A new brand for a new era
When we came in contact with Norec, they were called Fredskorpset in Norway and FK Norway in all other countries. It was a Norwegian organisation, but it operated in 25 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin-America. It made sense to find a name that could work globally. Also, FK Norway had changed a lot during the more than 50 years it has existed. The organisation that in its time took a name inspired by, and translated from, the Peace Corps, is no longer there. It was therefore not only necessary to find a new name, but also a need to get to the core of the business and find the words that explains why the organisation exists. To uncover its purpose.
FK Norway had just received a new mandate to reposition itself. This had nothing to do with the fact that the main office should move from Oslo to the western part of Norway, but that the organisation has changed from doing traditional development work, creating a social change through sophisticated exchange programs, as well as building a centre of expertise for modern business and organisations.
A new identity would reflect the new agenda. The name needed to work internationally, and ideally point back to the organisation’s home country, Norway.
The name Norec is an acronym of the full English name; Norwegian Agency for Exchange Cooperation. This tells us that this is an official Norwegian organisation working internationally with exchange programmes. The name can be used phonetically by all the people in the organisation, not least the partners we’re cooperating with from Asia, Africa and Latin-America.
We noticed that working in this organisation means a lot on a personal level and was almost like a calling for the people involved. When we developed Norec’s purpose together with the people in the organisation, it was clear that these are people who want to make a difference in the world, as reflected in the purpose we uncovered together:
“We’re here to open hearts and minds, to build a better future”.
This purpose goes straight to the core of Norec’s agenda: It’s ambitious and points forwards and serves as a guideline for the organisation’s communication internally and externally. This is an organisation that builds on long traditions but keeps on developing.
“Norec will build on the culture that has characterised FK Norway – innovative ideas, challenging of established truths – and critical thinking regarding exchange.”
Nikolai Astrup – Minister of International Development
The organisation’s new identity has been very well received, both by public Norway and among employees, as well as international partners. “We came to a point on the journey when we had to make some difficult choices,” says Norec’s director, Jan Olav Baarøy. “Mission understood the situation and solved the challenges with creativity and strategic thinking, and together we managed to revitalise our brand in a way that makes it ready for the next fifty years”.
“I’m very impressed that Mission was able to help us find the true identity of our organisation, and especially finding the words that explains what we stand for.”
Jan Olav Baarøy – Director of Norec