Community feedback and next steps on the movement brand proposal

Originally published at:

Summary: We want your help with a voluntary, OPT-IN design process for movement branding. Please join the in-depth discussion group, or watch for updates on Meta-Wiki.

Hello all,

After 4 months of community consultation, spanning dozens of affiliates, several mailing lists, community conferences, and Meta-Wiki, I am pleased to share a summary of feedback on the proposed 2030 movement brand strategy [1].

From more than 319 comments, representing 150 individual contributors and 63 affiliates, we assessed 6 major themes in feedback:

  1. Reducing confusion 
  2. Protecting reputation 
  3. Supporting sister projects 
  4. Addressing (legal, governmental) risks 
  5. Supporting movement growth 
  6. The process of change 

Please visit our feedback summary page to learn more [2]. You will see examples of comments within each section, along with a rough indication of how many of the comments that we received were related to each theme. 

The comments sometimes contradict one another, showing that across our wide movement’s experience, different points of view are common (and a sign of health!). To visualize these tensions, we have created “polarity maps” which are used to help visualize how different arguments coexist in tension with each other.

Ultimately, the comments provided from you all are very thoughtful and useful guidance on what is needed to make our movement’s branding successful. One can read the 6 themes above as “criteria” for assessing branding systems. 


I would like to thank the organizers of Iberoconf, Wikipedia Education Summit, and the Wikimedia Summit for inviting us to hold discussions during their sessions. I would also like to thank my colleagues Elena Lappen, Samir Elsharbaty, and Blanca Flores who conducted extensive parts of this consultation. To the hundreds of people, and dozens of affiliates, thank you for reviewing the proposal and offering your perspectives and insights. 

Next steps and staying involved

There is considerable support for the brand proposal and general appetite to improve our movement’s branding system. Further, we believe that critical feedback on the proposal offers direct guidance for precisely what branding must do to be successful for our movement. We have shared these insights and our proposed continuance with the Board of Trustees, who approved continuing these efforts.

Acting on community insights, we will be collaborating on formal brand naming, visual identity, and brand system design that will use “Wikipedia” as the central reference point. The resulting system will be OPT-IN for affiliates.

This design process will be guided by a “brand network” – a group of volunteers who would like to continue advising on brand during this consultation. Dozens of people have already volunteered, and we invite you to join the group. We will use a group on Wikimedia Space to host this discussion and the group will be closed to allow candid discussions and room for iterations. EVERYONE IS INVITED TO JOIN [3]. If you do not want to commit to the in-depth, longer term discussions that will be happening within the brand network group, we will still be tracking comments left on the project’s Meta-Wiki page [4]. Furthermore, all important ideas and updates originating from the brand network discussion will be shared publicly to mailing lists and Meta-Wiki.

The development of this proposed identity system will take approximately 6 months. As stated, regular updates will be shared to mailing lists, Wikimedia Space, and Meta-Wiki [4]. Please engage us where you are most comfortable! Once complete, community groups will have the power to decide if/when they opt in to using the new system.





[3] and click the gray
“Request” button. When your request is approved, you will be able to see
and access the brand network discussion category on the Discuss Space main



Zack McCune (he/him)Director of Brand Wikimedia Foundation

Originally posted by Zack McCune to Wikimedia-l on 5 September 2019.

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FYI, there has been significant discussion on the mailing list regarding this proposal, which can be seen here:

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There are also some important questions about measurement methodology here:


While siting in airport in Istanbul (where Wikipedia is blocked), I noticed that * is not.

Not directly branding related, but unifying our projects under would block Commons, Meta and Outreach, too.


There is a Request for Comment on Meta about this rebranding, currently it’s not that well accepted by those, who should have the last word, i.e. the communities.

Now there is obviously even a huge amount of money given away to some private marketing company for this imho futile enterprise, money that should be spent for software maintenance wanted by the authors that is constantly neglected by the devs despite lot’s of requests by the communities. Software maintenance is the coer business of the WMF, until that doesn’t work properly, everything else is just irrelevant. ~~~~

There is overwhelming opposition by the community to this ill-communicated enterprise. Since the community is the base and most important part of the Wikiverse, this whole project will probably have to be abandoned, how easy will it be to cancel the contracts with external parties?

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According to the measures invented by the WMF themselves only 0.18% of the informed user agree with the decision to rebrand Wikimedia as Wikipedia, so this whole episode has to be over asap. No more money should be burned for this futile and ill-conceived enterprise.