More than just a logo

A quick update: we have completed the research phase of this process, and Little & Company has moved on to the design phase. Thanks to everyone who commented on this blog, in the focus groups, and by contacting us directly.

We thought it might be helpful to post a little bit more about what a "brand" really is. This text from Little & Company's Web site does a good job of summing it up:

"The term 'brand' refers to the sum total of all the experiences people have with your organization. It is an emotional relationship with your many internal and external constituencies. Your organization has a brand whether you mean it to or not. But because that brand resides in the minds of others, you don't really own it. You can, however, manage it and drive its direction."

We will continue to keep you updated as the process moves forward. As always, feel free to contact us with questions or comments.

M3 examples

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Let's revisit our M3 vision once more - multidisciplinary, multicultural, model for engagement. What are some examples of how students, faculty, and staff in our college are putting these concepts into practice?

Our mark on the world

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During our focus groups, one question that elicited especially thoughtful responses was the following:

"If our college and the work that it does went away, what would the world be missing?"

Of course, the College of Education and Human Development is not going anywhere; this is just another way to get us thinking about who we are. What do you think?

How we are perceived

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How is the new College of Education and Human Development viewed by other colleges here at the University of Minnesota? What are we known for? How do we differ? What do we bring?

A few words about our College

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You've heard the new College's M3 vision: multidisciplinary, multicultural, model for engagement. What are two or three other words or short phrases you would use to describe the College, either as it is now or how you would like it to be in the future?

Driven to discover _______?

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If the University as a whole is "Driven to Discover," what are we--in this college--driven to discover? What is our own unique take on the University's overall point-of-view?

Our impact

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Today's questions:
For what would you like our College to be known? When our graduates go forth into the world, what do you hope they bring with them from their CEHD experience?

Progress update: Research moving forward

The research and discovery phase of this project is swiftly moving forward. Through conversations and other resources we have immersed our creative partner, Little & Company, in publications and information about and from the College's departments, centers, programs/fields of study, services, central efforts, and collaborations/partnerships with other units at the U and in the community. They have toured campus and the College's buildings, and have had a meeting with Dean Darlyne Bailey.

Focus group sessions have begun; a staff session was conducted Thursday afternoon, and another staff focus group was held Friday morning. A department chair focus group was held Friday afternoon. The remaining focus groups to occur in the next few weeks will be one with associate deans, two faculty groups, and three groups of students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional/licensure). Phone interviews are being conducted with alumni and members of the College's advisory council.

The focus group participants represent the range of units and functions within the College. The sessions last 90 minutes and participants have found the hands-on activities and conversations enjoyable. If you are contacted in the next week to participate in one, please try to make the time as these are difficult to schedule considering the tight time frame and everyone's busy schedules.

The last focus group session will take place April 9, ending the research phase. The next step is that research results will be pulled together and distilled into a brand essence. From there a visual and verbal vocabulary will be developed -- ways to talk about the College and the framework we use to portray the College visually. A major deliverable of this is what's called a visual identity system. This system and its accompanying deliverables is outlined in the original RFP, posted below this entry and downloadable as a Word doc.

Because of the tight timeframe on the research phase, we'd like to encourage you to take the opportunity to highlight and share the work that you value by commenting on this blog. Start with this post on Our strengths, create a For-It's-That statement, and look for more questions to come.

Not every question will spark something, but feel free to comment on any of the entries at any time. It's a chance to talk about the great work you do in your unit, department, program, center, collegewide committee, office, initiative etc., which together comprise the work of the College -- outreach efforts in the community, international partnerships making an impact in the world, groundbreaking research, inspired teaching, what our graduates bring to their fields and to the world.

Speak from your heart. Jot down some thoughts, it doesn't need to be formal. Nudge your neighbors to do the same. Thank you.

About the project: Scope of work and deliverables

Many terms can be applied to this project -- brand identity system, brand essence, visual identity system, personality, experience, visual and verbal vocabulary, how we talk about and present the College to the world, etc. -- but one way to explain the project is through the scope of work outlined in the RFP.

What follows are two highlights from the RFP: why and what we have asked Little & Co. to do, that College staff will carry forward; and the full excerpt from the RFP on background, scope of work/project summary, and evaluation criteria.

Our strengths

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There are important conversations happening here, and we've been sharing your input with Little & Co. We appreciate your feedback, and still have a lot of questions for you! We'll be posting often with a series of questions that we'd like you to think about and respond to.

Today's questions:
What are our strengths? What does the College contribute to the University and to the community that other colleges do not? What do we do especially well?

Recent Comments

  • Ross Moen: A brief phrase that encompasses much of what is done read more
  • Kristeen Bullwinkle: When I think of multidisciplinary examples, I think of youth read more
  • Misty Sato: I would like our mark on the world to be read more
  • Robert Jorczak: I worked for a long time in and for corporations read more
  • Nance Longley: Driven to discover the best ways for each of us read more
  • Connie Burkhart: We are driven to discover how a high-quality life can read more
  • Connie Burkhart: When I tell colleagues at the University that my department read more
  • Rebecca Noran: It is a difficult question considering what's happened the past read more
  • Bob Utke: Whatever we choose, I think it needs to be as read more
  • Victoria Neau: This is a difficult question to ask of those whose read more

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