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Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

A Few Clouds, 65 °F

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Renea-Morris-2011

Renea Morris

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Branding OHIO through its brand structure


The diversity and complexity within the University allows us many ways to brand OHIO. The key to successful branding is being able to work together in a coordinated fashion to build focus and clarity, ensuring that “the key components of strategy, creativity and tactics all work together in harmony.”1 When there is brand clarity and consistency, all marketing efforts are strengthened.

Ohio University is the core brand that supports a multitude of relationships with varying degrees of affiliation. In the brand architecture diagram, found here, you’ll see that the Ohio University logo represents the core brand and encompasses all that is central to what we do as an institution and includes our facilities, colleges, schools, departments, centers and institutes, whether online or campus-based.

Surrounding the core brand are the academic and administrative units, which present Ohio University’s overall image. When these units communicate in concert with the overall mission and values of the institution, they are building on the strength of the Ohio University brand.

For the most part, these units reside on the Athens campus and use the University signature on official communications.

Surrounding the academic and administrative units are regional campuses, affiliates, and partnerships. Regional campuses and their associated centers reside in local markets. Using the strength of the OHIO brand, regional campuses interact in specific markets to create opportunities for students and the communities in which they reside. When regional campuses leverage the overall mission of the institution in their respective markets, there is a synergy created that makes them a reliable, supportive member of the unique regions they serve while still conveying an overall Ohio University experience.

Regional campuses use the University signature along with their individual campus names, and/or centers on official communications.

Affiliates are identified by a mark that is distinct from the core brand as they seek to increase interest and loyalty from their targeted audiences. Two other factors that could drive the branding decisions behind an affiliate organization – the activity of the affiliate is outside of the University’s core activities; legal reasons. Partnerships happen when two or more brands come together in support of a new service or initiative. Agreements developed from partnerships may warrant a freestanding brand identity. Though their channels of engagement and audience may differ from those of the core brand, affiliates and partners are undergirded by the strength of Ohio University’s overall image brand. Both the core and the associated brands are strengthened when communications are aligned with the overall mission and values of the institution.


1Dunn, D., Brand Architecture Workbook, p. 2