CU’s rebranding project is replacing old logos and visuals to create a better image for the university.
Ken McConnellogue, associate vice president of university relations, said the university had too many school visual messages, which was not only ineffective but inefficient as well.
“CU had literally hundreds of different, sometimes competing, visual images and messages,” McConnellogue said. “Schools, colleges and departments communicate in ways that are isolated from one another or the larger campus/university. It was ineffective and an inefficient use of resources.”
He said branding is a way create a strong visual representation of CU.
“Branding is an effort to present the university through key messages and visual images in consistent and coordinated ways to our various constituents,” he said. “Branding is essentially the emotional connection our constituents have with the university as a result of their perceptions, experiences and interactions with us. How we present ourselves can shape that connection.”
David Horber, a 19-year-old freshman business major, said that the re-branding will benefit the university by giving it more credibility.
“I think we may have had a credibility issue. I think moving into our new conference we needed a change, we needed more credibility,” Horber said.
McConnellogue said the discussions of rebranding began in early summer of 2008, and a contract was signed that fall.
He said the project did and did not go as originally as planned, but the university is happy with the results.
“We believe we had a good result, but there were many twists and turns along the way,” he said. “We had two key leadership changes (chancellors at the Boulder and Denver campuses) that delayed it some. We’re happy with where we ended up.”
He said the new program will now use Ralphie for only certain functions.
“Ralphie will be restricted to use by Intercollegiate Athletics and certain spirit-related applications,” he said.
Agim Bardhi, an 18-year-old freshman business administration major, said he thinks keeping the mascot separate from the logo will create a more professional atmosphere.
“I just don’t feel like mascots should be part of the school logo,” Bardhi said. “They should be separate because it’s more professional.”
McConnellogue said one of the goals of the project is to set the foundation for a massive fund-raising campaign.
“One of the primary goals of the project is to set the stage for a fund-raising campaign with a goal of more than $1 billion, which will soon be announced,” he said.
He said the re-branding will also have a positive effect for the professors.
“One of the key fund-raising goals will be endowed professorships,” he said. “Also, the return on [the] investment will help free up resources that can go to faculty positions and programs.”
He said the re-branding project was a costly but worthwhile investment.
“It was costly,” McConnellogue said. “The entire project cost $780,000. However, we view it as an investment. I would liken it to paying tuition. That is costly to students and their families. But if you view it only as a cost, you miss the point. It is an investment in your future.
Likewise, branding is an investment in the university that we expect will pay a substantial return in terms of better connections with our constituents, more efficiency in our operations, greater ability to attract funding, and better chances of telling our story.”
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He said the funds for the project came from investments made by the university. He said the money came from initiative funds used at the president’s discretion, not from tuition money, fee funding, state money or donor money.
He said the old logos will be phased out gradually over the next year.
Even though the project encountered setbacks along the way, he said the project was worthwhile because it creates consistency and promotes a fund-raising campaign.
“I believe it was worthwhile because it will allow us to be consistent and coordinated in how we present ourselves, efficient and effective in our use of resources, poised to be successful in a $1 billion-plus fund-raising campaign, and generally be better able to convey the excellence of CU to our key constituents,” he said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Lindsay Wilcocks at Lindsay.email@example.com.