Union Southampton (or SUSU) has released the full text of the brand review conducted by creative agency Holdens.
Union Southampton, or ‘Us.’, which was the brand that Union Council voted to adopt and was launched publicly earlier this week, has proven controversial among students, spawning parody pages and websites as well as a petition to reverse the branding changes.
The 18 page Strategic Brand Positioning Report details current issues surrounding the SUSU brand, claiming that the previous SUSU branding was ‘struggling to connect with students’ despite clear intentions:
If SUSU was a person, they’ve achieved a remarkably ageless appearance: workshop participants believed SUSU to be anything from one to sixty years old! What consensus existed was that SUSU is the wrong side of thirty – and, as a result, is struggling to connect with students who are, generally, several years younger…
In turn, this can lead to those working for SUSU feeling undervalued, unappreciated and unknown. One person stated that SUSU should stand up, be proud and celebrate all the good things it does.
The document also contains a summary of the conclusions made from responses to the union’s Brand Review Survey conducted earlier this year. 60% of students were concluded to have no strong attachment to the name SUSU which was described by some respondents as ‘weird’, ‘dumb’ and ‘childish’ When asked about the SUSU logo, only 27% of respondents believed it to be a ‘strong’ brand. The number of sub-brands used by the union was also criticised, with the majority of respondents stating they were only ‘totally aware’ of all services available under 2 of 6 sub brands used by the union.
In terms of SUSU’s communication outlets, only 24% found the website easy to use, while 35% of students said they believed the copy used in SUSU communications was good. The colours used in SUSU branding generally attracted negative perceptions, described as ‘too bright’, ‘politically correct’ and ‘horrific’ by respondents.
The full document can be viewed here.