Brand Guidelines

MESSAGING

Our messaging approach aims to capture the essence of the MIT Sloan brand: those special qualities that make the school stand out as a different kind of management school. We emphasize clear, straightforward language, an active voice, and a tone that is always engaging and clever—and sometimes even fun. Sound familiar?

Take a look at these before and after examples to see what we mean:

Brand Pillars

The way we write and talk about the school is guided by the pillars of our brand personality: smart, open, grounded, and inventive. Remember, these words are only concepts. Keep them in mind as you experiment and craft your own messages to suit your audience and communication goals.

Ideas Made To Matter

“Ideas Made to Matter” is our tagline. It’s a school-level message for communications about the school. It describes the work of our whole community, from faculty to students to alumni. We’re not studying theory in an ivory tower; we’re working on meaningful ideas, and we’re making them matter in the world.

This tagline is only intended for use by the MIT community. It may not be used on non-MIT communications or on items for sale without exclusive permission from MIT. The tagline should never be altered. Only the official tagline should be used in communications. For questions on usage, contact us.

Voice and Tone

The MIT Sloan brand voice is approachable and authentic. It is fresh and inventive and challenges clichés, just as MIT Sloan faculty, students, and alumni challenge convention.

Our brand’s tone can range from sincere and factual to more provocative and playful depending on the audience and the context. For example, while welcoming prospective students we might be warm, friendly, and authentic with a message like “Your classroom. Your boardroom. Your lab. Your home.” When trying to get the attention of a senior executive to attract them to an executive education course, we might go with a clever, bold style like “Come back to stay ahead.”

Getting Started

Ready to write? Here are a few things to think about before you start.

  • Who is your audience? Prospective or current students, alumni, potential donors, global business leaders?
  • What action do you want them to take? Do you want them to read a piece of research? Apply to a program? Donate? Attend an event?
  • What do you know about your audience that can make your communications more relevant and personal? Is this a group that is pressed for time and wants bullet points? Is this an audience that thrives on data and statistics? Would a concrete example be helpful?

As you draft your copy, keep three things in mind:

  • Try to surprise the reader with voice and tone. Look for overused words and passive voice and replace them with more active, engaging words.
  • Keep the format simple. Relay one message, support the message with an example or data point, and finish with a call to action (like apply, or register, or download our report, etc.)
  • Write shorter! Don’t use three words when one will do.

Brand use examples