"There are over 3,500 colleges and universities. Why would a prospective student choose NIU over all the others? What does NIU promise, and deliver that our competitors do not? We must be able to answer the question, 'What makes NIU superior?'"

- Tim Aurand,
Associate Professor of Marketing,
NIU College of Business 


What is a Brand?

A brand is the sum of all experiences we have with a product, service or institution.

It communicates a unique identity, differentiating the branded entity from all others in the marketplace. 

Our brand reflects our culture and our values, and it offers a promise to all who engage with our institution.

Communicated in a variety of ways – verbally, visually, and experientially – brand identity is the thought about a product or institution that forms in our minds before any words are spoken. 

For more than a century, NIU has delivered a “brand experience” that is second to none – yet we lack a common language to describe that experience. Breaking through the clutter with a clear, distinctive message is the goal of NIU’s first-ever branding initiative.

Strategic use of consistent, branded communication will be a key component of NIU’s future success in enrollment, fundraising and reputation management.


New NIU logo debuts

‘Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow’

New branding theme guides recruitment efforts

Additional Resources

For additional context, review these articles on university branding: