With almost 50 years of history as a vocational school, NorQuest College implemented a major restructuring in 2012 and identified a need to rebrand itself. The College needed to change who they are and develop a value proposition that would resonate with both its current and future stakeholders. There was strong affection for the old NorQuest and this resistance to change needed to be addressed.
Entro and Stormy Lake Consulting worked closely together to meet the challenge of defining a unified brand platform and visual identity system that clearly aligned itself with the new strategic plan; that communicated the evolved vision of NorQuest; and that would provide relevance and inspiration to its audiences.
OUR PROCESS INCLUDED:
- Audit of current brand positioning, messaging, current research and College strategies
- In-depth interviews with stakeholders (Board of Directors, College Visionaries, Faculty Deans, Government, Donors / Community Stakeholders
- Dialogic Research (our proprietary process) with more than 80 participants representing faculty, staff, students, donors, alumni, government, community organizations, businesses and the general public.
THE BRAND SOLUTION
The strategic heart of the brand model was the promise that NorQuest College “maximizes opportunities that others don’t see.” Entro created a strong and differentiating brand identity to reflect this promise with our visual identity, tagline and design system creating a cohesiveness and clarity of communication. The symbol is a modern crest made up of four colourful forms. Its graphic elements communicates the idea of: student-centred (circle / person); diversity (colour); guidance / support (star); growth (leaves / book). The canti-levered or staggered typographic configuration cradles the symbol and creates a unique and modern signature system that is adaptable for future growth.
Entro developed comprehensive guidelines and templates (designing all College materials from Viewbooks to banners) focusing on consistency across all applications yet, providing a flexibility to build a structure that could evolve, as required. Our design system has provided a tool for NorQuest that communicates and builds their brand with differentiation, clarity and consistency.
For the internal brand launch, we developed a “Brand Charter” that described the NorQuest brand values and was signed in real time by faculty and staff, generating engagement and excitement. Today, every new faculty or staff hire must agree to sign the brand charter before they can join NorQuest College.
An adaptable signature system was created which was both consistent yet flexible enough to work with NorQuest’s organizations, associations and foundation.
“We’ve created something really wonderful and meaningful for people and it’s definitely bringing the change we were hoping to see.” Dallas Stoesz, NorQuest College
Internal research revealed 91% support for the new brand – a tremendous turnaround from the initial concerns and skepticism that faculty and staff had for the new direction.
In February 2013 NorQuest College was honoured with CASE District VII Communications Award in the “Brand and Image Development / Identity Programs and Projects” category.
For more on NorQuest College, please see our case study.