Positioning statement - Who: The University of Alaska Fairbanks; What: is a world-class experience; How: uniquely positioned across Alaska; Why: addressing the complex problems facing humanity.

Positioning is how we want to be thought of in the minds of our most important audiences. It’s not what we are or how we express it; it’s about what we want people to remember when they walk away. 

Our positioning reflects what we want others to think about us. In short, it serves as the conceptual core for all that we say and do.

NOTE: This positioning statement sets the focus for our work. This statement is only for internal use. It is not a tagline or elevator speech and should never be used for external communications. 


Diagram illustrating how to construct messaging starting with attributes and benefits in the center as the core value proposition, expanding out to secondary messages, and further out to pillars of supporting points

The messaging map organizes our key messages into a hierarchy to ensure that we’re consistently telling our brand story in a way that’s unique and compelling. Each point supports the next, and all of them tie directly back to the core.


The pillars organize our messages by topic. Ultimately, they help guide how we talk about what we provide for our audiences and our communities.


A messaging map allows us to organize:

  • The value proposition: Our core message.
  • The secondary messages: The university’s secondary attributes and benefits.
  • The supporting points: Specific ways that we deliver on our secondary messages. These are flexible and should evolve over time.

Attributes and benefits

A compelling brand story is based on attributes and benefits.

Attributes are what we offer to our audiences. Attributes include the programs, services, research opportunities and unique offers that we bring to the table.

Benefits are what our audiences get. They represent the value of the attributes that we offer. They’re the answers to the question “so what?” or “why do they care?”

Messaging diagram. See long description.

Attributes: UAF is the great learning laboratory of the North. Secondary attribute messages - Academics and Outreach: rigorous academics that meet you where you are; Research: vital research in the Alaskan laboratory; Community: people from many cultures who find common ground in their differences; Setting: a vase environment with limitless opportunities. Benefits: We explore and address the issues facing our neighbors now and the world next; Secondary benefits messaging: What it takes to forge new paths and thrive at every step; the prowess to uncover and confront global challenges; profound releationships and compassion for humanity; a rugget resilience shaped by our extraordinary surroundings.

Academics and outreach benefits:

  • Flexible learning environments
  • A top-ranking online experience and Community and Technical College
  • A longstanding dedication to educating and learning from Alaska Native people
  • Top teachers and researchers in general education classes, for early access to profound mentorships

Research benefits:

  • The most-cited articles on the Arctic
  • The largest marine mammal repository
  • World-class science tools such as the research vessel Sikuliaq, and extraordinary partnerships with organizations like NASA
  • One Health, Remote Sensing and Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning, creating greater understanding that paves the way for a healthier climate and world

Community benefits:

  • A culture with strong traditions
  • Opportunities to rally around collegiate athletics
  • Student support for veterans, active-duty military and their families
  • A passionate community of people dedicated to building a more equitable university system

Setting benefits:

  • A 2,250-acre campus with two lakes and miles of trails
  • A climate unlike any other in the U.S.
  • Study-away programs for students’ continual exploration
  • Extreme conditions that foster abundant personal growth
  • Campuses that offer access to almost unbelievable natural sights and terrain
Brand personality - Rational: Dependable, unwavering, loyal, unassuming, honest, natural; Emotional: Welcoming, genuine, warm, industrious, diligent, resilient

Our brand personality defines what it feels like to interact with our university. It conveys the institution’s attitude and character to our target audiences.

Simply put, it’s the personification of our brand.