Posted by: Madhavi CN | October 10, 2012

Branding Educational Institutions: The Big Payoff

The importance of branding has slowly started in to sink into the various educational institutions that are struggling to make a mark in the mind of the prospective students and their parents/guardians. We are noticing some of the institutions suddenly make a major entry and pose a threat to even a long established college. With a smart branding strategy and a precise implementation, the equations sometimes are changing overnight!

Almost all the educational institutes have realized that they need to go for branding soon. But how soon it must be taken is where they are faltering. The prime reason for this is that they are in search of the right branding expert to guide them through. When it comes to branding, you cannot afford to just go by the financial offer or blind claims. It is necessary for you to zero-in on a branding strategist who is ready to do the hand-holding and guide you through the entire process successfully.

Branding has seeped into the world of education – be it the schools, colleges or professional institutions. With a well-informed market base, branding is something inevitable. Traditionally universities and colleges are more focused on imparting the education and have not been staffed by professional marketers. In fact, there has been a deliberate stand to stay away from the concept of seeing the students as “Customers”.

Due to increasing competition, ensuring the funding – private and state, proliferation of the institutes and discerning students, colleges need to turning to branding and marketing as a tool to compete effectively and drive enrollment and donations. Education still remains the mission; but it about gaining the survival strategies.

Benefits of Branding

  • Creates a strong position in the educational marketplace and ensures sustainability
  • Validates your institution’s mission, core values and strategic priorities
  • Builds brand loyalty and enthusiasm among the student community
  • Creates a work environment that attracts and retains the best
  • Connects your organization with the partners and constituents who will benefit the most
  • Puts the strategic plan into implementation
  • Delivers on your brand promise
  • Aligns your institution’s internal culture with your external reputation, and aligns your institution’s verbal identity with your visual identity

Image

Outcomes of Branding

How to make the right choice?

Many of the branding programs involve infantile market research, mumbo-jumbo naming exercises and more importantly a continued investment of hundreds of thousands of rupees with no light at the end of the tunnel! Watch out for whom you chose. It is about the orientation towards your institute’s specific requirements rather than a one-size-fits-all approach of the branding expert that should be the deciding factor for you.

The expert that you choose should focus not only on the external aspects of branding but also the organizational change and the holistic college experience. In short, it is what the students look for while choosing an institution and what they carry as word-of-mouth messaging to your potential market, while they are in the institute or when finishing the course and leaving it.

“Branding is not about investing in billboards and media; it is much more than that!”

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