Brand strategy – building a single KI brand

KI’s brand strategy is monolithic and devised to build a single brand: Karolinska Institutet. The KI brand is to represent the entire organisation and all its operational units. No project, unit, division or department may be perceived as having its own brand identity, which in effect means that it may not have its own logo or distinct name separating it from KI.

Risks of brand misuse

If staff and students deviate from the brand strategy, it will lead to a lack of clarity about the identity of the communicator. We risk compromising our ability to maintain our distinctiveness if sub-brands are created under the main brand. A cohesive communicator – KI – enhances the organisation’s total legitimacy.

Gains to be had by proper brand use

Gathering everything under one brand gives KI’s activities greater impact by strengthening communication and making it clearer and more recognisable. It also makes it easier to affect the associations that our target groups make with KI. All divisions, departments and projects at KI benefit from the correct use of the brand.

Employer brand

One important reason for maintaining a strong brand is the recruitment of new employees. The aspect of KI’s brand work that concerns the development, shaping and communication of KI as an employer is called the “employer brand” (arbetsgivarvarumärke), which rather than being its own brand, clarifies what KI offers as a workplace – our values, organisational culture and general goals.

The KI brand in collaborations

Before KI enters a collaboration in which the KI brand will be used, potential impacts on the brand must be described and assessed on the basis of three general questions:

  • What possible impact will the project have on the KI brand? 
  • Is the project in line with KI’s values?
  • Is the project of benefit to KI?

If the use of the KI brand in the collaboration is in line with KI’s values and of benefit to KI, its use shall be regulated in the related agreement.

License agreement

Although many agreement templates contain provisions on brand use, sometimes a specific licence agreement must be drawn up regulating the extent to which the counterparty may use the brand and how the KI and counterparty brands are to be exposed together. See “Profiling external brand with the KI logo and brand name" on the page ”Use of the KI brand name and logo". For collaborations entered into without an agreed right to expose each other’s brand, this shall be specified in a brand clause of the main collaboration agreement.

Legal Office

Contact the Legal Office to have a licence agreement drawn up.

Equal treatment principle

Since Karolinska Institutet is a national authority it is subject to the equal treatment principle, which means that KI is bound to treat everybody equally. This principle must be borne in mind when KI decides on letting external actors use our brand.

Exemptions from the brand strategy 

Exemptions from the brand strategy may be made at the discretion of the University Director only.