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Brand Strategy

The MSU brand builds connection among Spartans and with others who care about our mission.

It helps shape the way people think, feel and respond when they see words or imagery representing Michigan State University.

The brand strategy guides work to tell MSU's story, helping us communicate with a clear and consistent voice and visual identity. Working together helps build a stronger, more memorable and distinctive MSU brand that inspires trust, interest, connection, pride and loyalty.

This important work supports MSU's strategic plan to empower excellence, advance equity and expand impact. 

Purpose & Promise

Improving lives today and tomorrow.



MSU is dedicated to advancing knowledge, expanding opportunity and empowering success. It is distinguished by its inclusive, collaborative community and the uncommon will of its talented, passionate people to pursue excellence for the common good.

What We Deliver

Extraordinary impact for people and society. We pursue excellence and expand opportunity to advance the common good.


What Differentiates Us

Uncommon Will: Spartans have an uncommon will to imagine and create a better world for all.



MSU’s brand personality is the character of our brand defined in human terms. These attributes are essential aspects of Michigan State University’s identity, and they guide the tone and attitude of MSU communications.

Spartans are:


Within an authentic and inclusive culture, Spartans are driven not by fanfare, but by the desire to discover, to create and to excel to make a positive impact.


We are curious and creative. Analyzing problems from every angle and answering the question, ‘What if?’ Spartans think differently and the world benefits.


Spartans excel on teams, from the playing field to the classroom and research lab and beyond. More than half a million strong, we are a force for good on campus and across the globe.


Spartans are open-minded and approachable. We embrace differences in a way that makes a difference.


When our uncommon will meets our incredible work ethic, no challenge is too complex or too daunting for Spartans.


We help individuals and communities achieve their potential and pursue the highest level of performance to make the world a better place for all. 


Michigan State University's tagline is a distinctive unifying theme that speaks to who we are and what drives us. It's a call to action that differentiates MSU from other universities.

Spartans Will.

Brand Pillars

Our brand pillars are primary message points that support our positioning and highlight our competitive advantages.

Passionate, Talented People

Spartans are driven to make a difference. Forward-looking and open to new ideas, we collaborate to generate new solutions and serve as partners to make the world a better place.


Inclusive, Collaborative Community

Spartans come from many backgrounds. We celebrate and respect the diversity of our community and support the inclusion and success of all. Spartans connect and collaborate, working together for the greater good.

Academic and Research Excellence

As a leading global research university with a land-grant mission, we advance knowledge to address global challenges and improve lives. Our drive to excellence is a commitment to advance equity and generate positive impact