Stellenbosch University
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SU rebranding boosted by engaging workshops
Author: Corporate Communications and Marketing (Hannelie Booyens)
Published: 13/10/2023

​The journey to a new brand identity for SU started more than three years ago and the success of the phased implementation is due to a remarkable team effort lead by the Corporate Communications and Marketing Division.  

In partnership with departments, faculties, schools, centres, institutes and external stakeholders there have been ongoing engagements to ensure everybody is on the same page in terms of SU's streamlined new identity.  

One of the ways the revised brand identity has been rolled out is through workshops where implementors are guided on how to apply brand guidelines consistently across various platforms. Each workshop is focused on a specific brand touchpoint and geared towards problem-solving solutions so specifications can be implemented seamlessly.  

The first workshop last year was a way to introduce the new visual brand strategy and key messaging to brand implementers as these stakeholders work directly with content creation and corporate identity, explains graphic designer Geola Bergman.  

“We focused on the details of the new brand positioning strategy and the nuts and bolts of the brand architecture. The idea was to make it possible for designers and staff who work with our corporate identity to use the elements of the rebrand and show what we had and where we're going. We first wanted to get the foundation right. The rebrand is not only about the new logo, fonts and colours, but also how we speak to each other and to our stakeholders. It sets the tone for all communication at SU," Bergman explains.  

“The value of the workshops is also in terms of feedback. It's helpful to hear from people on the ground – the graphic designers, content creators and administrative staff – to find out what challenges they encounter and how we can help solve problems in implementing the new branding material." 

At the second workshop held earlier this year, the focus was extended to include an overview of how to integrate SU's new branding into events. Events have become the hallmark of brand awareness activities in higher education, explains Amira Brown, SU's events coordinator. “The title of our presentation was More than just venues and catering and we aimed to show how events can be used to favourably position the University in a variety of ways. Through events we can build brand ambassadors and increase stakeholder engagement to build long-lasting, purposeful partnerships," Brown says. 

She helps event organisers at SU plan and executes events that align with the University's institutional values and provide teams with updated branding tools and templates for aspects such as planning, invitations, financial administration, protocol and safety. At the workshop, Brown also shared a step-by-step guide for event strategies and how to optimise the University's resources to make events memorable.  

The workshop included an overview of all SU's communication channels and how newsletters and other communication tools such as the events calendar and specialised online resources can be used to market events.  

“The engagements we've had have created networks of knowledge so implementers know who to engage with every step of the way," Brown says. “They know we're here to help and we're figuring this out together. We're all custodians of the SU brand. It's not only the graphic designer, but also the personal assistant, the events person, the writers and photographers who all play a part in optimising our corporate identity." 

A collaborative approach has been the key to the success of the rebrand journey, Bergman confirms. “From the start, our core intention was 'pursue, discover, together.' By explaining the rationale for designs and walking people through a process such as the development of the new SU logo, they start to see the value of a unified brand identity and why we need to be consistent. It's heartening to see how staff have been making a concerted effort to use the correct colours or to replace old signage and use the logo correctly in relation to other design elements." 

  • Unlock the power of our brand by joining our next workshop where we will focus on the brand manual on 7 and 8 November respectively. Participants can select to attend any one of the three two-hour sessions on either of the two dates. Join us on an immersive journey through our Brand Identity web page for all your template needs. We will also deep dive into our brand architecture and have a refreshing overview of key strategies to maintain brand alignment consistently.
  • Click here to select which date and session you want to attend: 7 November: RSVP | 8 November: RSVP