An inflated replica of the Statue of Liberty is erected on a frozen Lake Mendota near the Memorial Union

Brand Platform

The UW–Madison brand is built on an idea — the Wisconsin Idea. For more than a century, this guiding principle has inspired Badgers to push beyond the boundaries of campus and improve people’s lives around the world through education, research, and public service. Our brand platform embodies this unstoppable Badger spirit.

Brand rationale

Can’t Stop a Badger

Our brand rationale guides brand development and execution, sets a baseline tone, and is the springboard for the expression of the entire brand. This is not a tagline; rather, it’s a creative concept that establishes an emotion that resonates throughout our work.

You can try, but you’ll never stop a Badger.

Because we Badgers are born with curious minds and endless heart. Maybe it’s will, maybe it’s instinct, maybe it’s pride, but when we see a curve in the road, we speed up. When there are mask shortages for first responders, we make our own supply chain. When there’s a world on pause, we sharpen our claws.

Through thunder, fire, and pandemics, we’ll keep going. Because that’s the only way we know.

So you can try as you might — or just know that we’ll never give up the fight.

Because after all, you can’t stop a Badger.

Brand positioning statement

Centered on the Edge

Our brand positioning statement helps guide the brand rationale and the development of the UW–Madison brand. Here again, this is not a tagline; it’s an emotional benchmark for how we convey the brand.

They say life begins at the edge of your comfort zone, so we made our home there — our feet dangling off the ledge of what’s possible and our eyes on the horizon of what’s next. Where minds and opportunities meet, where risk is welcomed and there’s no such thing as too weird — generating a catalyst for not just the necessary but for the extraordinary. Because with a vantage point of tomorrow grounded on the verge of what’s now, we’re not just ready for change — we demand it.

Brand pillars

Our brand pillars are derived from the brand positioning statement and further influence how we convey the UW–Madison brand. These pillars not only form the backbone of UW–Madison; they’re also what make us unique. Every day, UW–Madison students, faculty, and staff embody these values through their teaching, learning, research, and public service.

Bascom Hall pillars and banner

1) Engine for Change

Our enterprise

We were founded with a purpose that has driven us since day one. We are dedicated to serving our fellow citizens to the best of our abilities. To this end, we consistently push ourselves forward, never satisfied with our success, and we are always recruiting new and brilliant minds to help make our collective future brighter.

2) Unparalleled MagnEtism

Our location

There’s a vibe in the air here. Some call it “The Madison Miracle,” and we like that phrasing quite a bit. It explains how a cold, low-profile, largely rural midwestern state sustains one of the finest public universities in the nation. Our campus might get cold, but it’s still a hotbed for creative and intellectual activity year-round. We have developed an attitude of inspired goofiness that combines our love of work and play to create a place that is unlike anywhere else. You can’t fully explain it, but once you’ve experienced it for yourself, there’s no mistaking it.

3) Citizens of Substance

Our culture and community

We are a community of doers. We attract faculty members who make a difference for the better, and we attract students who seek to improve life for everyone. We passionately believe, by building an environment where people with different identities, cultures, and backgrounds can come together and address today’s issues, we can make the world a better place.

4) Limits Redefined

Our impact

The Wisconsin Idea is a cornerstone of our philosophy, and it’s been guiding us since day one. We believe our success can have an impact on our state, our country, and our world. We believe in discovery for discovery’s sake, and in never being complacent with the status quo. But most of all, we believe that we can make a difference in our world, starting here in Madison.