Miami University students in the Highwire Brand Studio capstone presented their ideas for the new Miami “brand” Tuesday evening at the Taylor Auditorium in the Farmer School of Business. The students were given 16 weeks to develop strategies to rebrand Miami as a unique community fusing both tradition and innovation.
The editorial board of The Miami Student recognizes the students’ hard work on their projects but feels the new concepts miss the mark. Most of the projects focused on Miami’s traditions and images, but Miami is much more than that.
Miami needs an update. It needs to let prospective students know it is more than red brick buildings and kissing under the Upham arch. Many schools have beautiful campuses and history, and that is only part of the unique essence of Miami.
The projects fell short of this board’s expectations and just put a new label on an old idea, rather than creating a new image of the university. None of the ideas included academics, new technology, construction on campus or other areas of university advancement. They focused on the aesthetics of Miami which, while beautiful, are not what gives Miami its truly unique qualities.
Miami offers a small community feeling, without being too small to find a range of niches and opportunities to fit students’ needs.
The beautiful campus may get students to apply and visit, but what will make them come and remain involved members of the student body is knowing they have a diverse range of opportunities in front of them. Students who love to travel can study abroad on Miami’s Luxembourg campus. High school student-athletes can join one of many club sports teams to get involved and meet friends with similar interests. There are choirs, acting groups, different media publications and various other organizations that can help students meet new people and form friendships outside of their major and residence hall.
The projects didn’t create a new brand for Miami, they just developed new marketing ideas for an old concept. There are so many great qualities about Miami and these brand ideas fall short of encapsulating everything the university has to offer.
This board hopes the outside marketing firm considers these suggestions but stays open to the many unique qualities of the university that are more than surface deep. Miami fuses tradition, a beautiful campus, strong academics and the opportunity to join or create any organization that meets your needs, and that is what makes Miami unique. The essence of Miami isn’t beauty, but its quality.