Status: Complete

Rebranding

As much as I do not like the Soton Tab, I nonetheless read this article: http://thetab.com/uk/soton/2016/05/14/student-union-new-logo-revealed-65991 about the new Union logo. I would like to know how much it cost the union to essentialy type the word US onto a sign, and if this constitutes the entire rebranding of the Union? I want to give you guys the benefit of the doubt here, but if our new 'brand' is going to be black writing on a white sign, then I could have done that for next to nothing and in a fraction of the time. Also, while SUSU might mean milk in Malaysia, why is this an issue? Are we in Malaysia? Do we speak Malay here in the UK? I can't imagine any Malay students really caring either. Perhaps they giggle at the name at first, but does that mean we have to rebrand the entire union because of it? What was the rationale here? Is it culturally insensitive to say milk? Please do explain this. 

The Union frankly, is making itself look silly here. The way I see it, with this being the 'new brand' of the Union, you have wasted time and money for an outcome that 1) Looks like it was produced by an underpaid and soulless worker drone, and 2) You've unnecisarily changed the name, which has become synonymous with the Union, because you didn't like the fact it meant milk in Malay.

To conclude, I would like the following to be produced by the Union. 1) A full expense report so we can see exactly how much this rebranding has cost us, and 2) An explanation by the Union as to why they thought this rebranding neccesary in the first place. Because right now it looks like a group project that was slapped together in the final days before the deadline and given some fancy backstory to explain why it's 'innovative'.

Submitted on Saturday 14th May 2016 by Matthew Albon

Hi Matthew,

As I’m sure by now you’ve seen, that article did not reveal the entire rebrand. The money spent was not just for the logo, but for the consultation, the workshops, the entire new branding guidelines, for the time spent on each iteration of design before this logo was decided upon. Perhaps the greatest misunderstanding so far is that this logo was created in 5 minutes and decided upon. Several options were created, the best 3 were presented to Union Council, and then that idea was developed even further by people with the expertise to create new branding. Relative to other Unions, who spent tens of thousands more than us, we got a comprehensive package for the lowest price we could. The money for the rebrand already existed in the marketing budget and so no money was taken from student groups to fund this.

SUSU means breastmilk in Malaysia – where we have a campus, and 600 enrolled students who are from Malaysia. To overlook their involvement in their Union would be to wilfully ignore our mission to unlock the potential and enrich the life of every student – we can’t ignore our international students just because their main language isn’t ours. This is also far from the only reason that the Union rebranded.

The Redbrick Research carried out in 2014 revealed that students were largely apathetic towards the Union. The brand review, which 2,400+ students took part in and was specifically asking about the brand also showed widespread apathy towards the old branding – with people feeling that it was too childish, used too many colours, and was symbolic of a Union they didn’t want to be part of.  The brand review has been discussed in open meetings for well over a year, as well as emails that went directly to every member of the student body asking for their input.

For a cost breakdown, there are two costs: The fee to the creative agency (£19k) and the cost of replacing signage and holding the launch events across WSA, Avenue and Highfield (£12.5k).

Whenever a new brand is unleashed there is a teething period, and I think our unveiling was hampered by the half-finished brand being released ahead of time. However, with the whole thing now complete I am confident that this was the right step for the Union, a part of its natural growth and, like all the decisions, made by students for students. That is what the new brand is about, reminding students that the Union is about all of us, working together.

Ben Franklin
Union President

Monday 16th May 2016 12:51pm