Our brand is defined by the way people feel about us. And the way people feel about us is influenced by the story we tell. That story is our brand.
Our brand expresses everything we believe about ourselves—the truths we stand for, the promises we make, the dreams we share—all the things that make us truly unique.
This comes to life through the things we say about ourselves, the way we say them, the pictures and colors and typefaces we use, the events we host, the conversations we have with students, alumni, donors, and new friends...the list goes on.
And all of this makes up our brand.
Updating our brand doesn't mean changing who we are. We have a long history built on a strong foundation. Our essence is deeply rooted.
A branding project isn't an attempt to change that. A brand update couldn't change Bethel if it tried.
The branding project was an opportunity for us to take a long hard look at Bethel so we could better understand and articulate our story.
We wanted to learn how the Bethel community sees itself and talks about itself. To uncover the things that make us unique so we could fully understand the Bethel story. And find compelling ways to share it.
Because when we all tell our story in a consistent way we show people a clear picture of who we are, and clear pictures create powerful connections.
First we talked to the community. And we listened. A lot. Twenty-three focus groups with 150 students, faculty, and staff. Thousands of alumni surveys.
Our goal was to learn everything we could about Bethel's story in order to find better ways to share it. We wanted to know how people feel about Bethel and hear the words our community uses to describe the values and beliefs we share.
In this phase, we studied our competitors to learn the things they say about themselves. This helped us find ways to articulate how we're different.
We looked at our own communication and marketing materials to find our strengths and areas for improvement.
We developed a guide to start organizing the words and messages we use to talk about ourselves.
We developed 3 concepts and brought them back to community focus groups.
What felt right? What missed the mark?
Then we took the ideas that resonated with our community—messages and visuals that felt most authentic—and refined them. And refined them again. And again. Until we came up with one that felt like Bethel, that told our story, that captured our essence.
At Bethel University, we're committed to excellence. But here, excellence means something more. It means taking our faith in Christ and integrating it into everything we learn, into everything we do, so we can accomplish incredible things—in our careers, in our communities, and in our world.
At Bethel University, excellence is about something more.
It's about being gracious servants, compassionate friends, and diligent scholars who are confident in our abilities and humble in our faith.
It's about finding a place within a community of people who challenge each other just as much as they support each other.
It's about taking everything we believe and infusing it into everything we do—whether we're sitting behind a desk, standing in front of a congregation, leading in a conference room, or caring for a patient in the operating room.
It's accomplishing incredible things—in our careers, in our communities, and in our world. Because here, excellence isn't a destination. It's a commitment to Christ. It's a calling to serve. It's an evolving process that compels us to reach further, push harder, and get even closer to realizing a true, meaningful purpose—together.
Take a look at some of the work we've done so far.