Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Brand Image of SIUC

The DE has a pretty good article on the party image, or lack thereof, at SIUC, and how the change in image at the school never got replaced by another image.  Even the current rebranding pushed by Chancellor Cheng doesn't appear to develop a strong brand for the university.  SIUC is not a consistently top-performing sports school but most of the new banners around campus show students participating in sports.

Why not focus on the university's top ranked debate team?  What about its world class auto tech and aviation technology programs?  Or its mass communication school?   Granted, sports are an easy thing to look at and dramatize, but its the university's programs that will bring students, not its sports teams.


  1. The banners are different on different parts of campus. The banners near the Law School and Campus Lake mainly show sports, but have a lot of academic activities.

    The university's home page has had the debate team and automotive program in the past and has the new automotive and aviation building now.

    With that said, the university's image needs to be backed up with an education that matches the projected image. Lately the chancellor seems to be the "anti-Mountain Dew" -- "Image is everything; the thirst for knowledge is nothing."

  2. And I don't think she or the marketing firm are sure what the brand they want to develop is. I have sat in on a couple of meetings with the marketing firm and most of the discussion was about the banners.

  3. For what it's worth, they had a short brand message. They also had four sub-messages: balance, access, academic, and location.

    On the other hand, some aspects of the university are moving away from the message in the name of staying on message. A university with the message, "Because we think that when it comes to academic pursuits— nothing should be off-limits," and "We’re the first stop for the independent-minded who understand that the beaten path won’t take them where they want to go," doesn't sound like one where the chancellor tries to censor the student newspaper because she didn't like a news photograph it had. A university with the message, "And faculty are empowered to be mentors, researchers, and advocates," doesn't sound like one that would add layers of bureaucracy for faculty and staff to go through to promote events and opportunities on campus.