Brand Platform

Sustaining NC State’s brand identity is about much more than consistent use of a logo.

Girl holding carrots and radishes

NC State's discoveries lead to bountiful results.

The Foundation

Based on NC State’s unique competitive advantages, personality traits and promise to all constituents, our brand platform provides the solid foundation upon which to advance a compelling, sustainable identity.

It is accurate and inspirational, and it is the platform for all NC State communications.

If what we have to present about NC State doesn’t fit into this platform, we shouldn’t say it, present it or otherwise communicate it.

The brand platform provides everything NC State needs to build a solid brand identity and create effective communications to elevate NC State, its colleges and its units.

NC State’s brand platform is made up of four components:

Brand Promise

Shorthand for what NC State stands for in the hearts and minds of our constituents. This is what we promise to deliver to all stakeholders.

> Creating economic, societal and intellectual prosperity

Brand Drivers

Top competitive advantages that uniquely position NC State ahead of its peers. These also serve as the university’s core messages.

  • World-leading faculty at the forefront of interdisciplinary innovation
  • Cutting-edge, solution-driven research, technology and scholarship
  • Extensive partnerships with business, industry and government
  • Leader in experiential education
Students working with 3D models on iPad

NC State’s innovation-oriented mindset permeates the entire institution — faculty, students, researchers, staff and every partner we collaborate with.

Student writing on whiteboard with equations

NC State is known for its forward-looking attitude.

Brand Personality

How NC State faculty, students and staff act in delivering on the brand promise every day. Defines a set of human traits associated with the NC State brand and helps differentiate NC State marketing communications efforts from those of our peers.

  • Courageous
  • Innovative
  • Intellectual
  • Purposeful


Courageous means:

  • Fearless
  • Resolute
  • Audacious
  • Daring

We go where societal need and objective evidence lead us. No challenge is too grand for NC State to confront, and no setback is significant enough to stop our search for practical solutions.

Soldiers in battle


“Imagine a tool that uses sound waves to help identify land mines, roadside bombs or suicide bombers. North Carolina State University has received a grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research to turn that idea into a reality.”

NC State Lands Grant To Research Acoustics For Security, Military Applications


Innovative means:

  • Creative
  • Fresh
  • Inspired
  • Original

Look for opportunities to highlight faculty or students who have taken innovative approaches to education, research or partnerships.

Flexible antenna


“Antennas aren’t just for listening to the radio anymore. They’re used in everything from cellphones to GPS devices. Research from NC State University is revolutionizing the field of antenna design — creating shape-shifting antennas that open the door to a host of new uses in fields ranging from public safety to military deployment.”

Shape Shifters: NC State Creates New Breed Of Antennas


Intellectual means:

  • Intelligent
  • Curious
  • Thoughtful
  • Knowledgeable

We are not detached brains in an ivory tower. We are enthusiastic about the pursuit of knowledge and how we can use that knowledge to help people. Never forget our enthusiasm or the link between knowledge and application.

Child sitting on bench holding baby


“Psychologist Mary Haskett has been doing research on childhood development for over 20 years, and her experience in that field ultimately highlighted a real and growing mental-health crisis facing homeless children around the country. Now she’s calling on her research expertise to do something about it.”

Research in Action: Helping Homeless Children


Purposeful means:

  • Useful
  • Intentional
  • Practical
  • Relevant

We are more practical than rhetorical, and our language should reflect that. We actively seek solutions.

Forensic investigators with camera and tweasers


“NC State experts unlock the secrets of soil samples, skulls, fibers and more to help law enforcement turn cold cases into convictions.”

CSI: NC State

Raleigh Skyline

NC State thrives at this intersection of creativity and execution. Our collaborations with industry, government and other universities in the Research Triangle make us ideally suited to lead the innovation that will lift North Carolina — and the nation — to new levels of global competitiveness and economic prosperity.

Positioning Statement

Builds on the brand promise, drivers and personality to define NC State’s leadership position in our higher education marketplace.

NC State is the preeminent research enterprise and the university of choice for accomplished, high-performing students from around the world.

Our extensive partnerships with business, industry and government generate a unique culture of collaboration to address the grand challenges of society.

Our cutting-edge, solution-driven research, technology and scholarship result in new ideas, products and services.

Our faculty, who are at the forefront of interdisciplinary innovation, lead extraordinary programs in learning and discovery.

And as the leader in experiential education, we provide relevant opportunities for students to put learning into practice and develop personal and career-ready skills.

Our students, faculty, staff and alumni create economic, societal and intellectual prosperity.