The brand review discussion started back in June last year. To ensure follow the right process and have the right expertise, we decided in December to appoint Holdens’ branding agency to carry out a review of the SUSU brand.

Holdens’ is one of Manchester’s leading creative agencies and brings a wealth of experience to the project, having previously rebranded Manchester Metropolitan University Students’ Union and worked with a variety of companies such as Kellogg’s, Manchester United, SWI and The Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

We carried out a detailed consultation process which involved students, staff and University partners. We ran surveys and a series of brand workshops that gauged perceptions of the SUSU brand and identified our members’ expectations of what the brand should deliver in the future.

Following this consultation, Holdens’ provided us with a Strategic Brand Positioning Report that you can find here. This report highlights the results from the consultation (survey and workshops), and presents the recommendations from the agency.

On page 6, you will find information about students’ perceptions towards SUSU.
Question 5 of the survey asked how intelligent SUSU would be if it was an animal. 57.1% selected the response of “Quite Smart”. The workshops highlighted that the SUSU brand didn’t reflect this statement, and that a smarter brand was needed. The survey also brought into light the indifference of members towards SUSU.

We would like to draw your attention on page 9, where the consultant recommends us to change the name based on the consultation findings. On this page, Holdens’ recommends the Union to rebrand and provides us with three possible names for the rebrand process.

Page 10 showed clearly that the logo had to change, with 73% of the membership stating that the SUSU logo was not strong.

Page 11 focuses on the awareness levels and the understanding of what SUSU offers. It shows that the number of sub-brands made it confusing for students to understand what we offered and at which stage they were interacting with us. Following these findings, Holdens’ recommended to create four main sub-brands categories to clarify our offering: Representation, Support, Places and Opportunities.

Have a look at page 3, where you can see a small selection of the ideas that we considered when we reached the rebrand stage.

We hope that you will find this report useful to understand the reasoning behind the rebrand. If you have any questions, please drop us a line on You Make Change.