Yesterday I read a wonderful article by Brad Neathery, founder of the Right Brain Factory, regarding the forethought and actions that should go into the decision to rebrand a company. The article has some very important carryovers that can find relevancy within higher education.
What You Need To Know
The article identifies three important areas for a successful rebranding process: Mission, Missionaries, and Vision. Out of respect for a well-written article and you, the reader, having the ability to see how these questions can be posited in a slightly different light to impact your institution’s marketing and recruitment goals, I won’t simply translate his insights into institutional relevance.
Instead, I want to focus on an important area he touches upon and what it can mean for colleges and universities trying to identify and capture their niche markets: Your missionaries.
What This Means For You
Within the “Missionaries” section of the article, Neathery identifies missionaries as the community for which your product (in this case, an education/degree) resonates. Neathery, however, identifies a very important distinction between creating a mission (or marketing approach) that is product (degree)-centered and one that is community (aspiring student)-centered.
If there’s one particular quote that resonates with me more than any other part of the article, it is this: “People are starved for something to believe in, and your products alone will never inspire their affinity.” Prospective students need to be rallied by what your institution represents, not simply be made aware of what makes up your institution (i.e. student-to-faculty ratios, etc.)
Many of the best brands (just like many of the most well-noted institutions) represent an ideal and that is what perpetuates the sale of their product (or the continual in-pouring of top students to their recruitment funnels).
What To Take Away
Whether you are a part of the marketing department at your institution or are an entry-level admission counselor, the sooner you can identify what your school can inspire within potential students, the sooner you can capitalize on tapping into those niche markets.
Stats and awards are valuable and important. They will always have their place in marketing your school. But don’t forget one of the most important elements when identifying who your institution is and what it stands for: Inspiring a higher level of ideals for your missionaries.
How We Can Help
To learn more about how to emphasize your institution’s inspiring story in a way that resonates with prospective students: Reach out to us!