We don’t sit back and wait for it. We claim it.
Passionately. Diligently. Endlessly.
CLAIMING OUR ROLE is a call to action.
An intuition. A commitment.
CLAIM YOUR ROLE
“Claim Your Role” is the essence of our brand, but we need to be nuanced in using these three words. Here’s some guidance on creating copy that embodies our platform without being too one-note.
TIP: This pyramid is a guide for how to incorporate “Claim Your Role” into copy. The top of the pyramid should be reserved for prominent, high-impact copy like headlines and calls to action.
Here are a few ways to use “Claim Your Role” as a filter for how we tell stories.
- Frame stories as profiles of people at work, driven by purpose and dedicated to making a difference.
- Focus on specific ways we fulfill our goal of reimagining the role of technology and education.
- Highlight how Virginia Tech experiences shaped an individual’s role.
- Showcase examples of adaptability where we’ve persevered to overcome obstacles.
- Lead with the collaborative nature of our work.
- Show the evolution of an individual’s role over time.
- Show how we courageously break down boundaries to create and fulfill new roles.
- Focus on how we are a force for positive change.
- Talk about how individual roles form a collective that is stronger than its parts.
- Show how Virginia Tech is leading the charge in new fields of study or ways of solving problems.
TIP: The foundation of our brand should be the real-life stories of Virginia Tech students, faculty, alumni — members of our community — and how they bring the idea of claiming their role to life. By choosing stories that demonstrate our brand in action, we can show, rather than tell, how we claim our role to be a force for good. This tactic for storytelling should be used in all forms of communication and across all audiences.
For tips on using the brand in communications and marketing written material, visit the Editorial Guide's section on Brand Writing Tips.