Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business has launched a new slogan and an accompanying brand campaign that cost more than $20,000, but some students said it might not have been a worthy investment.
The brand was created to provide an identity for the college that would evoke stories of Fisher students, alumni, faculty and staff going above and beyond what was expected of them, Chris Poon, dean of the Fisher College of Business at OSU, said Friday. There was a launch party for the new brand, or slogan, was Jan. 22.
The slogan has been placed places such as elevators and staircases to promote the new brand.
The new brand was picked out of four brand campaigns designed by Fisher graduate and undergraduate students, Poon said.
The only aspect of the project not handled by students and faculty was promotional advertising done by local advertising company CivitasNow, Poon said. She said costs for the company’s services were the only costs of the project.
Ann Hamilton, executive director of marketing and communication at Fisher College of Business, said the cost for CivitasNow’s services came to approximately $21,000.
“We never bid out the job to outside companies to see the cost, but in my own experience branding other products while working in a firm, I don’t think that anything like this project would be undertaken for less than a quarter million to a million dollars,” Poon said. “I think our decision to turn to our students and faculty very much expresses our commitment to experiential learning, to learn by actually doing something.”
Poon is planning to step down from her role as dean, but is set to remain at the helm of the college until December 2014 if necessary as OSU searches for a replacement.
Naveen Sharma, third-year in accounting, said the college might need to rebuild its brand awareness after the new campaign.
“I don’t think it’s such a great investment when you already have such an iconic brand that Fisher presents,” Sharma said. “Doing an overhaul may distort the image that consumers and potential students already get from Fisher.”
Jared Gates, a second-year in industrial design, said a rebrand does not necessarily mean a company or organization is turning into something completely different, but it can call attention to changes they want to highlight.
“Brand is all about the image of the company. Some people will rebrand if they’ve overhauled their company and they want to create a new image, and say, ‘Hey, we’ve done something different.’ Or if they want to attract new people or extinguish an old reputation, or maybe just to say, ‘Hey, we’ve modernized,’” Gates said.
John Lowe, CEO of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, said he attended the launch of the brand campaign to show support for the Fisher community.
“This rebranding effort was unique, as it doesn’t represent what some large marketing firm came up with,” Lowe said. “Instead it reflects exactly what the people of Fisher have decided is special and unique about the college.”
While the Fisher team worked with an outside advertising firm, the group was more involved with the process than a typical client, said Jacob Taylor, director of client experience and owner of CivitasNow.
“This is our area of expertise, so it makes sense that they brought an outside source for the promotion so things would go seamlessly,” Taylor said. “However, OSU held our hand the entire way, making sure everyone stayed up to date with what was going on.”
Poon said she hopes the new brand will speak to undergraduate students and inspire them to expand their knowledge of other cultures.
“From the Oval to the globe, go beyond,” Poon said.