The blog sums up the tips taken from one of the interviews of H. Rao Unnava, on the importance of branding in higher education. The Dean of UC Davis Graduate School of Management, he had shared some concepts with a group of Higher Ed officials focused on improving student recruitment, alumni, and donor engagement.  He has more than 30 years of research experience in building and maintaining the Institution’s brand loyalty. Let’s get into what he has to say.

Branding in higher education to Build brand loyalty

Brand loyalty, here in this case education branding is very crucial to getting desired results in Higher Education.  The importance of university branding is so intense that it makes a student become emotionally attached to the Institution and more likely to commit to it in terms of donations, referrals, or take some positive action. The journey from student experiences to alumni communications creates access to many different types of touchpoints and therefore many opportunities to build brand loyalty. The more the institutions take advantage of these opportunities to build meaningful engagement, the more loyal and committed the constituents to become.

Develop distinct brand experience

Developing a distinct brand experience begins when prospective students, donors, and others visit the campus.  The firsthand experience and feeling of ownership when they are physically present enhances their emotions that can be essential to success. Enrolled students should feel inspired by the institution as they pursue their degrees. In addition, when alumni and donors have touchpoints or visits with the institution, they should feel like they are part of the community. These experiences will build brand loyalty. rebrand, and be returned as positive actions on behalf of the institution.

Exceed high expectations

Higher education Institutions have a deeper level of relationship compared to consumer brands, so there may be a high level of emotional investment that must be met by these institutions.  Institutions should prove quality experiences that are consistent with the constituents’ value system and expectations.

Involve constituents in branding decisions

Involving constituents in branding decisions might increase their feeling of ownership towards the Institution because they know that the Institution considered them.  However, it is important to listen. If the institution comes out with a new identity that is against the values of the most constituted, then there is going to be an issue.

In short, the keys to Institution’s brand loyalty are in our hands. Make a difference to the Institution by setting high expectations, informing and involving constituents, and creating a strong brand identity.

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