Brand union for Strath Union.

We revitalised this leading Scottish university's Student Union. 

We began our rebrand of the University of Strathclyde’s Student Association (USSA) with a workshop for university staff, students and union office-bearers. D8’s strategy team used the workshop output to develop a brand framework, including essence, positioning, values, personality and tone of voice, which would provide the foundations for the creation of the new visual identity. One of our key recommendations to overcome long-term inconsistency, confusion and misunderstanding was to rename the organisation – from USSA to Strath Union.

Each element of Strath Union’s new identity had to be grounded in the organisation's essence – ‘Community’ – for it to hold true, and that began with the logo. Here we had two core tasks; to functionally present the organisation’s new name, and to emotionally represent the deliberately evolving nature of the Union, which requires collaboration and participation to be truly democratic.

To introduce the new identity we employed a language platform to build awareness of the variety of functions the Union performs. Paired with imagery from the University archive, the poster campaign served to remind students that the Union has been at the heart of the Strathclyde experience for over 50 years, and to benefit from it all they had to do was take part – in whatever form they saw fit.

In application, consistency was required to help build much needed recognition but so too was flexibility, to allow the Union to communicate in the variety of roles it performs. To achieve this we created a circular grid system that allowed the logo to be integrated in a multitude of ways, and combined it with a typographic approach that could both grab attention and provide support in equal measure.

Result

56% year on year uplift in web traffic via social channels.

 

 

To increase visibility around campus we adjusted the already existing colour palette to be richer, more vibrant and introduced a photocopy illustration style – reminiscent of the ‘Zines’ produced by the Union’s clubs and societies – for topics that were too complex to represent through photography. At all times integrating the logo into communications rather than it simply being present as a sign-off.

Social was identified as a key engagement channel for Strath Union, but one that was consistently underperforming. A series of workshops with each department and members of the Student Exec, revealed that content wasn’t the challenge but how, when and where to distribute it was.

Result

16% year on year uplift in revenue generated.

The solution was to embed a new social eco system within Strath Union that empowered each department to distribute their own content. Managed through an organisation wide content calendar, to eliminate competing overlap of content, facilitated by channel specific social media guidelines and measured through a purpose built Google Data Studio dashboard.

Karen Rae, Head of Marketing & Communications

“We saw a great amount of traffic converting on our website and Freshers Week was really busy; a great deal of that can be attributed to the content calendar and social strategy – thank you!”

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