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Branding is an investment in the future

With the recent introduction of the University of Florida’s “UF Rising” campaign — a sub-campaign, if you will, running along side The Gator Nation banner — and some other things going on around me, I’ve been thinking a lot about the value of branding in Higher Education and the work we did while I was at UF, NC State, Harley-Davidson and elsewhere.

UF Rising logoI don’t think there is any doubt that Branding is an investment in the future of any organization.

In the competitive world of higher education, the reality is, the most recognizable university “brands” consistently attract the best students, faculty and staff; secure the most funding; gain the greatest accolades, and receive the most recognition in the press.  All of which are critical factors in the health, growth and long-term success of an institution.

As I’ve said many times, universities do not operate in a vacuum.  Today, most universities market themselves aggressively and many have already begun their own branding campaigns.

The University of Florida is The Foundation for The Gator Nation.  NC State is Locally Responsive, Globally Engaged.  Makers All at Purdue University.  Know Wonk at American University in Washington, and The University of British Columbia is A Place of Mind.  I could go on.

The objective of the branding effort should be to build the kind of reputation and public image that instills confidence across a wide base of constituents.

Confidence on the part of the best students to choose the university over other universities.  Confidence on the part of faculty and staff to want to be a part of a prestigious institution, one they can be proud of.  Confidence on the part of alumni that their investment in time, money and passion is well placed.  And confidence on the part of the legislative bodies and other funding organizations to invest more aggressively in an institution that is producing great returns for the state and the nation.

Corporations know that leading brands enjoy a tremendous advantage over their competitors, and so it is with universities.  The investment made in branding comes back many fold…for years and years to come.

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Passion Rules!

The Gator Nation is Everywhere



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