Posted tagged ‘branding’

Brand new brilliant idea. Not.

December 17, 2014

Goodness, here we go again. A few months ago my former university, known throughout the world by everyone as Trinity College Dublin, thought it needed a new name, for reasons that baffled everyone except the consultants who had invoiced the college for coming up with the new brand. It was henceforth to be known as ‘Trinity College the University of Dublin’. Except that nobody thought this was a great idea, and so the college cut its losses (€100,000, reportedly) and kept the old identity.

Bad ideas are never killed off quite as easily as that, however. So now, another institution with a globally recognised brand and a huge reputation has decided that it, too, must pay someone (£300,000 this time, it is claimed) to come up with a daft new name. King’s College London, a genuinely renowned university, is to be called just ‘King’s London’. At least Dublin’s proposed TCTOUD would still have told you what kind of place it was. King’s London could be anything. And don’t even get me started on the grammatical implications.

The proposal sparked a rather amusing sequence of suggestions on Twitter for other name changes based on this model. But more seriously, nobody anywhere in the world needs to have it explained to them by way of a name change that King’s College or Trinity College are not some obscure secondary schools. Trust me on this. And that advice comes for free.


Who are we?

May 18, 2009

Conversation a few days ago with a visitor, who had stopped at a DCU campus map and looked lost.

Me: ‘Can I help you?’
Visitor: ‘Pardon me, is this Dublin College?’
Me: ‘I don’t think there is an institution called Dublin College. This is Dublin City University. Do you know who you are looking for, or what event you are going to?’ 
Visitor: ‘I have a meeting with the Senior Lecturer, Dublin College’.
Me: ‘That sounds like Trinity College – shall I give you directions?’
Visitor: ‘No, I’ve been there already. I was told to come here.’
Me: ‘Oh? Where did they tell you to go?’
Visitor: ‘Dublin College, North Dublin. I told the taxi driver. He said there is one very good college in North Dublin, I’ll take you there.’ 
Me: ‘I’m afraid we’re not called Dublin College – maybe you mean University College Dublin?’
Visitor: ‘Is that in North Dublin?’ 
Me: ‘No, South Dublin. What is your meeting about? Do you have a name for the “Senior Lecturer”?’
Visitor: ‘I asked for the meeting. It’s about helping Dublin College become a world class institution.’ 

He then gave me a name for the ‘Senior Lecturer’ and I knew where he needed to go. And what conclusion do I draw? Time to brand ourselves better internationally! And I won’t tell you what institution I directed him to…