TRU pulled its new branding out of the coals Thursday with a message designed to inspire and to let prospective students fill in the blanks.
“Find Your TRU” was unveiled in a celebration that packed Student Street in Old Main Building at mid-morning, complete with hundreds of logos splashed on 750 reusable coffee cups, T-shirts and banners.
The new university brand comes after two years and an investment of $120,000 in researching and designing a new identity program to attract new students from all over the world.
Actually, the branding iron has been hot for some time with an international marketing campaign that included ads for the recent Star Wars screen premiere, banners across campus and promotions in specific recruitment markets such as Yellowknife and Fort McMurray.
“We actually consulted a lot of students and faculty,” said Lucy Gnanasihamany, associate vice-president, TRU marketing and communications, who chaired the rebranding committee.
They fielded about 1,000 responses and 6,000 comments during a year of consultation, answering the question, “What do you think are the greatest strengths of TRU?”
The committee partnered with a marketing agency, Vancouver’s Will Branding, and produced a strategy for narrowing down the possibilities. Sustainability was also a priority in the messaging.
Find Your TRU invites people to respond, to fill in the rest of the sentence.
“We believe everyone has the right to find their TRU potential,” Gnanasihamany said, adding that there's intended to be a lightheartedness to the theme as well.
"We've been waiting a long time for this day and we're here to celebrate," she told the crowd.
The slogan is intended to convey the promise of diverse pathways in realizing that potential, the essence of instilling collective confidence and attributes — purposeful, empowering, collaborative, open and visionary.
"Our brand advances TRU's strategies and priorities and will solidify our strong and distinct reputation," said Alan Shaver, TRU president and vice-chancellor. "It will reinforce the unique value of the TRU educational experience for current and future students, alumni, faculty, staff, donors and community and government stakeholders. It will infuse everything we do."
The message is not so much a mirror as an image held in the mind, he said.
"When we see someone struggling to find their potential, remember, Find Your TRU."
During Thursday’s launch, five new TRU Potential Awards were announced to underscore the theme. The entrance awards are open to anyone who plans to study at TRU on campus, through Open Learning or both. Five new students will each receive $4,000 in September. To enter, they must write and submit an essay by April 1, addressing the question, "How will you find your TRU potential?"