As of 1 October, Wageningen UR has a new corporate image for stationery. That means new corporate image templates for your computer, new business cards, different headed paper and new envelopes. A justified amendment to the corporate identity? Or a waste of time and money?
'The changes to the corporate image make the corporate brand more recognizable. It will project the slogan - for quality of life - more clearly and unambiguously, including on the sub-brands' headed paper. The business cards are now only being produced in English because of Wageningen UR's international character, and they all have the slogan on the back. The different design for the second page onwards for letters has been abolished and we will be printing double sided. What is more, we have made huge cuts in the number of different envelopes, which will mean substantial savings. The changes mean the costs for stationery featuring the corporate image will fall from 100 thousand euros to fifty thousand euros a year. The business cards have also become cheaper.'
Marcel Zwietering, Professor of Food Microbiology:
'I am really pleased with our corporate image; it has an attractive, professional look. And the new corporate image means we have Wageningen University back in our logo rather than AFSG. The internal organizational structure does not work as a brand and is only relevant within the confines of our own organization. Wageningen University is a brand I am happy to promote. I have no complaints.'
Hanneke van Ommeren, Secretary at Biometris (PSG):
'We are having to reinstall all kinds of templates on the computer. That costs some effort and we haven't got round to it yet. The new paper and the double window envelopes have been delivered. We are now slightly more recognizable as a group as you can see where the letter comes from in the upper window.
'This is the third time I have been through this, and all the leftover paper is just thrown away. I am sure it will be recycled but it still makes me think 'there goes another rainforest'. OK, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but even so. Apart from that, we just go with the flow following whatever decisions are taken.'
Marcel Zwietering, Professor of Food Microbiology:
'It is a lot of work to change all the lectures and presentations so that they are in the new corporate image. Many of my colleagues are wondering what it's all for and are not putting in the effort for these changes. I have the impression that Communications doesn't realize how much work this is. That's why they shouldn't change the corporate image too often. This is really being imposed on us by Communications. Everyone has to do this and that. We are being forced too much in a particular direction and that is not a good idea. Our mission is to carry out teaching and research, not to listen to all those orders coming from Communications. It is better to persuade people rather than to force them and our corporate image is so stylish, it sells itself.'
Lisette Bourquin, Secretary at Integrated Water Resources Management (Alterra):
'The new corporate image is supposed to be mainly about substantial savings but I think the implementation hasn't been properly thought out. For example, the old envelopes had a self-adhesive strip. Now we have to lick or stick down the envelopes ourselves. That is not much of a problem for one or two envelopes but we also send out mail shots consisting of five hundred letters. Someone will have to seal each one of those separately. We don't have the time for that and it is tedious work. We are now investigating whether we can outsource the sealing to the central postal services, but that would undo some of the cost savings.
'And the headed paper has changed. You now no longer need to use pre-printed paper for a letter on the colour printer. That is pretty convenient. But we have also been given paper that already has the logo on as not everyone has a colour printer. But we've got one so we don't need that paper. Incidentally, the new headed paper looks cheap. The paper and envelopes with the blue bar were much smarter for sending to clients.'
Rogier de Jong, PhD student at Isric:
'A new corporate image? I associate that with how you present yourself to the outside world: the website, presentations, new formats. I haven't had any information about where I can find it and what I'm supposed to do now. I did get an e-mail that said I had to enter my name. I haven't really noticed anything else.
'New settings for Word? Now that you mention it, I did have some problems recently because I had to change my settings again. But I didn't make the connection with the new corporate image.'
Elisa Salentijn, Corporate image project manager:
'One thing people are not pleased with is that there is a new default font on their computer screen, Verdana 8.5. People are complaining that the letters are too small. I am going to look into whether we set the default screen display to be larger. And yes, people will indeed have to throw away all the old headed paper and envelopes. We notified everyone in advance to make sure there wouldn't be much paper in stock by 1 October. I have no idea how much paper has been thrown away. We haven't had any requests for extra containers for the old stationery. There have only been a few complaints.'