LETHBRIDGE – What Happens Next Matters Most. Those five words will define Lethbridge College moving forward after the college unveiled its new brand at an event on Wednesday, Sept. 12.
Brian Freeman, Manager of Marketing and Web Services, says they worked with an outside agency and internal people on a consultative process to come up with the slogan, which will also be anchored by a complimentary message of “Be Ready.”
“From the data we received, we were able to distill it down to something that was meaningful. We came down to five simple words that meant so much. But it was through research, research, research of our own internal people telling us what we knew, but just couldn’t articulate until we went through the process,” Freeman said.
‘Lethbridge College is dynamic, evolving, and growing. While it’s rooted in the land where it resides and the history it celebrates, it also is focused on being ready for the future – because for everything it has done, what it will do going forward is what truly matters. It’s an institution filled with people who dig deep, rise up and make a mark.’
That’s the feedback received from months of consultation with the college community and partners, and it’s those ideas that have formed the basis of Lethbridge College’s new brand campaign.
Freeman says for them, it’s authentic.
“We reached out and I think we did it the right way, we listened to our own people. Staff, faculty, students, community, donors. We listened to what’s important to them, and this campaign had to be relevant. How is the college relevant to their needs? Across the board I know we hit those fenceposts,” Freeman stated, adding it was meaningful, purposeful, and relevant to everyone.
The campaign visually captures authentic moments reflecting academic excellence, innovative programming, student life, and varsity and academic success – moments that Freeman refers to as the Lethbridge College experience.
Lethbridge College President and CEO Paula Burns told reporters when she first saw it, she knew that it was just going to resonate and touch everybody.
“Not only at the college, but our students and the community as well. What we did was really take a look and talk to everybody within our community and say, ‘who are we at the core?’ We have a fantastic vision of leading and transforming education in Alberta, but who are we and how are we going to do that,” Burns said.
As they talked to people, Burns says the strengths of who they are just came through during those conversations.
“We know who we are and where we’re placed on the land. The kind of program we have, and that we’re ready for the future. To be innovative, to be creative, to be part of our community and shape the future.”
McKim Communications Group, based out of Winnipeg, led the consultation process, collaborating with members of Lethbridge College’s Marketing department and key internal and external stakeholder groups.
While the college’s logo and colours – unveiled at the institution's 50th-anniversary celebrations in 2007 – will remain the same, elements of the new brand campaign and visual identity can already be seen on advertisements throughout the city and on the college’s website.
So, the question is, why now to unveil the new brand?
“It was interesting because the previous brand was about 10 years [old] which was still resonating and still felt good,” Burns continued. “At the same time, we knew that it wasn’t going to last forever, and it was time to say ‘OK, where are we now and what’s next.’”
For Freeman, it was the need to be relevant and differentiate themselves from other post-secondary institutions.
“For us, What Happens Next Matters Most really is a shared mantra communicating our purpose and our meaning. We have a purpose and a role in preparing students for success, be it for achieving the career of their dream or continuing on a pathway of lifelong learning. That’s what that shared mantra says, and it’s relevant and meaningful to students, staff, faculty, leadership, we all have a role,” Freeman said.
The brand will be integrated into all new materials produced by the college over the next year, and there’s a rather involved integrated media campaign for the new brand according to Freeman.
“It’ll be in traditional media, it’ll be online, it’ll be digital, and you’ll also see this locally. You’ll see it everywhere, on transit buses and shelters, wherever you are we’ll be there as we should be.”
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