How would you describe The University of New Mexico to a friend or neighbor? How would you define the state’s flagship university to a person who doesn’t know what a flagship university is?
Research over the past decade indicates that people perceive the University in a positive way, but are less clear on the specifics.
“Our research has repeatedly shown that people within the state of New Mexico think favorably of UNM, but cannot clearly articulate why,” said Cinnamon Blair, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. “This doesn’t mean people have a poor perception of us, it’s just unfocused.”
The University has contracted branding agency, 160over90, to address this lack of awareness. Today represents a milestone in process to enhance the institutions image, as the brand concept is rolled out to the UNM community.
“This brand will continue to evolve, and every person in the campus community adds some depth or detail to the effort. We look forward to working with the entire University to build many opportunities for brand ownership based on what we’ve seen today.” – Cinnamon Blair, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
“This is the continuation of an important conversation. You won’t see a logo, a tagline or an ad today. What you will see is the distillation of what has been heard and observed throughout the discovery process,” Blair said. “We aren’t inventing a brand for UNM. We are boiling down to the essence of UNM – who we are, what we do and why it matters. This gives all of us the opportunity to advance the University with consistent, and most importantly, unified, tone and image.”
An in-depth discovery process included compiling existing research and assets, as well as interviewing and surveying more than 800 students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members.
160over90 Account Supervisor Jeremy Groff explained that much of the brand concept stemmed from a unique sense of soul and individuality on the campus.
“One of the most consistent themes that we heard in talking to people is that UNM is a place where individuality thrives,” Groff said.
Potential marketing materials presented at the Brand Concept Rollout read “each of us defines all of us,” and “unalike minded.”
“We want to bring the UNM story to life through our work. This is a top-tier research institution intrinsically tied to the local community,” Groff said. “During our discovery we heard that the diversity of culture and thought attracted to UNM creates a unique impact on the state; that it's the heartbeat of New Mexico. Our work needs to be a vehicle to tell the story of that impact in New Mexico, the nation, and the world.”
The brand will be implemented over the coming months, while the University works with 160over90 to move into the ongoing “build” phase, which considers projects such as a new view book or video.
“This brand will continue to evolve, and every person in the campus community adds some depth or detail to the effort,” Blair said. “We look forward to working with the entire University to build many opportunities for brand ownership based on what we’ve seen today.”
For more information about the UNM brand concept visit UNM Brand.