:: Apologies for cross-posting to multiple mailing lists. We want to ensure we spread the word about this opportunity to as many people as possible. ::

Hi all,

We are writing today to invite you to be a part of a community review on Wikimedia brand research and strategy.

Recently, the Wikimedia Foundation set out to better understand how the world sees Wikimedia and Wikimedia projects as brands.[1] We wanted to get a sense of the general visibility of our different projects, and evaluate public support of our mission to spread free knowledge.

We launched a global brand study to research these questions, as part of our planning toward our 2030 strategic goals.[2] The study was commissioned by the Board, carried out by the brand consultancy Wolff Olins, and directed by the Foundation’s Communications team.[3][4] It collected perspectives from the internet users of seven countries (India, China, Nigeria, Egypt, Germany, Mexico and the US) on Wikimedia projects and values.

The study revealed some interesting trends:

- Awareness of Wikipedia is above 80% in Western Europe and North America.

- Awareness of Wikipedia averages above 40% in emerging markets,[5] and is fast growing.

- There is awareness of other projects, but was significantly lower. For example, awareness of Wikisource was at 30%, Wiktionary at 25%, Wikidata at 20%, and Wikivoyage at 8%.

- There was significant confusion around the name Wikimedia. Respondents reported they had either not heard of it, or extrapolated its relationship to Wikipedia.

- In spite of lack of awareness about Wikimedia, respondents showed a high level of support for our mission.

Following from these research insights, the Wolff Olins team also made a strategic suggestion to refine the Wikimedia brand system.[6] The suggestions include:  

- Use Wikipedia as the central movement brand rather than Wikimedia.

- Provide clearer connections to the Movement projects from Wikipedia to drive increased awareness, usage and contributions to smaller projects.

- Retain Wikimedia project names, with the exception of Wikimedia Commons which is recommended to be shortened to Wikicommons to be consistent with other projects.

- Explore new naming conventions for the Foundation and affiliate groups that use Wikipedia rather than Wikimedia.

- Consider expository taglines and other naming conventions to reassert the connections between projects (e.g. “______ - A Wikipedia project”).  

This is not a new idea.[7][8]

By definition, Wikimedia brands are shared among the communities who give them meaning. So in considering this change, the Wikimedia Foundation is collecting feedback from across our communities. Our goal is to speak with more than 80% of affiliates and as many individual contributors as possible before May 2019, when we will offer the Board of Trustees a summary of community response.

We invite you to look at a project summary [9], the brand research [10], and the brand strategy suggestion [11] Wolff Olins prepared working with us.

For feedback, please add comments on the Community Review talk page [12] or email brandproject@wikimedia.org with direct feedback. You can also use either of these channels to request to join a group meeting.

We know this is big topic and we’re excited to hear from you!

- Zack McCune and the Wikimedia Foundation Communications department

[1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/2019/02/07/how-does-the-world-see-wikimedia-brands/

[2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20

[3] https://www.wolffolins.com/

[4] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Communications

[5] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Engagement/Defining_Emerging_Communities

[6] https://wikimediafoundation.org/2019/02/26/leading-with-wikipedia-a-brand-proposal-for-2030/

[7] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-May/029991.html

[8] https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File%3AStrengthening_and_unifying_the_visual_identity_of_Wikimedia_projects_-_a_step_towards_maturity_-_Wikimania_2007.pdf&page=56

[9] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Communications/Wikimedia_brands/2030_research_and_planning/project_summary

[10] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Global_Wikipedia_and_Wikimedia_Brand_Research_Report.pdf

[11] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_Wikimedia_brand_strategy_proposal_for_2030.pdf

[12] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Communications/Wikimedia_brands/2030_research_and_planning/community_review


Zack McCune (he/him)

Senior Global Brand Manager

Wikimedia Foundation