Brand Strategy

The brand strategy reflects a series of decisions that build a foundation for positioning our brand and communicating our story. It’s a tool that we should refer to for marketing plans, campaigns, and other initiatives.

This section is intended for internal use only.

Institutional Brand Pillars

Our brand pillars are the building blocks that define who we are. Representing the values and attributes that make Purdue Fort Wayne special, they support our brand essence to tell our story.

Steam and Business

Our rigorous STEM curriculum (science, technology, engineering, and math) is paired with exceptional programs in the arts, music, and business to create STEAM—a comprehensive education that empowers our students to take on a lifetime of challenges and lead in an ever-changing world.

Life Balance

We embrace a work, life, and education balance that wholeheartedly supports our students’ journey of advancement.


We are united by an unwavering commitment to advance our university by strengthening the intellectual, social, and economic well-being of our diverse student body and all of northeast Indiana.

Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne is not just a city—it’s also our home. It’s the community we work in and for. It’s what binds us together and sets us apart from other universities.

Enrollment Strategy Audiences

We need to understand and prioritize who we’re speaking to so that we can establish goals for each audience and better engage them with the brand.

Spheres of Influence

To authentically present Purdue Fort Wayne in a way that engages prospective students and their influencers.


Influencers are people outside the university community who affect prospective students and their thinking.


Influencers are people outside the university community who have an effect on prospective students and their thinking. 

Prospective Students

Our core audience for this work is prospective students, particularly those who represent new profiles and markets.

Prospective Students

Students Direct from High School:

What they need to hear: 

  • Curriculum: Depth and breadth of academic offerings
  • Campus: Follow passions through student organizations on campus and internships in Fort Wayne
  • Community: Inclusive campus culture
  • Career: Explore career paths through real-world learning
  • Cost: Pride in making a wise decision; an affordable Purdue degree 

In-State Students (outside Fort Wayne) & Out-of-State Students

What they need to hear: 

  • Curriculum: Depth and breadth of academic offerings
  • Campus: All that the city of Fort Wayne and the region has to offer
  • Community: Safety, security, and well-being
  • Career: Strength of a Purdue degree and close connections to industry
  • Cost: Incredible value, worth venturing outside of home


Faculty & Staff, Current Students, Alumni

What they need to hear: 

  • Details about the impact the university is making on students and in the region, and how their contributions have a significant role
  • How to articulate, clearly and consistently, what Purdue Fort Wayne offers and why it matters
  • Information about the evolved brand platform, and how they have a critical role as brand ambassadors
  • Continual updates about exciting developments and opportunities

Transfer Students

What they need to hear: 

  • Curriculum: No delay in academic pursuit; support in transferring credits
  • Campus: Right size (not too big, not too small)
  • Community: Welcoming to all life experiences; variety of students to connect with and find your fit
  • Career: Support for directly pursuing a career (if no longer exploring options)
  • Cost: Enabling a smooth transition to expedite progress toward your degree


Families, High School Counselors, Teachers

What they need to hear: 

  • The variety of opportunities to make Purdue Fort Wayne more accessible and affordable
  • The strength of the overall academic offer
  • How a Purdue degree will benefit their students
  • The safety and inclusivity of the campus and Fort Wayne
  • Outcome stories
  • The support services and resources available to students


What they need to hear: 

  • We are Fort Wayne’s university: more than 50 percent of alumni live and work in northeast Indiana
  • We develop the next generation of leaders and skilled professionals
  • A source of pride for local families, businesses, and schools
  • An economic engine: we are a prominent employer that fosters innovation through research initiatives and thought leadership
  • The region’s epicenter of arts, culture, and entertainment
  • A beacon of opportunity


Brand Essence

Identifying our brand essence is about knowing where we stand, both as a university and as a university within the Purdue University system. This is not the brand, a campaign, or a tagline. Rather, it’s a concise, internal construct used to align our collective efforts with the Purdue University master brand.


purdue university brand essence The persistent pursuit of innovation. Together. purdue fort wayne enrollment brand essence Taking persistent steps forward. Together.



The message map prioritizes the most important ideas for telling our story, and it illustrates the relationship between attributes and benefits. Our story always connects to the center of the map—our core value proposition. Based on the needs of our target audience and the specific message we need to deliver, we can determine appropriate secondary messages and supporting proof points.



The message map provides the foundation for brand messages that are clear, consistent, and compelling. 


What we offer

An attribute is what we offer to our audiences, such as programs, facilities, experiences, and culture.


Why it matters

A benefit is what our audiences get. It’s the value of the attributes that we offer and why they matter. 

Messaging Map

PFW messaging map


Core Value Proposition

Purdue University Fort Wayne puts meaningful success within reach for every student so that they can persistently pursue their next steps.


The give:
a relentless commitment to offering value

The get:
not having to choose between quality and affordability

Reasons to believe . . .

  • the Purdue degree
  • over 200 academic programs
  • average scholarship per full-time student: $4,086
  • high-quality academics at an affordable price
  • the depth and breadth of offerings


The give:
a campus that fosters connection and community

The get:
taking full advantage of the resources available to them

Reasons to believe . . .

  • small class sizes
  • individualized attention
  • flexible class schedules and supportive faculty
  • a safe campus
  • over 90 student organizations
  • services for students with disabilities
  • LGBTQ+ Resource Center
  • Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs


The give:
high engagement and investment in the region

The get:
direct pathways to thriving lives and careers

Reasons to believe . . .

  • over 250 partnerships with leading employers
  • Career Development Center placement rate: 91%
  • Purdue Fort Wayne Sweetwater Music Center
  • the vitality and resilience of Fort Wayne
  • the university’s role in the region


Personality humanizes our brand and shapes the overall tone of our communications. It helps us bring materials to life with greater resonance and emotional strength. These personality traits align with the Purdue University master brand

*These personality traits align with the Purdue University master brand


What we want people to think about the brand


Thoughtful, meaningful, committed


Focused, deliberate, practical


Levelheaded, well-rounded, grounded


How we want people to feel about the brand


Collaborative, inviting, welcoming


Supportive, dedicated, maximizing


Authentic, honest, friendly