The University of Montana unveiled its new logo and brand identity to employees Tuesday, April 30, in the University Center Theater during an internal event hosted by UM’s Office of Integrated Communications.
“This always has been a great University,” said Mario Schulzke, UM’s assistant vice president for marketing. “We just really needed a fresh storytelling platform to be able to communicate to the public all of the amazing things that are happening here on a daily basis.”
Schulzke was hired in January, along with Vice President for Integrated Communications Peggy Kuhr, to help the University refocus all of its outreach efforts.
Nearly a year and a half ago, UM hired outside consulting firm Mind Over Media to conduct qualitative and quantitative research and deliver brand recommendations. The final brand work was finished in-house and under budget this year.
Earlier in April, the University launched a new homepage, http://www.umt.edu/, which offers more opportunities for storytelling.
President Royce Engstrom appointed a brand task force in September 2011, led by Beth Hammock, UM Foundation vice president for strategic communications and marketing, and Provost Perry Brown. The task force, which met for more than 15 months, had a broad representation of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members.
On Tuesday, Engstrom explained that in order for UM to succeed in an increasingly competitive environment of student and faculty recruitment, the institution needs a stronger brand platform.
“We need to be more consistent about telling the positive stories of this University,” he said. “We also need to be present in the channels that prospective students are using to find information. Going forward we will do a better job of telling our story in places where prospective students are listening.”
Schulzke led the audience through a presentation about the brand direction and unveiled the new UM logo, which was designed by Shauna Murphy, graphic designer in UM’s Printing and Graphic Services.
“While the essence of the University is different to each of us, we can all agree that in many ways and in many forms people thrive here,” Schulzke said. “We don’t need a tagline – our brand will be a promise. And that promise is one word: thrive.”
He said it’s a concise and positive message that appeals to a broad range of stakeholders, including prospective students.
“At the end of the day, our brand is about the students we impact and the people and place that make that impact,” he said. “It’s up to all of us to tell the stories of people going above and beyond so that others can thrive.”
Old UM Logo
The new brand is designed to be a focal point to energize and focus the message of the University.
“Do you know anyone who thrives here?” Schulzke asked the audience. He encouraged the audience to share their own personal stories by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidelines and new logo files can be accessed online at http://www.umt.edu/brand. UM athletic logos will not be affected by these changes.
“Our brand is something we live and breathe,” Engstrom said. “It’s the many stories we have to share about the richness of the UM experience and the tremendous successes of all kinds of people who come to UM and who graduate and make a difference in the world.”