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Brand Platform and Position

Our Brand Platform

Based on comprehensive discovery and research, our brand platform reveals the key insights that establish our positioning and guide our brand strategy. Ultimately, these elements all work together to describe the scope and impact of our most important differentiator: Learn by Doing.


Brand Position

Our brand position presents our strongest and most unique position in the market. This is not a tagline, but rather a simple phrase that forms the foundational point of Cal Poly and our brand strategy.

“People and problem-solving centered in California and impacting the world.”




Cal Poly students measures a coast redwood

Our Pillars

Our brand pillars define our competitive advantage through our three biggest strengths: what we believe in, what connects people to us and what we do differently (and better) than other institutions.

Students work together in an aero lab learning about aircraft performance


Our approach to education

We educate the head and the hand, readying accomplished students who value the link between knowledge and application and are confident in their ability to make an impact. 

Two students work together in the cadaver lab


How we do it

We focus on putting learning into practice by working across disciplines and having extensive partnerships to address today’s (and tomorrow’s) most pressing challenges. 

De Ir Hacia on a boat at the Cal Poly Pier


Its impact on others

We make a difference every day in industries, communities and lives across California and around the world. 

Our Foundation

Our foundation represents our strong yet non-differentiating pride points.

  1. Uniquely Californian
  2. Comprehensive polytechnic
  3. Undergraduate education
  4. Academic rigor
  5. Student-centered
Cal Poly student and faculty research sea water at the Cal Poly pier

Our Personality

Our personality helps us establish and maintain a consistent tone throughout our communications.

ambitious aero students present research findings


We have an energetic, yet disciplined approach to discovery.  

Students administer vitamin booster shots to campus goats


Engaged, hands-on approach to collaboration.  

ASI president Gracie Babatola interviews David Hogg at the annual Student Leadership Institute Conference


Confident individuals with experience in problem-solving. 

Brand Communications Strategy 

By aligning our communications with our brand strategy, we will achieve these five primary goals. 

  1. LEVERAGE Cal Poly’s strong regional reputation and dedication to solving California’s challenges to build greater national recognition in key target markets and within identified audiences.
  2. DEMONSTRATE the ways that Learn by Doing is a shared experience across campus in an ownable and differentiating manner. 
  3. EMPHASIZE how Cal Poly is focused on student success and experience. 
  4. SIMPLIFY personalize and humanize complicated, bureaucratic administrative processes. 
  5. BUILD alumni engagement and a culture of philanthropy by re-engaging key audiences.