Our brand personality

Our brand is more than simply the stories that we want to tell. It’s also the way we tell them: our attitude and personality as an institution. 

Our personality traits reflect who we are and will come across in our interactions with others.

Like the traits that make up a human personality, they are distinctive and enduring and can help to differentiate us. They help to suggest the kind of relationship that we have with our students, our staff, our community and our partners around the world.


The University needs: above all else; to rediscover the confidence that once characterised our culture and reputation. We must:

  • refocus on what we have achieved to date
  • recognise the importance and brilliance of what we are doing today
  • celebrate that and believe in ourselves more.

The University has changed the world in the past: and in the future the world will again be a different, better place because of us. Let’s tell the world with confidence.

World-class quality

The University needs to position itself as a world-class as well as a world-changing institution – to talk more about the role its projects and people are having on global issues today and its ambition for tomorrow.

At the moment, we are more comfortable talking about our past than our future: and that needs to change. While we don’t want to forget James Watt, Lord Kelvin, Adam Smith and other such figures in our history, moving forward, the brand needs to inject some more gravitas and vivacity into the way we talk about the world-class work that’s taking place today.

Doing so will help position us as an internationally significant institution and help us to feel more exciting, dynamic and energetic.

Our true personality

One of the main manifestations of a confident brand will be a renewed sense of our true identity, personality and character. Both the University and the city of Glasgow are special places, with special and distinctive personalities that should be represented. Moving our tone of voice on from something that feels corporate and restrained to a brand that is ‘confident enough to put itself out there’ is key.

Glasgow offers:

  • friendliness, togetherness and a sense of community
  • ambition, drive and entrepreneurialism

It is a non-elitist place where anyone can make their mark if they work hard enough.


We must do all we can to be less corporate and more vibrant, like the city in which we’re based. The University is a vibrant, exciting, dynamic place to study just as Glasgow is a vibrant, exciting, dynamic place to live and work.

This personality trait:

  • provides a balance to our founded in 1451 story and imagery
  • acknowledges Glasgow as a contemporary UK city
  • shows the city and University to be multicultural, welcoming students from countries near and far
  • positions the University and city as friendly, exciting and culturally interesting.

Historic grounding

Although there is a general feeling that the history and heritage aspects of the University’s image are currently being over-used, there is also a need for it to play a role in the future.

Our heritage is seen as a major asset for drawing in overseas students and academics and our historic achievements are key in giving the University grounding, stability and gravitas. 

What’s important is that our history doesn’t become all-consuming. The idea of a contemporary, energetic brand personality grounded in a solid, substantial history is a powerful combination because it:

  • helps younger audiences feel that this is a place for them
  • satisfies ‘quality’ expectations
  • reflects the ambitions of dynamic academics.