October 26, 2021

Purdue only university in Fast Company Magazine's inaugural list of ‘Brands That Matter’

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University has been named one of Fast Company’s “Brands That Matter,” a list honoring companies and organizations that give people compelling reasons to care about them, offer inspiration for others to buy in, and authentically communicate their mission and ideals, according to Fast Company editors, who judged each brand on relevancy, cultural impact, ingenuity and business impact.

The only university named a Brand That Matters, Purdue joins 95 internationally recognized brands, including Nike, Zoom and Yeti, and other large multinational conglomerates, small-but-mighty companies and nonprofits.

“This latest recognition belongs to the entire Purdue community, and we’re grateful that Fast Company has singled out Purdue as a university of high value,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels said. “You can’t have a great brand without a great product, and our marketing team has worked hard to tell the world what this university stands for and how our faculty, staff and students impact lives.”

In honoring Purdue, Fast Company cited the many innovations and the unique stories that engage prospective students and their families, alumni and friends, partners and peers:

  • Stories such as The Data Mine, which partners with more than 50 organizations — including Cummins and Sandia National Laboratories — to prepare students from all majors for the data-driven workforce of the 21st century.
  • Stories such as the Purdue Polytechnic High Schools, born of Purdue’s giant leap to revolutionize the high school experience, creating a pathway to Purdue, specifically for Indiana students who are often underserved by traditional high schools and underrepresented in higher education.
  • Stories of accessibility and affordability with a 10th straight year of frozen tuition, lowered student debt and increasing success rates for students and graduates.
  • And perhaps most pointedly, the story of an entire university living its brand when a global pandemic forced institutions and students alike to make big decisions about their futures. Understanding what it stands for and what truly mattered to its community, Purdue delivered tailored information grounded in the latest science and created collective confidence in functioning openly, safely and productively during the pandemic’s peaks and valleys together. Via the Protect Purdue campaign, the Boilermaker family united within a shared culture of commitment and protection.

Meanwhile, Purdue continued to recruit high-caliber students, exceeding undergraduate enrollment goals, while setting a standard for education, research and engagement during the pandemic.

Named “The Next Giant Leap,” Purdue’s brand platform emerged from more than 12 months of intensive research and sparked nearly two years of compelling and consistent storytelling efforts campuswide, sharing how Purdue and its students, faculty, staff and alumni are propelling the world forward through continued discovery and innovation, inclusive collaboration and a culture of persistence that leaves nothing undone.

Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, says, “Fast Company is excited to highlight companies and organizations that have built brands with deep meaning and connections to the customers they serve. At a time when consumers are holding companies to very high standards, businesses have much to learn from these brands that have garnered respect and trust.”

Ethan Braden, Purdue senior vice president for marketing and communications, says, “We know that students and their families trust Purdue to provide an extraordinary educational experience as demonstrated by record-setting numbers of applications and our highest-ever enrollments. By combining a clear sense of rigor and collaboration, transformative educational opportunities and innovative approaches to accessing and affording a valuable Purdue degree — marked by 10 straight years of frozen tuition — persistently delivering on that trust truly matters here.”

The November issue of Fast Company magazine, including the complete list of Brands That Matter, is available online now and will be on newsstands beginning Nov. 2.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last four years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/

About Fast Company

Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies, and thinkers on the future of business. The editor-in-chief is Stephanie Mehta. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication, Inc., and can be found online at fastcompany.com.

Writer, media contact: Christy McCarter, mccarter@purdue.edu


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