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Center for Research and Innovation gets new name

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

It's a word not found in the dictionary, but maybe someday it will be.

As of July 1, the Center for Research and Innovation/Custom College is now called "Optivation."

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The center, an off-campus venture operated jointly by Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College, has combined the words "optimizing" and "innovation" to create its new name. It also has a new tagline, "Shape the future."

Merging two words together to create a new one isn't a fresh idea, but the strategy can be effective. Other brand names, such as NetFlix, FedEx and Wikipedia, have combined two or more entities or services to form one easy-to-say, recognizable name.

According to Optivation's executive director Anthony Schaffhauser, the center renamed itself for three reasons.

First, the old name was too long.

"It was so long it became an acronym that had no meaning," Schaffhauser said of the center's old nickname, "the CRI."

Second, Schaffhauser said, the center needed a name that would reflect the merger between BSU and NTC.

"We really wanted to make sure our brand name represents both entities working jointly in the area of customized training and continuing education," Schaffhauser said. "Customers should get all their technical training needs with one call."

Third, he added, the new brand name is supposed to give customers a clear idea of what they are getting.

"We didn't really have a clear brand previously," Schaffhauser said. "The center evolved into something other than its original vision, which was prototyping development operations. Today it focuses on workforce and professional development consulting."

According to Shaffhauser, the combined words of "Optimizing" and "Innovation" reflect a two-fold approach to marketing.

"We're helping our customers optimize by furthering their careers through innovation," Schaffhauser said. "Yet, we're innovative in doing whatever works for our customers for them to receive the training to accomplish their goals."

The next step, Schaffhauser said, will be getting people to recognize the center's new name.

"There will be changes in the foreseeable future, but everything we do will fall within our major theme of workforce development," he said. "We've been doing more with using multimedia in training. I would expect that to grow."

The center's name change took place over several months, according to Schaffhauser. The organization hired Nautilus Communications L.L.C., located in Minneapolis, because the consulting company had done previous customized training for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

"We asked all our current customers and some potential customers what brand name came to mind," Schaffhauser said. "After we did some research we found out how our customers described us. 'Optimize' and 'innovation' were two words that kept showing up."

Schaffhauser said, in the end, CRI customers, board members and administrative staff from BSU and NTC were given a list of taglines and names and voted for their favorite one.

"'Shape your future' really captures why someone would want to work with us," Schaffhauser said. "If they are interested in focusing on the future or bettering themselves or their career they can call us to help."

Optivation has two locations. The north branch is located at 3801 Bemidji Ave. N. The south office is located in the main entrance at NTC, 905 Grant Ave. S.E. For more information visit www.optivation.org.

About Optivation:

E Optivation (previously named the Center for Research and Innovation) serves more than 1,400 individuals each year through professional development and continuing education.

E The center offered 161 short-term professional development courses last year; 14 were instructor-led, interactive online courses.

E Optivation contracts with 20 to 30 businesses and organizations each year for consulting and customized training.

E Last year Optivation had 12 collaborative projects with other higher education institutions.

E To view Optivation's annual report, visit www.optivation.org/PDF/Annual_Report.pdf.

Y awilliams@bemidjipioneer.com

It's a word not found in the dictionary, but maybe someday it will be.

As of July 1, the Center for Research and Innovation/Custom College is now called "Optivation."

The center, an off-campus venture operated jointly by Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College, has combined the words "optimizing" and "innovation" to create its new name. It also has a new tagline, "Shape the future."

Merging two words together to create a new one isn't a fresh idea, but the strategy can be effective. Other brand names, such as NetFlix, FedEx and Wikipedia, have combined two or more entities or services to form one easy-to-say, recognizable name.

According to Optivation's executive director Anthony Schaffhauser, the center renamed itself for three reasons.

First, the old name was too long.

"It was so long it became an acronym that had no meaning," Schaffhauser said of the center's old nickname, "the CRI."

Second, Schaffhauser said, the center needed a name that would reflect the merger between BSU and NTC.

"We really wanted to make sure our brand name represents both entities working jointly in the area of customized training and continuing education," Schaffhauser said. "Customers should get all their technical training needs with one call."

Third, he added, the new brand name is supposed to give customers a clear idea of what they are getting.

"We didn't really have a clear brand previously," Schaffhauser said. "The center evolved into something other than its original vision, which was prototyping development operations. Today it focuses on workforce and professional development consulting."

According to Shaffhauser, the combined words of "Optimizing" and "Innovation" reflect a two-fold approach to marketing.

"We're helping our customers optimize by furthering their careers through innovation," Schaffhauser said. "Yet, we're innovative in doing whatever works for our customers for them to receive the training to accomplish their goals."

The next step, Schaffhauser said, will be getting people to recognize the center's new name.

"There will be changes in the foreseeable future, but everything we do will fall within our major theme of workforce development," he said. "We've been doing more with using multimedia in training. I would expect that to grow."

The center's name change took place over several months, according to Schaffhauser. The organization hired Nautilus Communications L.L.C., located in Minneapolis, because the consulting company had done previous customized training for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

"We asked all our current customers and some potential customers what brand name came to mind," Schaffhauser said. "After we did some research we found out how our customers described us. 'Optimize' and 'innovation' were two words that kept showing up."

Schaffhauser said, in the end, CRI customers, board members and administrative staff from BSU and NTC were given a list of taglines and names and voted for their favorite one.

"'Shape your future' really captures why someone would want to work with us," Schaffhauser said. "If they are interested in focusing on the future or bettering themselves or their career they can call us to help."

Optivation has two locations. The north branch is located at 3801 Bemidji Ave. N. The south office is located in the main entrance at NTC, 905 Grant Ave. S.E. For more information visit www.optivation.org.

About Optivation:

E Optivation (previously named the Center for Research and Innovation) serves more than 1,400 individuals each year through professional development and continuing education.

E The center offered 161 short-term professional development courses last year; 14 were instructor-led, interactive online courses.

E Optivation contracts with 20 to 30 businesses and organizations each year for consulting and customized training.

E Last year Optivation had 12 collaborative projects with other higher education institutions.

E To view Optivation's annual report, visit www.optivation.org/PDF/Annual_Report.pdf.

awilliams@bemidjipioneer.com

It's a word not found in the dictionary, but maybe someday it will be.

As of July 1, the Center for Research and Innovation/Custom College is now called "Optivation."

The center, an off-campus venture operated jointly by Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College, has combined the words "optimizing" and "innovation" to create its new name. It also has a new tagline, "Shape the future."

Merging two words together to create a new one isn't a fresh idea, but the strategy can be effective. Other brand names, such as NetFlix, FedEx and Wikipedia, have combined two or more entities or services to form one easy-to-say, recognizable name.

According to Optivation's executive director Anthony Schaffhauser, the center renamed itself for three reasons.

First, the old name was too long.

"It was so long it became an acronym that had no meaning," Schaffhauser said of the center's old nickname, "the CRI."

Second, Schaffhauser said, the center needed a name that would reflect the merger between BSU and NTC.

"We really wanted to make sure our brand name represents both entities working jointly in the area of customized training and continuing education," Schaffhauser said. "Customers should get all their technical training needs with one call."

Third, he added, the new brand name is supposed to give customers a clear idea of what they are getting.

"We didn't really have a clear brand previously," Schaffhauser said. "The center evolved into something other than its original vision, which was prototyping development operations. Today it focuses on workforce and professional development consulting."

According to Shaffhauser, the combined words of "Optimizing" and "Innovation" reflect a two-fold approach to marketing.

"We're helping our customers optimize by furthering their careers through innovation," Schaffhauser said. "Yet, we're innovative in doing whatever works for our customers for them to receive the training to accomplish their goals."

The next step, Schaffhauser said, will be getting people to recognize the center's new name.

"There will be changes in the foreseeable future, but everything we do will fall within our major theme of workforce development," he said. "We've been doing more with using multimedia in training. I would expect that to grow."

The center's name change took place over several months, according to Schaffhauser. The organization hired Nautilus Communications L.L.C., located in Minneapolis, because the consulting company had done previous customized training for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

"We asked all our current customers and some potential customers what brand name came to mind," Schaffhauser said. "After we did some research we found out how our customers described us. 'Optimize' and 'innovation' were two words that kept showing up."

Schaffhauser said, in the end, CRI customers, board members and administrative staff from BSU and NTC were given a list of taglines and names and voted for their favorite one.

"'Shape your future' really captures why someone would want to work with us," Schaffhauser said. "If they are interested in focusing on the future or bettering themselves or their career they can call us to help."

Optivation has two locations. The north branch is located at 3801 Bemidji Ave. N. The south office is located in the main entrance at NTC, 905 Grant Ave. S.E. For more information visit www.optivation.org.

About Optivation:

- Optivation (previously named the Center for Research and Innovation) serves more than 1,400 individuals each year through professional development and continuing education.

- The center offered 161 short-term professional development courses last year; 14 were instructor-led, interactive online courses.

- Optivation contracts with 20 to 30 businesses and organizations each year for consulting and customized training.

- Last year Optivation had 12 collaborative projects with other higher education institutions.

- To view Optivation's annual report, visit www.optivation.org/PDF/Annual_Report.pdf.

Y awilliams@bemidjipioneer.com

It's a word not found in the dictionary, but maybe someday it will be.

As of July 1, the Center for Research and Innovation/Custom College is now called "Optivation."

The center, an off-campus venture operated jointly by Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College, has combined the words "optimizing" and "innovation" to create its new name. It also has a new tagline, "Shape the future."

Merging two words together to create a new one isn't a fresh idea, but the strategy can be effective. Other brand names, such as NetFlix, FedEx and Wikipedia, have combined two or more entities or services to form one easy-to-say, recognizable name.

According to Optivation's executive director Anthony Schaffhauser, the center renamed itself for three reasons.

First, the old name was too long.

"It was so long it became an acronym that had no meaning," Schaffhauser said of the center's old nickname, "the CRI."

Second, Schaffhauser said, the center needed a name that would reflect the merger between BSU and NTC.

"We really wanted to make sure our brand name represents both entities working jointly in the area of customized training and continuing education," Schaffhauser said. "Customers should get all their technical training needs with one call."

Third, he added, the new brand name is supposed to give customers a clear idea of what they are getting.

"We didn't really have a clear brand previously," Schaffhauser said. "The center evolved into something other than its original vision, which was prototyping development operations. Today it focuses on workforce and professional development consulting."

According to Shaffhauser, the combined words of "Optimizing" and "Innovation" reflect a two-fold approach to marketing.

"We're helping our customers optimize by furthering their careers through innovation," Schaffhauser said. "Yet, we're innovative in doing whatever works for our customers for them to receive the training to accomplish their goals."

The next step, Schaffhauser said, will be getting people to recognize the center's new name.

"There will be changes in the foreseeable future, but everything we do will fall within our major theme of workforce development," he said. "We've been doing more with using multimedia in training. I would expect that to grow."

The center's name change took place over several months, according to Schaffhauser. The organization hired Nautilus Communications L.L.C., located in Minneapolis, because the consulting company had done previous customized training for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

"We asked all our current customers and some potential customers what brand name came to mind," Schaffhauser said. "After we did some research we found out how our customers described us. 'Optimize' and 'innovation' were two words that kept showing up."

Schaffhauser said, in the end, CRI customers, board members and administrative staff from BSU and NTC were given a list of taglines and names and voted for their favorite one.

"'Shape your future' really captures why someone would want to work with us," Schaffhauser said. "If they are interested in focusing on the future or bettering themselves or their career they can call us to help."

Optivation has two locations. The north branch is located at 3801 Bemidji Ave. N. The south office is located in the main entrance at NTC, 905 Grant Ave. S.E. For more information visit www.optivation.org.

About Optivation:

- Optivation (previously named the Center for Research and Innovation) serves more than 1,400 individuals each year through professional development and continuing education.

- The center offered 161 short-term professional development courses last year; 14 were instructor-led, interactive online courses.

- Optivation contracts with 20 to 30 businesses and organizations each year for consulting and customized training.

- Last year Optivation had 12 collaborative projects with other higher education institutions.

- To view Optivation's annual report, visit www.optivation.org/PDF/Annual_Report.pdf.

awilliams@bemidjipioneer.com

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