Established in 1966 as Ontario’s first community college, Centennial College today proudly unveils its newest brand platform and narrative: “Be Ready.” It’s the product of a broad audience research effort that engaged Centennial’s highly diverse domestic and international students, alumni, faculty and prospective students.
“In the past, the majority of communications from Centennial has focused on our offerings more than the institution itself, and as a result there was not always a clear ‘Why choose Centennial’ response,” says Bruce Williams, Centennial’s Director, Marketing and Creative Services. “By shifting our focus from one of function to one of aspiration, we are able to connect with prospective students on an emotional level and give them a sense of meaning behind their choice.”
The bold declaration compels students to be ready to reach their potential and be ready to succeed – no matter where they come from or what they’re pursuing. Centennial pledges to give learners the unique skills, experience and perspective they’ll need to set themselves apart from the rest. This includes innovative, industry-leading programming; unmatched opportunities to contribute to both the local and global community; unique leadership and life skills training; and the ongoing opportunity to stay competitive with upskilling programs and micro-credentials.
“From early on in this journey, it was clear what made Centennial unique. There is a deep commitment to giving students not just the technical skills to get the job, but also the life skills to become successful individuals who stand out. That’s true readiness,” says Laura Davis-Saville, Chief Creative Strategist at RAIN 43, Centennial’s agency of record.
Unique offerings like the Centennial Leadership Academy, Global Citizenship and Equity Curriculum, enriching co-op placements, and upskilling programming give Centennial a point of differentiation – evidence that the college goes beyond just technical skills to support the art of living a fulfilling, successful life.
There’s also room for a little humour. The Be Ready narrative can be augmented with more language to promote specific areas of study, such as the college’s culinary school. In one example, the baking programs use the tagline: Be Ready to Rise.
Centennial College will begin rolling out its new branding this month in targeted online advertising and in limited print and broadcast media.