“A decade ago, few universities thought strategically about their brand. Now, as the market for academic talent, funding, and recognition heats up, the need has become acute. Universities recognize the necessity of building appreciation for what makes them unique.”
This sentiment was shared three years ago in an Inside Higher Ed article, and three years later, it still applies. While this specific excerpt references “universities”, if we also take into consideration another statement from the article:
“Great brands are built by the sum total of promises made—and fulfilled—that add up to meaningful and lasting relationships.”
Every sector of Higher Education should pay close attention.
Has your institution identified the promises (or value propositions) that you are committed to fulfilling? Better yet, if you have done that, are they being communicated consistently on all your marketing platforms? Let’s just cut to the chase: Does your school or college actually have a brand identity?
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is one of the best examples of a university that has done the work to create, communicate and amplify their brand proposition. According to their President, “We have set out to be the Nordstrom’s of higher education,” says Paul LeBlanc, 61. We want to have the best-in-class customer support.”
LeBlanc even offers the SNHU brand differentiation from the traditional sector by offering; “Most of traditional higher ed looked at adult learners as an afterthought,” he says. He knew those students presented a huge opportunity and that they were best served online.
Is President LeBlanc just providing engaging sound bites for Forbes? Actually, you can see his vision and an institutional commitment throughout their marketing, as in this commercial specifically addressing their brand proposition of student support from Day One to Graduation and Beyond. Considering that student support is an important value proposition for predominantly non-traditional students taking online classes, their branding is not only relevant; it resonates.
Understanding how sound branding impacts all marketing channels and ultimately institutional growth, Tribeca partnered with the Pink Collective in early 2019 to offer this important solution to our clients. As a student-focused Higher Ed marketing agency, we knew that this was the next step in our growth, to assist our clients in realizing their growth. To learn more about branding in Higher Education and our partnership with the Pink Collective, please take a few minutes and check out our video.
If you have any questions or thoughts that you would like to share; please feel free to contact me directly at 954-495-0932 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in Education