The leaves on the trees are changing colour and there’s an autumnal nip in the air, which can only mean one thing. School is well and truly back! As the dust settles after freshers week and students settle in to the new term, now is a great time to consider incorporating personalised school badges as a way to build a sense of community and foster connections between students, staff and alumni. Custom badges can also help bring in additional revenue for your university. In this post, we explore a few creative ways that you can use badges to kick-start the new term on the right foot this year.
Welcome New and Returning Students
Custom badges are a firm favourite among people of all ages. Many people collect button or pin badges to adorn their clothing, hats and backpacks. This includes university students. Today, custom badges are designed with tremendous artistry and high-quality designers and manufacturers are able to create exact replicas of university emblems and symbols. At the start of a new term, custom badges are a welcome and effective (and very low-cost) way to greet new students to your campus.
At Rocket Badge, many of our university clients tell us that a small gift, like a custom badge, sets a warm and friendly tone with new students from their very first day. One idea is to gift a badge as part of a welcome package when a student arrives on campus. Or, your university could ask staff to hand them out to all new students on the first day of a large first-year class. To make the gift-giving a little more engaging, the lecturer could ask all new students to introduce themselves in exchange for receiving the welcome gift.
Don’t forget about your returning students! Returning students will also appreciate a small token. Every term or year, you could design a new badge that incorporates the graduation year or a different colour scheme or shape. Students that receive a badge every term or year would, by graduation day, have a special collection worthy of display. One creative idea is to add a “gaming” or competitive element and let every class submit and vote on their favourite designs for that particular term or year.
Build a Sense of Community
Many students live on campus at their university. It can sometimes be quite an adjustment, even for returning students who are accustomed to living in halls during the academic year. Custom badges, while small in stature, can be used to help smooth the transition and build a sense of community and belonging for these students.
One great idea we’ve heard of is to design custom badges for every building or floor and gift these to student residents on move-in day. When students are out and about, the badges are a great key to help them recognise and get to know their fellow residents.
Custom badges can also encourage students to connect with and recognise lecturers and departments. Lecturers with 5, 10 or 15 or more years of experience could receive special badges as a gift, or you could design unique themed badges for every department.
For example, a literature department could have a badge shaped like a book or a science department could have their name customised on a badge in the shape of lab equipment. The possibilities here are truly endless, and our expert designers at Rocket Badge are known to get pretty creative – we’d love to hear your ideas and brainstorm some creative options to welcome students and engage your staff and departments.
Take it from us and our 25-plus years of experience: Custom badges are a great way to generate additional income for your university. Many universities sell merchandise on-site at gift shops; others sell these items online via digital stores or websites. Either way, customised badges are a great way to generate a little additional revenue whilst building a sense of community and pride.
One idea is to encourage your various departments to get involved with custom merchandise to raise money for their specific programmes. At your next staff meeting, raise the idea and see if any departments are interested. For example, a literature department could sell literary book pins to raise funds for some much-needed resources or to support an upcoming trip. To make it even more fun, consider pitting two departments against one another to see who can sell more badges and raise more money. That might make it more fun and profitable!
If your goal is to sell these items to generate revenue for your university, be sure to think about how you will package and display them. With most items, you can add custom backing cards or presentation boxes for a little touch of luxury as well as more space for additional content about your uni.
Foster Team Pride
Many university sports teams are responsible for raising additional funds to support expenses like equipment, clothing, competitions and travel. Sports team badges are a great way to raise a little extra money.
You could create personalised school badges or pins that feature your sports team name or emblem and sell these in your uni shop, online and at games. Players and fans alike will appreciate the opportunity to wear these in support of their favourite team and player.
And don’t forget about special award badges for your players. A great way to recognise your athletes, is through special badges, medals or pins. These could be awarded in honour of a particularly good match or a “best play”, to the most improved player of a term or they could be gifted to all graduating athletes after their last game or match.
As the weather turns and students across the UK head back for a new term, consider adding custom badges to kick-start the school year on a positive note. Personalised school badges can help you build a positive culture and good memories at your institution, and they can also bring in a little extra money for various academic departments or sports teams.
Please get in touch with us today. We’d love to share more great examples of how universities were able to get the most out of low-cost, personalised school badges.