Leveraging an often-overlooked brand power: Integration

Integration. It’s one of our brand's seven I-words, and probably the one that’s least-often used. Maybe because it’s a word that makes us think of other words we’d rather use, like "interdisciplinary” and “collaboration.” But "integration” made the brand powers list because it represents a very important U of I characteristic – one that could be wonderfully illustrated by your unit’s programs, marketing assets, and stories.

The research enterprise at the U of I is a great example of integration. When I asked Melissa Edwards a few months ago what makes research at the U of I so powerful, one of the points she made was the university’s commitment to "bringing different disciplines together and integrating them. It goes beyond collaboration,” she said. (Melissa is the Executive Director of Strategic Research Communication in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation.)

Merriam-Webster defines integrate as “to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole.” I like to think of integration as blending an ingredient into a soup and simmering the mixture until all of the flavors become unified (and richer than they were on their own).

As a brand power, “integration” is one of the words that can help marketing folks across campus describe what the Power of I looks like at the U of I. Here, interdisciplinary collaboration isn’t just something we do – it goes deeper than that. It's woven into the fabric of our university by design. In other words, it’s integration – so let’s get the word out! 

Below are a few examples of how “integration” is already being used in web content across campus. If this is one of the brand powers you're already using, please send me an image or link so I can add it to this post!

From LAS' Strategic Plan 2021 – 2025:

From Gies Business' website:

From Carle Illinois College of Medicine's website:

And finally, a peek at Vet Med's new website, which will go live soon: