A new report from consultancy mStoner is sure to make some college marketers nervous.
Higher education institutions are building brands in a big way, becoming stronger competitors in the arena for prospective students, promising faculty, community attention and alumni contributions.
Of 125 chief marketing officers at public and private colleges surveyed, three-quarters report having undertaken branding efforts at their institution.
They’re spending serious money, too. Two-thirds of the respondents shared cost details, with 63 percent of them reporting investments of more than $100,000, and 31 percent investing more than $200,000. The Buffalo News reported that the University of Buffalo is launching a $314,000 project.
The money isn’t buying new logos and t-shirts.
Branding is about identifying what distinguishes an institution from its peers, determining why an institution matters to specific audiences and using the findings to make better connections with people in a noisy, cutthroat and distracting marketplace.
It sharpens the competitive edge.
For college marketers still on the branding sidelines, t-shirts and cups offer little protection against the newly, strategically branded teams now taking the field.