SUSU: The Rebrand

Those of you who made it to the end of the last Union Council will remember me talking about a rebrand of SUSU. The thought behind this was simple: does the current SUSU brand speak to students about what SUSU actually is? Does it shout that SUSU is more than a building, that we provide for students, unlock your potential, enrich your lives? Feedback I have had suggests that it doesn’t.

Some Councillors raised concerns at the last Union Council about whether or not we needed this branding review. I believe wholeheartedly that we do, and that it will take hard work to get it right, hard work that we are starting now.

So why a brand review?

I had a particularly interesting comment directed to me from a student at the recent EGM (emergency general meeting). They pointed out that they had only just realised that the SUSU logo actually said ‘SUSU’. This is something that has been raised repeatedly during my time as an Officer. Another point raised was that the concourse area of the Union building just looked like any other University building, not the sort of place that has as much to offer as your Union does.

To get a better idea of how a greater number of students feel about SUSU, we have conducted a survey that reached over 700 students, including students from many different modes of study and from different sites (like the NOC and Winchester School of Art). The survey confirmed our suspicions about the SUSU brand, logo, space and style; that many of you don’t interact with it in the way that you should. We asked whether the current SUSU branding reflected the values that myself and the other Sabbaticals  have been mandated by Union Council to promote and the broad response was that it doesn’t.

I will present the full findings of the survey at a workshop, where we will ask questions, consider the SUSU logo and think about a style guide for Union publications and messages.

Want to get involved?

The space on the homepage of the SUSU website labelled ‘evolve’ will be the home of the branding review information as it develops, please check for more information about the worskhop (once we’ve organised it) and any other information we may send your way. In the meantime, please comment below on this article with your thoughts and questions about this process.

You can also come to the next Union Council on Monday 9th May at 5pm in the Senate Room in Building 37 (Student Services) and ask us any questions about the Brand Review, or anything else you want to know about your Union.

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9 Comments on "SUSU: The Rebrand"

  1. Charlotte
    04/04/2011 at 8:42 pm Permalink

    The SUSU definitely does need a rebrand, but more than anything the actual building needs fixing up. It probably was a fantastic shiny building that looked very exciting years ago when it was last renovated but it’s not been properly looked after for years. There’s an image of ‘what ain’t broke don’t need fixing’ which has led it to look ridiculously out of date, cold and unwelcoming. Top that off with no comfortable furniture anywhere in the union (it’s all unpadded wooden furniture) and a very minimalist feel makes the place seem really rather horrible to spend any social time in.

  2. Charlotte
    06/04/2011 at 12:32 pm Permalink

    New student leaders, new titles for the sabbaticals and now a new logo…

    What ever are they going to do next year…

  3. Charlotte
    Jo Ross
    08/04/2011 at 10:30 pm Permalink

    As a university branding company, it is great to see that the Uni is getting great useful comments in to do with this process.

  4. Charlotte
    Portswood Press
    09/04/2011 at 1:49 pm Permalink

    SUSU is in need of a rebrand, I agree, and I also think this is the right time to do it. The brand is unappealing and unreflective of the Union, my only fear is that the rebrand will be rushed and done in a ‘half-assed’ way. I just hope that the workshop is well-attended and the plans are run past students for a while before decisions are made.

  5. Charlotte
    15/04/2011 at 1:08 pm Permalink

    I like the second ones, not the others…

  6. Charlotte
    16/04/2011 at 12:57 pm Permalink

    I do not thing it is necessary to re-brand the student union logo. The logo serves its purpose and I don’t see a requirement to change it, especially with the ideas that I have seen. Students will end up pick up for the cost. The university/union should think about some investment in the building, as it has seen better days.

  7. Charlotte
    Former SUSU student
    19/05/2011 at 8:51 pm Permalink

    What a total waste of money.

    SUSU should be spending its money on properly supporting its members through effective representation of the Southampton student voice to the university and beyond not playing around with new logos and fonts. It’s a shocking way to behave with the accounts in current economic times.

    Branding is cool and fun but the SUSU brand is just fine. Sure, play with it when times aren’t so damn tough but I can’t believe you’re pushing ahead with this at the moment.


    If today’s students can’t work out that the SUSU logo spells SUSU, perhaps they shouldn’t be at the university, it’s basic stuff.

  8. Charlotte
    20/05/2011 at 9:44 am Permalink

    It’s not irresponsible, we can work on more than one project at once, we have worked incredibly hard on the tuition fees battle, including writing new policy, lobbying the government, at local and national level repeatedly, as Rob has repeatedly shouted about and communicated to students. The feedback we have received and the consultation carried out said overwhelmingly that the brand is NOT just fine. We also have a mandate from council to implement the SU values into the brand, the feedback said that the current brand didn’t reflect these values, so of course we had to carry out this project.

  9. Charlotte
    04/07/2011 at 2:48 pm Permalink

    I think the problem is not with the logo and the branding but with how they are used. I’m not saying the logo is perfect but I think it serves all its purposes. The problem is how the Union promotes itself and involves its brand; what SUSU needs is consolidation and increased visibility. You can take any logo, for example the Microsoft Windows logo, or the Apple logo. Anyone who knows nothing about either of those companies does not look at those logos and immediately see everything the company stands for and represents, that comes from the way the companies use the logo and identity and its prevalence and visibility.
    From the logos that have been suggested in the survey I took part in, it was clear that all those logos were trying to say too much. The determination to get them to put across all the values SUSU represents in one logo went too far and ended up with something that I felt was a little confusing and unattractive. The current/old SUSU logo is not the best looking thing in the world, but its simplicity and clean design certainly put it above the other options.
    As has been said, a lot can be done to improve the awareness and integration of the students into the Union by improving and upgrading the actual facilities first. Make the Students’ Union a welcoming place, with warm features and you’ll find the logo you use won’t matter at all.

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