The University of Birmingham campus is an exciting and vibrant place to be right now. Candidates are campaigning the upcoming student elections and there are flags, banners and support teams everywhere.
The first thing that struck me was that each candidate had created their own brand. Most had based their brand on an existing company and just tweaked it to fit their name. Some had created completely new brands with their own brand name, font and colour palette – what a creative bunch!
The 25 candidates are competing for 7 positions and voting closes on the 6th March. The successful Sabbatical officers will be responsible for representing University of Birmingham students so it’ll be interesting to see which campaigns stand out and, more importantly, which get votes!
So what can we learn from them about branding?
The brands that stood out around campus were the ones that were recognisable in different formats and settings. For example, Daisy (campaigning for Representation and Resources Officer) had large yellow banners with ‘Vote Daisy Chain #1 for RRO’. Daisy chains dotted across campus – around bushes, pillars and railings – reinforced this in a relevant and engaging way. She’d managed to make a consistent and flexible brand that really worked in multiple settings.
Other campaigns that stood out were the ones that used bold colours and simple names. Campaign materials were all battling for visibility, but with recognisable brand colours a campaign would stand out, even from a distance.
What can we learn from this about students?
First off, they give a crap.
Secondly, they’re clever and creative.
And thirdly, they’re extremely brand savvy – they know what they like and what works, they know what brands they want to be associated with and they know how to brand themselves.
Creating student brands
- Make it simple and bold
- Make it flexible over different settings but recognisable
- Take inspiration from other successful student brands