The University of Botswana this week launched a new brand which, according to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Bojosi Otlhogile, is going to keep in step with modern trends and is of the highest standard possible to better market the institution.
Speaking at the launch, which was held at the UB, Otlhogile said the new brand was expected to reposition UB to meet future challenges, possibilities and prospects as it grows and faces current and future competition in the tertiary education environment which, in Botswana, has been marked by phenomenal growth.
“In that sense, a brand is not a luxury but a necessity. It is what the University promises to its internal and external stakeholders and its customers in the delivery of varied services,” he stated.
With the assistance of the Brand Leadership Group and the Reference group, Otlhogile said they had put together what they believe are strong and inspiring elements.
“This brand captures our rich heritage, our dynamic culture, our unique values systems, and our national pride. And, as a national University, we want to be seen as progressive and innovative,” he said.
Every stage of the changes in the brand development, he said, was marked by highly spirited and motivated debates before final decisions were taken.
“The new logo retains the catchphrase ‘Thuto ke Thebe’ and borrows the other features, like the horn of a cow, the book and the green agricultural produce, which featured prominently in the old logo in one form or the other,” he stated.
Otlhogile said the Pula blue colour of Botswana is the dominant colour of the logo to show that their destiny is tied to the destiny of Botswana.
In the process of developing this brand, Otlhogile said they learnt from participants of the perception audit that UB offers the best education nationally and that it competes favourably with the best in the world. “We produce future leaders and industry captains as well as distinguished international scholars and academics, and we have some of the best facilities and infrastructure,” he said.
Additionally, Otlhogile said seven out of 10 people choose the university because of the UB brand, which is a very good indicator of a strong brand.
He stated that they had also received comments that indicated that a lot still needed to be done to place the UB where it belongs as a world-class institution, adding that comments from various stakeholders have indicated some weakness of approach to the marketing of the University, including variance and ambiguity in communication messages.
“Also indicated was the inconsistency in our branding visuals, including corporate colours, lack of robustness and aesthetic synergy of the current logo to catch the eye of both the old and the young alike that our logo may be lagging behind modern captivating marketing trends,” he said.
Otlhogile appealed to all stakeholders to learn about this brand so that they are able to own it and, eventually, be able to live the brand, so that it may “usher a new beginning for this great institution”.