What is a brand?

A brand is not a logo.

A brand is what people say, feel and think about your institution. It manifests itself in everything from your institution’s visual identity (logo, colors, design treatments, etc.), to the voice and tone of your content, to the way you give a tour to a prospective student and beyond. The following pages provide a fundamental understanding of the true spirit of the Gardner-Webb brand. The subsequent sections offer guidelines for how to communicate that brand consistently to your audience.

What are Brand Pillars?

Brand pillars focus on what the organization delivers and are typically more about benefits and differentiators.

Our Brand Pillars

Our values and belief system are founded on the teachings of Christ. Regardless of what we do, be it nursing, business, teaching, serving the community or what have you, we do it with the highest ethical standard, just as Christ would do. Responding to needs, doing what’s right and leading by example even when it’s not easy—especially when it’s not easy. The Gardner-Webb community offers its students a variety of opportunities for spiritual growth.

We are true partners in your academic and professional journey. You are not thrown in on your own, nor are you expected to start your life beyond graduation alone. Every student faces challenges along his or her path to higher education, and every young professional encounters obstacles while finding a place in the real world. No matter what type of challenge you face—academic, personal, financial, etc.—we want you to know that you are not alone. You will leverage the experience and expertise of the
University. And as with any successful partnership, we’ll not only support each other, we’ll challenge each other too. We’ll learn and grow together, and we’ll proudly watch as you venture out into the world well-prepared and ready to make significant contributions for God and humanity.

It sounds obvious that an institution of higher education should be focused on its students, but unfortunately this is not always the case. At Gardner-Webb we ensure that things like internal politics, making bottom-line numbers and personal agendas do not become distractions to our mission: to provide an outstanding educational experience for every student in the Gardner-Webb community.

Whether you’re walking the streets of Boiling Springs, joining one of our many online offerings, or attending class at one of our satellite campuses, you’re going to get all the wonderful benefits that come with a small town and a small school. At Gardner-Webb you’ll find a friendly smile and ‘hello,’ a helping hand, and a true community of people who care about you and your success as if it were their own. Our small class sizes, individualized attention, readily available faculty and staff, and warm, nurturing environment make for an experience and feeling that you may not be able to describe, but that you will cherish and never forget.

Yes, we’re a liberal arts university that provides our students with broad experience and skill sets, but our programs also train our students with deep skills in specific disciplines. The traits of a foundational liberal arts education— critical thinkers, well-rounded, problem solvers—dovetail seamlessly with our wide range of degree offerings to make for a better prepared individual.

The design of our curriculum, along with our passionate faculty members, continually challenges our students to achieve at the highest level—and it shows in the reputation and quality of our programs. Gardner-Webb is renowned and recognized in everything from health sciences and divinity to
education and business. Our recruiting and selection process focuses on bringing in the type of students who not only rise to the challenge, but end up performing at levels they themselves did not know they were capable.


What are Brand Attributes?

Attributes can be seen as personality traits that help define the personality or culture of the organization.

Our Brand Attributes

It’s safe to be yourself here. You’ll feel welcomed because you’ll be welcomed in by friendly people all around you; from staff to faculty to fellow students … right down to the housekeeping crew. From the on-campus experience to our online programs, Gardner-Webb is a warm environment where you can learn, grow and be yourself. And you’ll probably find out more about yourself than you ever imagined. In fact, you just might surprise yourself.

It takes dedication, passion and hard work to be successful. You’ll see these qualities in everyone here and in everything we do. From academics, to Division I sports, to our dedication to our students, we go above and beyond. Even in the face of challenging times and obstacles, we dig deeper to achieve the goals we set for ourselves.

We exhibit our values through action, not just words. We roll up our sleeves and serve. We take great effort and pride in getting our hands dirty and actually living our values. Where there’s a need, you’ll find us. Not talking about it … doing something about it.

Our founding campus may be in a small rural town in Western N.C., but our peopleare globally conscious and understand how the issues of the world impact them and how they in turn can impact the world. This is not from watching cable news, surfing websites, or scanning social media, but from venturing out into the world itself and learning through experiences.


What is a Positioning Statement?

A positioning statement is your elevator pitch. It’s a concise statement that defines three main points about an organization:

  1. the organization’s considered set what you do
  2. the organization’s target audience who you serve
  3. the organization’s differentiator what makes you unique

Our Positioning Statement

A private Christian university offering undergraduate and graduate programs, Gardner-Webb University takes pride in a student-centered approach where faculty, staff, and community members partner closely with students throughout their academic journeys and beyond, guiding each student’s unique sense of purpose and empowering graduates to be difference makers for God and humanity.


Our Tagline

Gardner-Webb’s tagline, “Where Bright Futures Ignite,” conceptually connects the logo with Gardner-Webb’s attributes and pillars.

While there is only one official tagline (“Where Bright Futures Ignite”) it has been designed to allow for the use of a flexible system that can adapt to certain situations based on context.

The “Ignite your…” system has grown out of the official tagline and can be used in places where there is an opportunity for a more active tone (marketing and communications with students and prospective students), situations that precede a call-toaction (recruitment materials) and/or places where a string of messages is appropriate (ad campaigns, banners, multi-paged marketing materials). This extended tagline system must always begin with “Ignite your” and must be followed by a one-word noun.

Horizontal Tagline Lockup

Where Bright Futures Ignite Horizontal Tagline Lockup Image
Primary typesetting

Stacked Tagline Lockup

Where Bright Futures Ignite Stacked Tagline Lockup Image
Secondary typesetting

Extended Tagline Lockup

The “approved noun” is always in italics.

Approved Nouns for extended taglines:

Career
Faith
Mind
Life
Community
Goals
Purpose
Future
Curiosity
Devotion
Leadership
Connections
Interests
Possibilities
Service
Spirit
Confidence
Calling
Network
Intellect