College re-branding: principal David Dodd explains the change

THE following is a transcript of college principal David Dodd s speech earlier this morning (Wednesday): Good morning everyone. Thank you for coming along today and welcome to the place that in around ten minutes time will be formerly known as North De

THE following is a transcript of college principal David Dodd's speech earlier this morning (Wednesday):

"Good morning everyone. Thank you for coming along today and welcome to the place that in around ten minutes time will be 'formerly known as North Devon College/East Devon College'.

"This college has been on an incredible journey in the last few years. North Devon College was labelled 'outstanding' when Ofsted inspected us in 2006 and everything we have done since then has added to that success.

"We have a vision of being an outstanding college at the heart of an outstanding learning community, economically, culturally and socially.

"We have seen exam results for learners improve in academic and vocational areas.

"The numbers of learners of all ages that we work with has grown dramatically.

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"We have significantly increased provision of higher education, giving people greater access to degrees on their doorsteps.

"And we work with almost a thousand businesses - not just in Devon but nationally and internationally.

"We have moved way beyond the confines of simply being a 'technical' or 'further education' college."

"Following our successful merger with East Devon College, in 2008, we reach 20,000 learners a year - all over the country - and that number continues to increase.

"We are a business with a turnover of up to �40 million per year, employing almost 1,200 staff in locations across north, east and mid Devon, as well as north Cornwall.

"But despite this incredible success, we remain something of a well-kept secret.

"The way we present ourselves has been completely out of step with our values, our beliefs and our exciting shared vision of the future.

"All of that changes today.

"Today marks the end of a long, difficult but enjoyable process of soul searching for this college.

"Working with Interbrand, our journey began in February this year.

"Hundreds of students, staff and stakeholders have been involved in consultations to help work out who we are, what we stand for and how we want to realise our vision.

"Off the back of that and guided by expert hands, we have ripped up our existing approach to marketing and explored the idea of branding as not just logos and things that a marketing team do.

"We know that our brand is the essence of everything our College stands for, the best of everything our students and staff have achieved.

"And we can articulate that in a single idea: Opening Eyes

"We are about instilling people with aspiration and empowering them to achieve anything and everything they set their mind to.

"Opening eyes is the experience that we deliver to our stakeholders: our learners, our staff and our partners.

"It is the idea which supports our vision and mission.

"We believe in bringing out the very best in people through being open and responsive, stimulating fresh thinking and building both confidence and ambition.

"Our personality is neatly summarised in three key words: inspiring, bright and challenging.

"And a personality like that needs a name that lives up to those values.

'North Devon College' and 'East Devon College' are limiting and inaccurate.

"To build a single, cohesive organisation with the same values and offering the same opportunities, the merger had to be seen as a meeting of equals, so both existing names have to go.

"We need a name that will keep us firmly in touch with our roots in Devon but give us the flexibility to go anywhere and do anything.

"And renaming gave us the unique opportunity to create a stand-alone name that didn't need descriptors like 'college' or 'Devon' to work.

"By being radical, we would have a name that creates a category of one.

"For the name to have local equity, it had to be generated from the staff and learners.

"In a series of language and naming exercises, we explored perceptions of Devon, of the colleges and its people. Around 200 people generated 400 different possible names.

"But ultimately, and overwhelmingly, one word - one name - emerged from the workshops.

"Our new name is: Petroc."

"It is a name with a rich history and an exciting future.

"St Petroc names the Devon flag and has strong historical links to Cornwall and Somerset, too.

"On its own, the name Petroc instantly redefines this heritage, transforming it into something contemporary - something timeless.

"Petroc is now, the times we're living in.

"Though ancient in origin, Petroc has the look and sound of a modern word. It could be coined today.

"And, having reinvented itself, Petroc is now redefining us.

"It's a bold and confident statement that may appear on its own or as part of our three line messaging structure.

"With our new name and reinvigorated sense of identity comes a whole new graphic style, with colours drawn from an abstract version of Devon's landscape.

"And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The guidelines Interbrand have created for us include everything from publication templates and photography styles to our tone of voice.

"Today is the start of us becoming Petroc. By September 2010, the way we look, behave and sound will have changed.

"Petroc is more than just the new name for North Devon College and East Devon College.

"It's much more than an exciting new look - they are just the icing on the cake.

"Our new brand demonstrates our ambition to reposition and raise the profile of our merged college.

"It's time for us to look, speak, and act like the success we are.

"We want to be recognised as the leaders in driving individual, regional and national success.

"This is a brave and exciting move for us and we have created a brand that is equally bold and exciting.

"North Devon College was recognised as 'outstanding' and Petroc will continue and extend that legacy, with our new brand and - most importantly - our learners at the heart of everything we do."

"There's so much to come on our journey towards becoming Petroc and - like our name - it won't be boring and you certainly shouldn't expect 'ordinary'.

"As we realise our vision of being an outstanding college at the heart of an outstanding learning community we will go forward as Petroc: developing leading edge facilities; expanding our curriculum; introducing exciting new ways of learning; and working with partners and other stakeholders to deliver the very best in teaching and learning.

"This is not just about us - Petroc is all about you.

"Ladies and gentlemen; welcome to Petroc.

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