Branding for Higher Education: How to Build a Unique and Impactful Brand?
Brand, simply, is a concept of business, a valuable asset possessed by individuals, products, and companies, which makes it easy for people to identify and perceive them. We have a corporate brand, personal brand, as well as service brand.
Branding is important for every company as it makes them distinct from other companies who offer the same kind of product they offer. It’s a strategy employed by companies to shape their brand.
Moreover, individuals and companies protect their brands by registering trademarks. Trademark stands as a seal of ownership over a particular product or service. It prevents other people from claiming or using products without the owner’s permission.
Companies also promote and sell their products and services by using marketing tools such as websites, slogans, and logos.
Having known this, we would agree that branding is so important for the growth and development of every company as it portrays the company to its customers.
Talking about branding for higher education, there is a popular saying which goes: Education is the best legacy, this explains how important education is to every human.
How then can one recreate a unique and impactful brand for higher education?
In this article, we will be discussing how we can do this.
Understand the importance of ‘need’
Many people aim for higher education to increase their potentials, develop themselves intellectually, learn more about their passion, move steps closer to their career, and also increase their chance of getting better jobs.
As much as it is important, it is also time and money demanding. Hence, students need to give a lot of time and money to their higher education. This makes it high selective for students to choose the best institutions for their higher education.
But it is a pity that most higher institutions are relying too much on their reputation, instead of paying attention to their brands, to get students across the states in the nation. This has not been helping because while some institutions increase yearly numerically, others are not.
As higher institutions become more competitive, each institution now is in search of a way to stand out from others as their reputation is not enough to earn them potential students. Any higher institutional that wants to survive today must possess the ability to attract students to be a step ahead of the game.
Here is where the higher education business brand comes in. It is the only solution to get ahead of this issue. Every higher institution has to start seeing prospective students as clients who need their services to grow.
Students want a higher institution that will make them have the experiences that they need. They want a school that is committed to diversity, a school that will help them get through every challenge they would face at every phase of their higher education.
And the top of it all is that students want to learn from professionals. They want to learn from experts that are experienced in their respective fields. All of this will contribute to their educational success. So, do not only strive to earn students, but also make sure that you meet the prospective student’s requirements.
Let your brand be true and honest.
Let us now take a look at the important steps to get started for creating a unique and impactful higher education branding:
Identify your brand
What does your brand stand for? What are your aims and objectives? What do students stand to gain if they choose to be a part of your institution? What makes you different from every other higher institution out there? Why should prospective students choose you above other schools? What are your strengths as an institution?
These questions and many more should you be able to answer perfectly to identify your brand. Brand identification is the foundation for branding your school. After it, every other thing can then follow.
You have to develop a brand that is true, distinct, and prominent. This is the first step to making a higher education brand that will stand out among others. Be unique, be dependable, and be current, do not be outdated.
These values will help you to form the identity of your higher institution. When all of this is in place, your institution becomes pertinent to prospective students and controls their interpretation of your brand.
Students want to know what to expect from institutions, know their uniqueness and share it with the world. And, this is what makes your brand interesting and appealing. So, research your opponents, find out and highlight the things that make your institution unique and different, and emphasize these core features.
In other words, look at how their school is positioned. Find out their targets. Make sure that message is articulated in your logo, slogan, voice tone, and other marketing commodities. If you haven’t gotten one, decide on them immediately. Highlight properties like colors, logo, slogan, and fonts.
Do well to make every staff of your institution aware of the institution’s values. Let them equally know your brand’s identity, and personify it.
Build an online presence
You have to sell yourself online, and take a decision of brand that displays what you have to give to the online world.
Do you have an online presence? If you do, brush it up. If not, you need to create one. Take advantage of social media by selling yourself there. This will help in creating your brand awareness and also help to allow potential students to search and assess the effects of your institution’s brand.
In the world today, almost everyone uses the internet, most people will first inspect your institution on the internet before eventually becoming your clients. The internet is a significant intermediary between institutions and students.
So, if you want to attract students from different countries across the world, you need a quality online presence.
Today, a website is the heart of marketing for every brand. Create a standard website for your institution and update every page on it. Your website, articles, prospectus, graphic designs, photography, emails, blog posts, marketing campaigns, word choice, and communication strategies must be top-notch.
Operate a blend of online platforms to boost and maintain your brand identity. Link your social media pages and email marketing to your website. Include a third party to enhance your brand knowledge, this gives you advantages over others as you get time-to-time professional advice.
Depending on the creativity of digital marketing experts and recruitment consultants, this will help improve your higher education brand.
Embrace Storytelling as a marketing tool
Today, storytelling has become an indispensable element of trade and branding. When it comes to branding a higher institution, Storytelling is an essential tool to capture the attention of potential students as they connect more strongly by the depth of the effectiveness your story possesses.
Every organization, school inclusive, has a story to tell.
How did your school come into existence? How did it start? Where did it start from, with what did it start? When did it start? Why did it start? And what has it achieved over the years?
The more you share your brand’s story, the more prospective students get to know you. By engaging them in your story, they assume that they are a notable part of your growth as an institution.
Consistency enables both existing students and potential students to know you more and also believe your message. They gradually identify your brand details like colors, font, website, and logo. They assume that you mean your messages and trust you due to your consistency.
Host events and share gifts
Raise community awareness of your brand by doing giveaways and hosting events. This action brings you to the limelight as people get to notice you.
Keep on updating your brand
Universally, a higher institution’s brand is easier to maintain than a standard brand, yet, it is not what you do once and for all. You have to keep updating your brand as your institution changes, transforms, and grows.
Your logo design and brand identity should also be updated when due.
Thankfully, students are willing to spend as much as they can to get a sound higher education. So, higher education institutions need to involve themselves in marketing tools and branding practices that prospective students will find compelling.
A lot of people will have different notions and thoughts about your school, judging from their different standpoints. However, branding will help you express yourself to people in the way you want.
Moreover, developing a unique brand for your higher institution will also help prospective students feel assured that they know and will get what they expect. You just have to truly have what they need.
About the Author!
Yuly Olofsson is a content writer and one of the top rated DoMyHomework123 who loves writing about marketing. She has equally helped many startups come up with an eye-catching brand. In her free time, she loves mentoring MBA students to master the art of marketing.