Brand Architecture On A Complex Campus

Elisabeth Hoffmann

Elisabeth Hoffmann

Dr. Elisabeth Hoffmann has been Head of Corporate Communication and Press Relations at Technische Universität Braunschweig since 1996. 

She is the authorised representative of the Haus der Wissenschaft Braunschweig GmbH. From 2008 until 2016 she was head of German Universities Public Relations and Communication Officers Association (Bundesverband Hochschulkommunikation e.V.), representing 600 higher education communication officers.

She has an MA in Comparative Literature, German Studies and Communication Science from the University of Bonn.

Session introduction

The workshop will analyse approaches to brand architecture which an academic community can adopt.

Session in depth

The Technische Universität Braunschweig has been called the most decentralised University in the world, comprising 120 mostly autonomous institutes. The institution regularly generates new academic clusters, networks, alliances and centres, which bring particular brand challenges.

Until recently many of the old-established institutes of the university defined themselves as a brand of their own, with new logos uncoordinated and created within each new unit.  Corporate design is much more a matter of identity and internal policy than of mere design: when the university decided to rebrand, it became clear that the quality of the process management was the key to success rather than the design results. This required a comprehensive grasp of academic sensibilities, a comprehensive participation concept, maximum transparency and evidence-based explanation of each single step and decision; furthermore, the process raised the fundamental question of how a central communications team should best interact with decentralised units and their own communication officers.

The workshop will 

  • explore the process of creation and participation, and tensions between academic freedom and professional brand management
  • discuss an integrative corporate design development as one way to regain visibility, orientation and even a functioning workflow within the communication-jungle on campus.
  • analyse approaches to a brand architecture which an academic community can understand and adopt.