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University launches rebranding initiative

By Elizabeth Saulsbury
On February 16, 2014

In an effort to establish a distinct and consistent visual personality for the university, East Tennessee State University will be revealing two new logos in April.
"If you look at our university, all of our colleges have different logos, all of our departments have different logos, and there's just no consistency," said Jennifer Clements, director of marketing for the university relations office. "We're really wanting to have a unified visual identity for the university. Our goal is to have one academic logo and one athletic logo for all the different departments, colleges, and everybody on campus to use."
Clements said that having one or two logos is not unusual for universities like ETSU.
"This is very common for most universities," Clements said.
"That way, when you travel, people become familiar with the university mark. That's what we want to do."
Although the creation of the new logos are large elements of the rebranding process, Clements said that the new unified identity for campus will also include a new tagline to replace the current one, which is: "Becoming the best regional university in the country."
Efforts to market this new visual identity also include a more active university presence on social media.
"We're going to be launching an Instagram account in a couple of weeks; we're really excited about that," Clements said. "We're also trying to be more intentional about our Facebook and Twitter accounts to reach both current and prospective students."
Many current students seem to agree that more university involvement in social media outlets could help reach out to students considering ETSU.
"I think if they make it appeal to a larger variety of people, then the university will have more prospective students," said Molly Ellson, a freshman at ETSU.
The creation of new logos and taglines was not the first step in rebranding the university. In the fall 2013 semester, the ETSU homepage was updated for the rebranding efforts.
"We've really tried to take more of a student approach to the website," Clements said. "We've made it more student-focused by highlighting a different student each week and telling their story."
Clements said that the rebranding process is intended to bring the ETSU community together.
"Really, more than anything, it's about unifying the entire campus, coming together as a university, and being proud of everything that we have going on," Clements said. "We want to be able to tell our story to prospective students and to our community."

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