California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) is getting ready for a rebrand. To modernize the university, focus groups are being conducted to see how a new school logo is perceived among students, staff and community members.
On Oct. 18, Red Cactus Marketing hosted a meeting in the Otter Student Union; Beatrice Szalas, principal and chief collaborator, led the meeting, covering CSUMB’s Brand Promise and Pillars and showcasing potential new logos. To develop this promise and establish pillars, 22 focus groups were conducted consisting of students, parents, faculty, staff, administrators, local businesses and community leaders. Szalas’ team wanted to know “what they thought CSUMB was all about and what made it special or distinctive – and even areas where we could be improving.”
Once data was collected, it was time to move forward with showcasing the potential new logos. Szalas clarified that the athletic logo or university seal will not be changing, nor the mascot – rather the school’s logo will be updated. The main suggestion is to remove the otter from the main logo but still emphasize the Otter Raft. Szalas said, “[In] a lot of the focus groups that we did, there were suggestions to update [the logo], it looks dated. It doesn’t take us very seriously compared to some of the other colleges and universities.”
This update would include brightening up the colors, changing the font, shortening the university’s name and adding a colorful graphic that is representative of the school and the surrounding area. A new logo would be introduced with ideas ranging from campus architecture or illustrating the Salinas Valley and Monterey Bay. Participants were shown four potential logos with different colors, fonts and graphics and shared their opinions.