The UNM Communication and Marketing Department held an event in the SUB Ballroom on Thursday to unveil efforts by marketing agency 160over90 to rebrand UNM.
The brand concept has been introduced to the University in order to increase enrollment and create awareness about the offerings of UNM, UNM officials said.
“We have challenged ourselves to consider and reflect upon who we are, what we do and why it matters – in other words, to develop the UNM brand for the 21st century. While our logo and other brand elements are important to identify the University, the UNM brand is what differentiates us. It is consistent with our history, but is also a projection of a contemporary and engaged university,” UNM officials announced on brand.unm.edu.
Cinnamon Blair, Chief Marketing and Communication Officer for UNM, said that the event was arranged to share the brand concept with the UNM community.
“We were talking about how UNM differentiates itself,” she said
Blair said the logos, the mascots and other identifiers were not brought up in the event.
“Those are the things that are just identifiers,” she said.
She said the brand concept was initiated as a part of the University’s strategy to increase enrollment and create awareness about different programs offered by UNM as well as other aspects of life on campus.
“We found through research over the years that while people have a favorable perception of UNM in the state, they don’t necessarily know why; They can immediately recall the Lobos and UNM Hospital, but when asked 'Do you know about programs or do you know about the offerings at UNM?' it’s a bit unfocused,” she said. “So we want to sharpen that focus.”
Blair said the purpose of establishing a brand is not just to generate applications, but to create interest in the research community, generate interest in the faculty coming to UNM and generate some pride within the UNM community itself.
“We have a lot of brands here. So what we have had is a kind of fragmented message and all those messages are true but we are trying to find an umbrella identity or brand that talks about UNM, that differentiates UNM,” she said.
Blair said that many universities around the country have the same mission that UNM has, to educate as well as serve the community. UNM fulfills the latter primarily through UNM Hospitals, one of Albuquerque's major medical providers.
Blair said that UNM is already doing enrollment management, runs a website within UCAM and does digital advertisements but these are not big enough to make a huge impact outside of the state. Blair said the event was also an opportunity to get feedback from the UNM community and make Lobos a part of the whole process.
“That’s why we are investing in it, because we need to have a clear and concise message before we spend more money on putting the message out there. If we can also bring other people into the conversation around the campus, we will maximize those efforts and that is actually a better investment, if we are all saying the same things in a unified voice and pooling our resources to do so,” she said.
She said the University is providing an opportunity to all the stakeholders to have some brand ownership. In fact, she said it is important for people to ask questions and provide feedback about what differentiates UNM, based on their own experiences or otherwise. Anyone who would like to do so is invited to visit brand.unm.edu to be updated on current efforts.
Ryan Berryman, who serves as student regent on the Board of Regents, said that the event was exciting because it showed how much of an opportunity UNM has to really communicate what’s great about this university.
“I think a campaign like this can make current students and alumni proud of the University. It was really exciting to see the big turnout today,” he said.
Sayyed Shah is the assistant news editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mianfawadshah.