New tagline to represent academics

This banner is one of many University Communications will be placing around campus in an attempt to phase out the old academic tagline, Your World to Explore. || Austin Ramsey/The News
This banner is one of many University Communications will be placing around campus in an attempt to phase out the old academic tagline, Your World to Explore. || Austin Ramsey/The News

This banner is one of many University Communications will be placing around campus in an attempt to phase out the old academic tagline, Your World to Explore. || Austin Ramsey/The News

The academic tagline of Murray State, Your World to Explore, is being phased out and in its place, requiring about a year of transitioning, will be Take Your Place.

In February of 2009, University Communications created focus groups consisting of faculty, staff and students and conducted research that involved interviewing more than 300 people. The research led to the rebranding of the University.

From the data collected came the creation of the We Are Racers (WAR) statement and the Your World to Explore tagline. Now, almost four years later, University Communications is releasing the newer tagline.

The phasing out of Your World to Explore will be gradual, according to University Communications, and will minimally affect the University financially, as recent budget concerns have been a hot topic on campus since early last year.

Once Your World to Explore is replaced, Take Your Place and the WAR statement will co-exist.

The WAR statement will reflect the spirit side of the University – athletics and campus organizations – and Take Your Place will represent the academic side of the institution.

Catherine Sivills, assistant vice president of University Communications, said the original intent of the rebranding in 2009 was to consolidate the University’s image. At that time, the University had about 55 unique logos.

“Your World to Explore resonated well with the generation of students coming to Murray State,” she said. “We have always intended to evolve the brand as we go along.”

Sivills said University Communications had conducted research that suggested Generation Z, the generation of people born from the early 2000s to the present, wants a fresher image. She said those students want to know what makes them unique to their predecessors.

“Take Your Place messaging allows us to share stories about our alumni who have taken their place in life and how our students can take their place in life if they choose Murray State,” she said. “We know students have a choice, and we want them to know that our focus is helping them take their place in whatever they have a passion for.”

While Sivills said she is excited about the transition, she said the process would take time.

“We don’t have the budget to wipe out Your World to Explore,” she said. “So it’s going to take a year or two to phase in Take Your Place.”

She said concerns had arisen around the idea that University materials with the old line would still be acceptable, but when a stack of letterheads, for example, would need replacing, replacements would be ordered with the new tagline.

Sivills said it was important for Murray State to know University Communications would continue conducting surveys and research in order to communicate a brand meaningful to students.

“We believe Take Your Place insinuates the personalization offered and the excellent atmosphere Murray State provides,” she said.

Fred Dietz, director of Enrollment Management, said he thinks the tagline will be a great centerpiece for the University’s communication to prospective students.

“It can be used in so many fashions, such as pointing out our traditions and student spirit or demonstrating how successful our graduates are in the marketplace,” he said.

He said there are so many choices and options for students to find their place at Murray State and to become a member of the University family.

“Students can take their place in our traditions, organizations, clubs and academics and discover all that Murray State has to offer,” he said. “I think it provides students with a sense of belonging.”

When asked about the change in taglines – the transition from Your World to Explore to Take Your Place – Bonnie Higginson, vice president of Academic Affairs, said she had concerns that individuals might have a negative reaction when they hear those three words, but she was confident in the University’s ability to present the tagline appropriately.

“When put into the proper context, it can make a powerful tagline,” she said. “Those three words alone are a bit problematic to me, but I know University Communications will work to ensure it is put in the right context.”

Terry Holmes, chair of the marketing department, said the theory behind the integrated marketing communications is that the organization is speaking with one voice and that too-frequent changes may mean that those in various units are not doing so. He said when frequent changes happen, the message to the various audiences can become confused and weaker.

“A public educational institution is not the same as a product brand, which might have some slight change periodically to freshen it up,” he said. “Such a change would depend on the pace of change within the brand’s industry, competitive changes and other variables.”

However, Sivills said the original tagline was intended to be used for only two years before it was replaced, following a format not rare to univerities across the nation. Instead, due to budget concerns and the University’s keeness toward it, the original line was kept for four years.

Story by Chris Wilcox, Chief Copy Editor.