How To Build Your College’s Brand
Looking for a better way to convey your university’s message? Start by learning the dimensions of brand building, and how to leverage them to your advantage! By doing so, you’ll accurately promote your university while captivating your target audience. Watch your marketing thrive with the help of your sharpened brand image.
What is a Brand?
In order to create a successful university image, it’s important to understand the value of a brand and everything it represents. For example, what comes to mind when you think of a popular institution like Harvard or Penn State University? Not only the academics and extracurriculars, but also the experiences surrounding them and the emotions you associated with those experiences.
Your brand is your voice, your culture, and a reflection of who you’re going to attract. It’s essential to use that notion to your advantage when building up your organization. In doing so, you’ll generate the most success in engaging current students, prospects, and alumni with your institution.
Find a Unique Culture and Run with It!
It’s not uncommon for audiences to form their own preconceived perceptions of certain colleges based on media influence or past interactions. Luckily, brand building gives you a chance to promote your culture as you see it. When considering how to differentiate your school, think about the elements that set you apart from your competitors. Finding a genuine and authentic way to share what makes your institution unique will attract those who best fit into your university culture.
But don’t forget to do the work to keep your audience involved and excited. It’s important to create an upbeat and inspiring environment filled with positive energy — this type of setting will naturally attract students to your campus over the competitors. Use your atmosphere as a major selling point for students looking for your particular type culture!
Then, take your influence beyond school grounds. Use your brand as an outlet to project the voice of your culture into the community. Staying active and involved within the surrounding cities is an effective way to get your name out there and express your core beliefs. For example, if “leadership” is among the principles you value, host Leadership Development seminars open to the public. Let your audience know that your commitment to your brand’s mission statement is what separates you from other institutions.
Things to Consider When Building your Brand
There are several elements to contemplate as you polish your image. First, keep in mind the message you’d like your audience to receive, and ensure it’s being portrayed effectively. Don’t lose sight of the vision! Use your mission statement and core values as the starting point to create the voice for your marketing, and expand from there. A successful brand requires a cohesive belief system that’s embodied at every level of the institution. Represent your standards through the messages you send to ensure your staff, alumni, and students are operating on the same page. This creates a happy and healthy environment that fosters education and growth.
But you’ll have to go beyond simply stating your message, mission statement, and belief system. Successful brands must align what they say with what they do. Uniting your voice and your actions makes for a dependable brand — which goes a long way in the age of transparency. Make promises, see them through, and meet your audiences’ expectations in order to spread positive word-of-mouth advertising. Students who trust you will recruit friends and family to enroll, donate, or further engage with your university.
Finally, remember to be creative in representing your brand by keeping up to date with marketing trends. Stay true to your voice while leveraging the newest platforms and technology to appeal to prospective students. Video marketing, for example, provides an excellent opportunity to express unique programs on campus — all while using a popular advertising technique.
There’s so much to consider when it comes to creating a cohesive, trustworthy, and notable university brand. Follow our guide for a step in the right direction! Feeling overwhelmed by your branding to-do list? Contact our experts for help in planning and fulfilling your marketing goals.