CMU rebranding should reiterate existing values

Apple Pay will keep credit hackers at bay (credit: Braden Kelner/Editor-in-Chief) Apple Pay will keep credit hackers at bay (credit: Braden Kelner/Editor-in-Chief)

The Carnegie Mellon community received an email from President Subrah Suresh on Oct. 16 detailing the Carnegie Mellon Strategic Planning process. This is an initiative that includes examining how the university presents itself to the public and sets “the course for the university’s future in a changing global landscape.”

The email presents a three-pronged approach, and announces upcoming efforts such as the national search for a Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Among these efforts is a partnership with global branding and communications firm Edelman to aid in the launch of the “Brand Development Project.”

As Suresh’s email emphasized, “the Brand Development project is not about changing our culture, creating new logos or launching advertising campaigns. Rather, it will be about taking our existing unique culture and strengths, and articulating them more powerfully and coherently to an increasingly global audience.”

The Brand Development Project is an important and necessary initiative at this juncture, especially considering that the school’s current logo is the three words, “Carnegie Mellon University.” The rhetoric surrounding messages about Carnegie Mellon’s brand are often populated with heavily used buzzwords such as “interdisciplinary” and “innovation” — ideals that are important to Carnegie Mellon’s identity, but are often left unaccompanied by substantive messages about who we are as a university.

The Tartan agrees that the branding process should not be a reassessment, but a revamping of existing values and messages about our community. Even further, The Tartan hopes that the rebranding effort will not only reiterate these values, but also pair them with substantive messages about the university.