4/21/14 The art, science, and profession of discovering what people think about you and trying to persuade them to have a different view, or reinforcing the one they already have, is called branding.
Sounds simple, but maybe that’s the problem. A branding consultant told me that when his firm was hired to do research and then apply a branding campaign to a particular college, its marketing people warned him that he should not use the words “brand” or “branding” on campus but rather talk about the college’s “image.”
The caution was not unwarranted: Over the years, I have cataloged critiques by faculty members of college branding campaigns and have expressed them myself:
- The campaigns hawk dignified universities like commercial products.
- They reduce a complicated institution into simplistic pictures and slogans.
- They make unrealistic or outlandish claims.
- They are a product of higher administration and outsiders, not faculty.
- They divert money that could better be spent on pressing issues.
All of those are valid criticisms of some branding strategies and processes. On the other hand, for most colleges, good, thoughtful, and inclusive branding is not only useful but necessary for our survival.
Click here to view the rest of the article via Your College Needs a Brand. Help Create It. – Commentary – The Chronicle of Higher Education.