Overall brand discussion

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Hi folks... I pulled this in here because my comments address the idea of brand more generally and overlap several sections. I wrote the following the way I would for any client... I mean it all in the nicest way :) I think this is a very worthwhile project and this seems like a way i can contribute. --Davecormier 16:59, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Brand is about differentiation While it is certainly important to have a brand reflect what you are able to deliver and who you are, it's equally (if not moreso) to do that in a way that distances you from the competition. If, as it seems in this document, coursera etc... are the competition, then the brand distinction from them is important.

Ideally you steal a word. One word. A word that belongs to OERu alone. Often this is very difficult or even impossible and we spill into a few words... but it has to be that simple. In the morass that is higher ed right now people need to be able to associate something with this org that will make them take a chance with it. Free is taken. Open is a word i feel very passionate about, but I think it's being drug through the mud right now.

The problem I see is that the word 'resource' makes me think of 'reference' not 'learning'. You also have all the backlash to MOOCs that are going to tarnish what you're doing here as well... even though the two have little to do with each other. So is we differentiate from MOOCs, combat the 'resource' and make it clear it's about learning, and take a word or a few words that OERu can deliver on (brand promises are useless if you can't deliver on them) then OERu is...


 *  Learners (seeking more affordable access to higher education with pathways to credible credentials)
 * OERu anchor partner institutions
 *  Academic volunteers 

This worries me. When we try to brand for three entirely different audiences... one that wants to learn something, one that needs (given the financial position of higher ed at the moment) to make money, and one that your hoping will do it for the same reasons they do peer review maybe... your message is going to be blurred and unspecific.

My advice here is to go for the students. If there are students, partners will come. If you are successful, the cream of the academic volunteers will want to be here instead of with the competition... particularly if participation in this project will bring recognition for their work.

Brand promises Should follow our 'gotta be different' rule above.

"We promise to provide OERu learners with high quality learning experiences which ensure equivalence and parity of esteem for qualifications gained through the OER university network" I think this one is a bit too technical. I feel like some of the blurring from multiple audiences is working into this brand promise. I would pick one audience and focus my brand promise directly at them.

Davecormier (talk)04:59, 11 March 2013

Hi Dave,

Thanks for reaching out! This feedback is worth its weight in gold!

Clearly we need to be thinking about what differentiates the OERu collaboration -- the "gotta be different" rule.

Agreed - we should not be trying to brand for three entirely different audiences. That audience heading was a place holder for thinking about the information design for the OERu website, the primary audiences that will be visiting the OERu website rather than input into the brand definition -- I will clarify this more clearly on the main wiki page. Yep, many of the bullet points on the main wiki page are too technical, have too much information and can be confusing -- not material for the brand definition itself. The intention of these bullets is a brainstorm attempt to unpack the nuances - -an inductive process to come up with that word which belongs to OERu alone.

I think the focus for our the brand should unquestionably be the learner.

mmmm -- wonder what the one word could be? The best I can think of at this stage is two words.

For me the essence and differentiator of the OERu network is "sustainable learning" (but that's two words but it does serve both learners and organisations ;-))

Any other ideas?

Really appreciate this feedback from a pro. Thanks for sharing.

Mackiwg (talk)08:03, 11 March 2013