Best Practices in College and University Branding- After serving 100 colleges over 25 years, we have learned that the college and university brands that have become schools of consequence embody these best practices:
1. Set a far horizon. They know that it’s about a quiet, steadfast and ongoing commitment to staff development. It’s about cultivating new and better habits. They are running a marathon, not a sprint.
2. Infuse brand essence into every aspect of the institution. Enrollment, student affairs, career placement, advancement, alumni relations, and community relations.
3. Bring the campus community along, ensuring a buy-in at every step. They don’t take short cuts and they don’t impose.
4. Invest in first impressions. Tours, website, viewbooks, social media, classrooms, housing – every touchpoint.
5. Tell a better story. Smart, authentic, real, honest, surprising, and delightful stories — with students, faculty and alumni as heroes.
6. Go long on proofs, short on claims. They put their energy and effort into creating indisputable truths instead of empty sloganeering.
7. Track the essential metrics. Student quality measures, melt rates, graduation rates, placement rates, giving rates, and reputation metrics.
The most successful college brands not only live these best practices, but they have turned them into living habit