How to manage one of Vanderbilt’s most important assets: its brand

Vanderbilt V logoVanderbilt University’s name and reputation represent one of the most widely recognized and respected brands in the country and, increasingly, the world. The Vanderbilt brand is one of the university’s most valuable assets, so it is important that all members of the Vanderbilt community understand how and when Vanderbilt’s name and logo should be used.

Questions about the use of the Vanderbilt name and logo most often come from external businesses and organizations for which an association with Vanderbilt would be beneficial—for example, a faculty or staff member being asked to provide a favorable quote about their use of a product or service for a news release or news story generated by an external company. But, under the university’s Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy, any use of Vanderbilt’s name and logo by an outside business or organization that implies endorsement or affiliation is prohibited.

Specific language regarding the university’s position can be found in Article II, Section D of the policy that also extends to images of the name and logo—for example, a photo where the Vanderbilt name or logo is visible—and to Vanderbilt faculty or staff being pictured or photographed in a way that implies endorsement.

Questions about the use of Vanderbilt’s name and logo outside of the university should be directed to the Trademark Licensing Office, the Office of Conflict of Interest and Commitment Management, or in the case of a news release or news story, to University News and Communications. Guidelines for appropriate use can also be found here.

Violations of Vanderbilt’s policy can result in the university taking action to have the outside company cease and desist with any promotional and marketing efforts that imply endorsement by the university.