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Douglas College rebrands itself
When everyone knows your name that may be a good thing in a bar, but it's not if they don't know what you are if you're a post-secondary institution.
That's the conclusion Douglas College came to a couple of years ago, when it went around asking what people know about the school.
"The familiarity of the name was high, but they struggled to describe anything beyond that. They knew nothing much about the college," said Dave Taylor, the post-secondary institution's director of marketing and communications.
So for 2012, Douglas College decided to revitalize its brand so potential students would take a look at it. The college started by talking with students and staff to figure out how better to portray itself in the community.
"We took a good look at ourselves," said Taylor. "The core message is do what you love and be good at it. And Douglas College is one of the best places in the country to help you figure that out."
He said one of the strongest messages from students was that Douglas provided a friendly, encouraging environment. "It's a tight-knit community that's very supportive."
They took the 'do' part of 'do what you love' to heart, since the verb is part of the college's name. For those that do want to set themselves up for university, or do want to upgrade their education.
"It's part of our name. We're also an applied institution. You get a lot of hands-on experience, maybe more so than you would at a university institution," said Taylor. "We wanted to really emphasize that in our work."
Even though enrolment at Douglas is growing and making it difficult to find enough room for everyone, especially at the New Westminster campus, the college has its eye on the future with its new campaign to attract more students.
"You've got to look at the demographics that are changing. You've got fewer and fewer Grade 12s graduating. It will be diminishing over time, so when students look for options for post-secondary they understand what we can offer," said Taylor.
The rebranding also includes a new stylized logo.
"We needed to redo a lot of the signage at Douglas College, particularly here at the New Westminster campus. We thought if we're going to change the signage anyway we thought why not change the logo," said Taylor. "It looked dated, and that came up a lot of times in our research. The old logo didn't hold any meaning for anyone."
The new one has three layers—DO-UG-LAS—with the O, U and A on top of each other in what Taylor said resembles a person, something that is core to the Douglas College experience, he said. "We literally wanted to put a student in the middle of the logo."
He added that so far the new logo and campaign has been received an excellent response. "There was a real appetite for change."