BUILDING A BRAND IN HIGHER EDUCATION: EXPERIENCES FROM DEVELOPED COUNTRIES

Richard Sarfo Gyasi, Bao Xi Wang, Yvonne Owusu-Ampomah, Basil Kusi

Abstract


Business leaders frequently obsess about their company's brand image; leaders in higher education likewise fixate on their school's perceived image and value equation in the marketplace. In many cases, though, educational brand strategy is limited to marketing and advertising campaigns. But an effective brand management strategy can be maximized only if the brand carries a promise -- and if every member of the academic community is committed to fulfilling that promise. The challenge of building an educational brand is compounded by collegiate ranking methodologies, which make institutions' value propositions blatant, though not necessarily accurate. Several presidents have publicly refused to participate in ranking surveys, and others will elect to do the same. But most won't. Leadership teams often decry the flaws in collegiate rankings while continuing to participate in the process, thus adding to the misalignment of academic perceptions and brands. Though some might consider the notion of running a university like a business to be somewhat crass, the challenge of building a brand is ultimately the same for both.


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