[erlang-questions] Off-topic question about Universities
Wed Jul 5 21:40:32 CEST 2017
Ask your students, faculty, administration, alumni, and community, Richard, the first words and feelings that come to mind when you mention the name of your university.
That's your university's brand.
If those words and feelings are predominantly positive, e.g. motivate students to apply, alumni to donate, community to confer tax breaks, etc.,then how do you communicate those values quickly on a sign, letterhead, proposal, or tee-shirt?
A logo has no intrinsic meaning beyond the associations people have when exposed to it. If I know nothing about your institution, a well-crafted logo may convey a sense of the values that the recruiters and fund-raisers in your institution would like me to associate with your institution through typography, shape, and color alone.
But if I have experience with your institution, the logo will simply reinforce the positive or negative associations I have lurking in the back of my mind.
Over time and the cumulative interactions and experiences many people have with your institution, your logo takes on significantly weighted symbolic value. It becomes invaluable in and of itself. Harvard University aggressively enforces proprietary rights to it's logo.
Thus, think of your logo as the key to a cognitive/emotional value--- a short-hand designator or stand-in for your brand.
When you commission a graphic designer to create a logo, you're asking the designers to combine visual elements of type, shape, and color into a highly-compressed image that brings to mind the good feelings you'd like folks to have toward you institution. If the image projected by your newly-minted logo are truly congruent with your established brand, then it's successful.
If not, it will fail.
If you have a great university, but the wider community fails to understand how good you really are--- that is, student recruitment is not up to potential, fund-raising falls, short, good faculty candidates choose other schools, then your university has a marketing problem.
A logo alone will not solve your marketing problem. But it can contribute toward the success of a well-conceived and executed marketing campaign.
The question is how much time and money should go into creating the logo vs. how much toward crafting and executing the larger campaign.
You might as your administrator just exactly what problem he's attempting to solve and what else he is doing to solve it?
All the best,
From: "Joe Armstrong" <>
Sent: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 11:30am
To: "Fred Hebert" <>
Cc: "Erlang" <>
Subject: Re: [erlang-questions] Off-topic question about Universities
I went to a very entertaining lecture about branding.
One of the big-name brands (I won't repeat it here) wanted to
establish a YouTube presence - they were getting zero love on
YouTube and were worried about this - they wanted some impact on
So they hired a creative-director, a team of script writers and actors
and made a
90 second video - this cost several million dollars and was shown and
approved by top management.
After a month or so they were horrified to see that only 30K people
had viewed their video.
In the post-mortem they just didn't get it - how come some crazy kids
with no media
training, no creative director, no experience could make videos that
10+ million people viewed?
Herein lies the problem - the corporate mindset wants "presence on
- I see this a lot but don't really understand what it means.
I like Twitter - for example - one of the best things are the rapid
witty interactions that take
place - there can be a Tweet storm lasting 30 seconds - seeing the
Tweets statically, somewhat later and out of context misses the point.
Certain politicians, businesses and corporate entities feel they have
to have a Twitter presence - so
they blast out meaningless bullshit - which is actually a very funny
self-parody - it's like the
companies who make websites with regulated user forums and FAQs
FAQ: 1. Is your product really as awesome as you say it is?
Yes - in fact it's even better - all our users are very happy with
FAQ 2: I really love your product, for the money it's really good value.
Yes - we are committed to delivering outstanding value to the customer, ...
And then there are real product forums - where the users bitch about
their problems :-)
I'm sure the University of Otago could excel with a branding exercise:
Q1: Is the University of Otago a great place delivering outstanding
value to it's students?
A1: U of O is committed to providing outstanding value to all our
students - we excel in
providing world class education and training led by our superb teams
of internationally renowned teachers. We are committed to ....
On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 3:51 PM, Fred Hebert <> wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 4, 2017 at 9:20 PM, Richard A. O'Keefe <>
>> The University logo is the most prominent visual aspect of
>> the overarching University brand. Continuity and consistency
>> of logo use is the most valuable asset a brand has.
>> This is what builds recognition and awareness for an organisation,
>> it is the foundation on which the visual identification of
>> the University is built.
> A lot of other comments are correct in that in terms of overall brand, the
> logo is not necessarily doing much in the case of a university. Logos are
> deadly important in industries related to fashion, since in that case,
> clothing is not copyrightable, but by plastering your logo on garment, you
> make the design protected by trademarks instead. No such thing really
> happens in universities, and as mentioned before, publications or alumni
> play what I'd believe to be a much bigger role.
> In terms of visual branding though, the logo tends to come with a specific
> style and a limited set of colors; the style and those colors will usually
> be those that are chosen to pick the colors and influence the design of
> everything related to digital media (website, watermarking, mailing lists,
> ads, etc.), print media (fliers, forms, business cards), or general
> So when it comes to a visual identity, the logo is often a linchpin that
> impacts all the other aspects of the identity. Maintaining continuity in
> style and/or color schemes means a lot less work needs to be re-done in
> other aspects of the overall marketing plan. Whether that work is impactful
> or not on the actual brand, or whether it is its "most valuable asset" on
> the reputation of the university is very arguable, but it is a significant
> amount of work (with a significant amount of money attached to it)
> To me it sounds like the Vice-Chancellor is overplaying the importance it
> has on reputation and brand as a whole, but the treasurer could reasonably
> make the case that it is very important when it comes to branding-related
> erlang-questions mailing list
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