Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Facebook petition sinks revamped logo

Here's one I found by accident last night and wish that it had been included in my dissertation. At Vermont's Middlebury College, students protested the change in institutional logos and did so via Facebook. While student activism has not been as successful in branding issues as have alumni efforts, here's one example of the power of the Internet and concerned students who forced the college's administration to cave on their original intent to rebrand the institution's seal.

See the article in the student weekly newspaper
. Unfortunately, the Facebook group "Just Say No to the Middlebury Logo" is no longer available. A companion article explains that a variation of the new logo will be used — it just will not replace the original institutional seal.

While most administrators appear not to involve students in such decisions, there are times when these stakeholders may need to be consulted. In my research, student dissatisfaction was successful when coupled with alumni and other groups. This occurred at University of Mary Washington, Case-Western Reserve University, and California State University of Pennsylvania. With the exception of the Mary Washington rebranding, the student protests alone may not have been as successful. In other examples, the students were apathetic about what the institution was doing in regard to branding issues.

It is an interesting story and I find in noteworthy that students preferred a traditional logo than a streamlined, rectilinear, and contemporary style logo. Regarding other issues, the students appear to be very active and contemporary in thought rather than traditional in nature. To me this appears to be a dichotomy; however, not knowing this school (noted as "one of the nation's top liberal art colleges") nor the student body, I have no answer to this apparent conundrum. Some comments pro and con are found below the main article.

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