Built to change
Built to change

Brand mission statement

The brand mission statement of Ruhr University Bochum is taking shape. In a first step, the university’s new claim “Built to change” has been launched and presented to all members of the university through a multi-platform campaign. This page provides an overview of the exact design of the process, outlines the results in detail and gives an outlook on the steps going forward.

Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle” communication model asks three basic questions to describe an institution’s brand core, brand building blocks and brand performance. Applied to Ruhr University Bochum, it’s been shown that the questions can be answered as follows:

  • WHY? Ruhr University Bochum is the driver of change and challenge justice in the Ruhr area, this is its brand core.
  • HOW? Ruhr University Bochum is the driver for change and equal opportunities, because it has the essential competences for this purpose. Historically, these have been its strengths in talent development, its interdisciplinarity and its diversity. In the future, sustainability and internationality will play an increasingly important role. These are its essential brand building blocks.
  • WHAT? The yardsticks for these strengths and, consequently, measurable brand performance are:
    • Region: In the years following the founding of Ruhr University Bochum, the Ruhr region has become one of the densest science hotspots in Europe and is regarded as a model for change through science.
    • Campus: Ruhr University Bochum is Germany’s largest and most diverse campus university; its social architecture promotes equal opportunities and networking.
    • Teaching: Ruhr University Bochum offers a broad portfolio of talent development programs, especially for first-generation academics.
    • Research: Researchers at Ruhr University Bochum are successful in international cutting-edge research networks and address central challenges at the turning point ushering in a new era across the globe.
    • Study: Ruhr University Bochum graduates are highly sought after in the international job market.
    • Transfer: The spin-offs of Ruhr University Bochum contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.
    • Employer: Ruhr University Bochum is one of the largest employers in Bochum and offers all employees attractive career opportunities.
    • Community: The members of Ruhr University Bochum are very diverse. Ruhr University Bochum strives to continuously expand its international diversity going forward.

What is the next step in implementing the brand mission statement?

The following measures are necessary to flesh out and continuously sharpen the brand mission statement:

Our new claim “Built to change” provides the framework for all communication measures.

  1. The founding history of Ruhr University Bochum as the first university established after the Second World War and its significance for change in the Ruhr represents new beginnings. It therefore corresponds to the brand archetype “phoenix from the ashes” – both now and in the future. Such archetypes are helpful in providing associations that are firmly anchored in people’s memories. In our case, this includes all elements that shows the new on top of the old, such as pictures of construction sites, monumental imagery, 51/7, landmarks, morning light, stark contrasts and many more.
  2. The Ruhr University Bochum’s brand narrative, in line with its archetypal anchoring, is a hero’s journey of rising through knowledge. This applies to the institution as a whole as well as to individual members. The progression from working-class student to researcher or even to start-up entrepreneur is prototypical for Ruhr University Bochum and sets us apart from other universities.
  3. The brand tonality of Ruhr University Bochum is, above all, honest; still, in future its presentation should be somewhat more self-confident and striking than it has been up to now.
  4. The brand design, resp. corporate design will be better adapted to the essence of Ruhr University Bochum: more diverse, more flexible, more colorful, more vibrant.
  5. The umbrella brand Ruhr University Bochum will be strengthened, a brand sub-family will be established. The brand architecture will thus assume a more self-resembling structure and gradually optimize the overly heterogeneous “logo zoo” of Ruhr University Bochum.
  6. The Ruhr University Bochum’s communication channels will be continuously adapted, the brand digitality is socially intelligent, responsive, modular, dynamic and optimized for search engines and AI.
Bildliche beispielhafte Darstellung eines Fragezeichens.
Warum RUB_World Café_1.jpg
Bei einer Aufgabe werden Ideen für Projekte am Campus gesammelt und auf einer Tafel festgehalten.

A look back: How was the brand mission statement developed?

The Ruhr University Bochum’s brand mission statement was discussed and drafted in 2022/23 and involved all status groups of the university. The individual steps were as follows:

Bottom-up participation: Survey of over 2000 RUB members and third-party friends about their conscious and subconscious attitudes and perceptions of Ruhr University Bochum

  • Bottom-down objectives: Survey of university management on key strategic imperatives, evaluation of guiding documents such as the university development plan, assessment of external risks and opportunities
  • Definition of the marketing goal: International visibility in the competition for sought-after talents in all status groups
  • Resonance and consolidation: Consolidation of the results in a brand advisory board with equal representation, presentation of the key survey results in all relevant university committees

What are the results of the discussions?
Which challenges does Ruhr University Bochum face?

Ruhr University Bochum shows typical patterns of a former innovation leader that has aged and now needs to reinvent itself to remain relevant to young and increasingly diverse and international talent.

Its historical innovation achievement and DNA lies in its influence on the transformation of the Ruhr as a real laboratory for overcoming fossil and patriarchal ways of life. At its core, it understands itself as a driver for change and equal opportunity. It is helped in this by its size, interdisciplinarity and provision of reasonable accommodation and compensation for disadvantages in talent development.

Change as opportunity

These change competencies must now be reinvented. Ruhr University Bochum must change itself in order to continue to have a transformative effect. To this end, it intends to become more international, more sustainable, more diverse and more digital.

The new brand mission statement builds a bridge between established competencies and future challenges. The new brand image, which has yet to be developed, will be geared more strongly to the needs, signs and codes of future generations, for whom change is vital and whom we wish to win over.

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