Masterbrand strategy

Built over 160 years of history, the University of Melbourne brand is arguably our greatest asset.

Research shows that our brand is the reason that students and staff, peers, partners and collaborators choose the University of Melbourne. The University’s brand creates a strong association between our offering and what our brand represents, to ensure what we offer is clearly and consistently differentiated from that of our competitors.

This is why the University has adopted a masterbrand approach to brand strategy.

On this page you will find information on:

  • What is a masterbrand?
  • Our brand architecture structure
  • Brand Decision Tree
  • Unique identities and official co-brands

What is a masterbrand?

In a masterbrand approach, the University of Melbourne logo and brand elements are the leading source of identity and meaning in all stakeholder communication.

  • The University’s masterbrand is used to maximise and leverage equity, loyalty and awareness across specific target markets and audiences.
  • The integrity of the University trademark is retained while the names of divisions and departments are still clearly communicated.
  • Co-branded logo lock ups and unique identities are created sparingly and in a considered way to ensure the strength of the masterbrand is not diluted.

While individual entities will always have their own names and ways of communicating their messages, the masterbrand will maximise our brand equity, ensuring loyalty across all our audiences and clearly differentiate us from other tertiary institutions.

Our brand architecture structure

Defining the brand levels that reinforce and support the University masterbrand

Masterbrand

Examples

  • Presents one single, overarching brand
  • Represents core academic entities
  • Represents core campus units and activities central to everything we do
  • Represents staff and student services and facilities

Includes all:

  • Faculties, schools and University departments (academic only)
  • University of Melbourne Research Centres (Institutional Centres)
  • Melbourne Interdisciplinary Research Institutes
  • University service providers, internal activities, projects or initiatives (eg Advancement, libraries, University Services, clinics)
  • Research projects/activities solely funded by the University of Melbourne
  • University of Melbourne-funded Research Infrastructure Platforms
 

Official co-branded identities

Examples

  • Visual combination of the University of Melbourne trademark with one or more entities
  • Represented by an official logo ‘lock-up’ design element together with the University’s masterbrand
  • Exist only in relation to and because of the University of Melbourne
  • Complement the masterbrand
  • Are independent organisations with distinct identities
  • Align with core values of the University of Melbourne
  • Are created sparingly and with a sound business case for the need to co-brand
  • Exist to make the University of Melbourne's parent brand more relevant to new or similar customer segments
 

Independent brands/corporate/unique identities

Examples

  • Separation from University of Melbourne masterbrand as absolutely required for effective outcomes
  • Has clear market presence and clearly defined target audience
  • Has its own ABN, Pty. Ltd.
  • Created sparingly and in conjunction with MOUs, contracts or agreements that outline a clear business case for the need for a unique identity

Brand Decision Tree

Where do you fit within the brand architecture portfolio?

Use the Brand Decision Tree

  • Find out more about how to use the University of Melbourne masterbrand/logo
  • Find out if you’re eligible to co-brand with the University of Melbourne masterbrand/logo
  • Find out if you’re eligible to create a new corporate logo/unique identity
  • Find out if you can use the University of Melbourne masterbrand/logo to promote your club, group or organisation

Use the interactive Decision Tree below by answering the questions in the animation. The Decision Tree is best viewed in full screen (use the arrows at the bottom of the box).

Download Brand Decision Tree

Brand Brief

Please contact us if you require further information or are unsure where you fit within the Brand Decision Tree and visit the Governance page for more information.

Note: This decision tree should be read in conjunction with the University of Melbourne Branding Policy (MPF1193) and the definitions outlined in University Structural Reference Terms taken from University of Melbourne governing documents: Council Regulation, University Statute, Vice-Chancellor Regulation, Centres and Institutes for Research and Research Training Policy (MPF1020) (currently under review), Commercial Activities Guidelines, Commercial Activities and Joint Undertaking Procedure (MPF1099),Commercial Activities and Joint Undertakings Policy (MPF1098). More information.

Unique identities and co-brands

Official unique identities

Building multiple brands is resource intensive. It takes time, money and energy to build a brand successfully. Understanding your audience and targeting them effectively with appropriate content and messaging whilst leveraging the power of the University of Melbourne brand is a more effective way to get your message to your audience.

Unless you have prior approval from the Brand Governance Panel, you must not create a new logo, word mark or alternate identity that deviates from the approved University of Melbourne masterbrand.

External Relations can help you target your audience, utilising the design system to create material that is specific to your business needs while leveraging the strength of the University’s masterbrand and using core design elements.

Individual areas will still be differentiated through visual elements, enabling you to effectively target your audience while presenting a consistent brand.

  • Under the University of Melbourne’s masterbrand strategy, only a very small number of entities at the University operate under an official unique identity.
  • All authorised unique identities are approved by the Brand Governance Panel in conjunction with the Brand Policy (MPF1193).
  • Once approved, the owner of the unique identity must apply for trademark registration via the University of Melbourne’s Legal and Risk team.
  • Approved unique identities must also have their own brand guidelines which outline how to appropriately display their logo and accurately represent the University of Melbourne’s role within the new identity. These guidelines should be registered with External Relations.

Use the Brand Decision Tree to see where you fit within the approved brand architecture and if you’re eligible to create a unique identity. If you believe your business entity has a case for development of a unique identity, please submit a request to our Brand team and we’ll work with you to determine a solution that best meets yours, and the University of Melbourne’s, strategic objectives.


Official co-branded identities

Co-brands are external services, engagement activities or partnership enterprises that have permission from the Brand Governance Panel to maintain a clearly identified partnership presence with the University of Melbourne.

Co-branded logos are always locked up in the same way: with the University of Melbourne logo on the left-hand side for horizontal lock-ups, or on the top for vertical lock-ups.

  • Under the University of Melbourne’s masterbrand strategy, only a very small number of entities at the University operate under an official co-brand arrangement.
  • All authorised co-brands are approved by the Brand Governance Panel in conjunction with the Brand Policy (MPF1193).
  • Once approved, the owner of the co-brand must apply for trademark registration via the University of Melbourne’s Legal and Risk team.
  • Approved co-brands have their own brand guidelines which outline how to appropriately display their logo with the University of Melbourne logo/trademark.
  • Once a co-brand has been approved by the Brand Governance Panel, guidelines will be provided to create a logo lock-up.
  • Approved official co-brands should use the University of Melbourne design system. Please seek advice from the Design team who can provide you with templates that incorporate your co-brand into the design system.

Use the Brand Decision Tree to see where you fit within the approved brand architecture and if you’re eligible to create a co-brand. If you believe your business entity has a case for development of a co-brand, please submit a request to our Brand team and we’ll work with you to determine a solution that best meets yours, and the University of Melbourne’s, strategic objectives.

Explore our brand

If you have any questions or queries about using the brand during this transition period, please contact the Brand team.