Branding de les universitats

Realment The Guardian publica bons articles sobre educació superior, darrerament. Avui he vist que parla de What’s in a name? The value of a good university brandWhen it comes to student attraction, a university with a well-respected brand has an enormous advantage. But it takes more than a catchy slogan to stand out from the crowd.

De fet correspon a un debat que es va fer fa poc. Es pregunta The Guardian

In this rapidly changing marketplace, university branding is about much more than logos. But what does this mean for students and the role of branding in higher education in general? These questions formed the basis of a recent Guardian roundtable, held in association with brand communications consultancy Purpose. The debate was conducted under the Chatham House rule, which allows remarks to be reported without attribution to encourage a frank debate.

La veritat és que llegir aquest article és molt interessant. Només en vull recollir algunes frases que em semblen especialment rellevants:

  • Without consensus in the university, branding or re-branding can be ineffective.
  • key values for universities, among them: academic integrity; future employability; and, perhaps above all, the value of the student experience.
  • a few crucial strands: positive student testimony; the synergy between marketing and branding; and getting academics on side by linking success in the marketplace to academic freedom.
  • A university is not Coca-Cola,” a participant said. Unless you are a market leader branding messages tend to be centred around broad slogans, such as “upgrade your future”. What makes such general visions work are case studies, vivid and concrete student testimony gathered from existing students and displayed to students past and present at open days, recruitment fairs and awards ceremonies.
  • one unpleasant remark to a 17-year old at an open day can turn them against a university for life.
  • Never lose sight of the student
  • The dramatic upsurge in the use of social media by university communication departments, “from press release to tweet in five years” has left universities vulnerable to instant criticism
  • a central vision needs to tell a story accompanying the student through a journey, from prospectus to graduation.

I el que el propi article suggereix com a punts clau:

The roundtable heard that universities looking to brand themselves successfully should:

  • • Focus on their core values, such as: academic integrity that links teaching, research and scholarship; business-friendly courses with employability appeal; and the positive student experience on offer.
  • • Target communications at parents as well as students.
  • • Involve academics as much as possible; their enthusiasm can often bring big dividends.
  • • Highlight student testimony in university marketing materials.
  • • Make the most of social media’s influence and reach.

En resum: un debat que val la pena de llegir i de pensar-hi.