VUT Brand soldiers
“VUT is seriously outdated and in need of a new brand and corporate identity,” is what was quoted from the customer feedback survey performed the past 2 years.
In 2004, the then Vaal Triangle Technikon did not merge as many institutions did, the institution merely changed its name from Vaal Triangle Technikon (popularly known as Vaal Tech) to Vaal University of Technology (VUT).
Though the institution has acquired a status of a university, it is still trapped in the former Vaal Triangle Technikon corporate identity in terms of logo, slogan, colours and Vaal Tech mentality. Research amongst internal and external stakeholders were conducted by the Marketing and Brand Manager, Tisch Farrell, in collaboration with an external brand expert company to determine the way forward for VUT in terms of its brand direction.
Two brand directions were identified, of which internal stakeholders had to choose one. A vigorous campaign was launched which, amongst others, included a video on social media explaining the two directions and interviews on VUT FM. The Brand Soldiers consisting of Corporate Affairs staff, 2018 SRC, Enactus, Marketing, and Public Relations students were trained to drive the campaign and get as many votes as possible. Various methods were used to encourage voting amongst staff and students, of which one was a “Spinning Wheel” that determined a token/gift to a successful voter. Those who participated in the voting campaign received power banks, 8 GB usb’s, tablets, earphones, etc as a token of appreciation for their efforts and believing in the VUT brand. The campaign took place over three weeks across all campuses, and voting closed on Thursday, 26 April 2018.
The campaign had two brand directions each with a possible slogan, namely: #1 – Fueling the Heartbeat of Industry and #2 – For a Purpose. Voting took place online and was verified by an external company. The Marketing & Brand Manager’s target was 5 000 votes which she feels is a strong brand engagement.
The campaign managed to achieve 5152 votes and the VUT Management and SRC announced the Winning Brand Direction on Monday, 7 May 2018.
#2 – For a Purpose came out tops and will be the new brand direction of VUT going forward. The Positioning Statement is Inspire Innovative Action. The Brand Pillars are Economic and Social Engine, Resourceful Ambition, Community Beacon and Purpose Application, which merge together perfectly. The Brand Personality is Driven, Inspiring and Aware.
One of the voters from Ekurhuleni campus Ms Lerato Rametsi said that she was excited to be part of the change.
The next step will be to develop brand tools, design an integrated Marketing Communication Strategy, and thereafter the process for the development of a new VUT Brand and Corporate Identity will commence. The name of the institution – Vaal University of Technology, will not change, but we are looking forward to a BRAND NEW VUT!!!!