• Transform magazine
  • May 24, 2019

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King’s rebrand put on ice

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King’s College London has pledged to revisit its rebrand plans in the face of backlash from its students.

The rebrand, created with Saffron brand consultancy, included renaming the university King’s London in a bid to emit confusion surrounding the word ‘College’, particularly among prospective international students.

The new name was announced on 16 December and received backlash from King’s students, staff and alumni. More than 11,000 people have since signed a petition protesting the rebrand.

The rebranding would largely be for marketing purposes and the formal name for the university would remain the same on all official documents. While the project was discussed with the student union the university has conceded that there was some degree of miscommunication or misinformation.

The new principal, Ed Byrne, told King’s student paper, “We’ll regroup and we’ll be listening and consulting and speaking to students again in the New Year.”

The King’s website explains that it has undergone research that showed clarity of purpose would strengthen its brand both in the UK and overseas. The research also showed that the King’s College name was causing considerable confusion with external audiences with some thinking that ‘College’ meant that King’s was a small institution that offered primarily vocational training. In addition, college is not a widely understood term in many countries. The name also meant that King’s was often confused with institutions similarly named, to the university’s detriment. If the new brand goes ahead, it is intended to tackle these issues.