ULM needs consistent branding


From birds to Indians, ULM has always had trouble finding the perfect mascot for itself. And while people “rebrand” themselves all the time, it’s time for ULM to stick with one mascot and logo.
In 2017, ULM created a new logo that many students, faculty and even alumni love. This new logo is a combination of previous logos with ULM’s most recent mascot, the Warhawk.
I love the new logo. It gives a sense that everyone who has attended this university is a part of it. Whether you’ve attended ULM, Northeast Louisiana University or any other version of the university, you feel that it is still your university.
But when will changing our mascot, university name and logo come to an end? ULM has had seven logos since 1931 and four changes in their name. I get that different presidents have new ideas for the university but eventually this “rebranding” has to come to an end.
One reason that the rebranding needs to stop is because it doesn’t show consistency in ULM. ULM has to be consistent in what it is as a university.
It’s confusing for those who want to attend ULM or who have previously attended ULM. I have met many alumni who still call ULM “NLU” because they either don’t want to acknowledge the change of name or they don’t understand the purpose of changing the name.
ULM’s constant rebranding is similar to when a pre-teen goes through a “phase.” There’s so much inconsistency in the teen’s behavior you never know what they like or what to say to them.
While rebranding can be a great thing, consistency is better. One example of consistency is Harvard’s logo. Harvard’s logo has been kept almost identical to the shield that was created in 1843.
Another reason rebranding needs to stop is for the sake of those who are students, faculty and staff of ULM. In 2006, the ULM Mascot committee suggested Warhawks as the mascot.
This stuck immediately and we now have Ace the Warhawk who comes in on the Ace mobile. But if you haven’t noticed, Ace is slowly disappearing from the ULM apparel.
Instead of the Ace’s face all over t-shirts, it’s instead becoming more about the Warhawk fighter plane. The Warhawk face in the new logo looks more like the face of a Warhawk airplane than the iconic Ace.
This is super confusing. Are we airplanes? Are we birds? I don’t mind being an airplane or a bird. I just want to know what my mascot is supposed to be.
Two important factors of branding are the quality and consistency. While ULM has created great quality, it is now time to be consistent in the brand.
According to Lucidpress, brands that are consistently presented are three to four times more likely to experience brand visibility.
The more consistent ULM is with their logos, the more likely people will start to take notice.
If ULM really wants to beat out rivals like Louisiana Tech and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, marketing-wise then they will need to stay consistent with who they are now. ULM already has amazing academic features, quality in teaching and logo as well as many other features. Now, ULM just needs to get a better consistency in their branding.