There has been a major shift in our industry. The focus? 


Institutional branding has become a way for colleges and universities to compensate for enrollment shortfalls. But be wary, this is not a fix-all solution. 

The Good 

The desire to have an introspective look into who you are as an institution and where you sit in the marketplace is certainly a good thing. Determining who you want to be and designing messages to accompany this new focus can position colleges and universities for long term success. 

With this process comes lots of research: interviews of prospective students and their families, current students, faculty, staff, and alumni are typical. 

There are new trends like assigning personality types to these individuals based on a multitude of factors, giving credence to the validity of this exercise. 

Next you mix in a full array of focus group images, tag-lines, color palettes, and you end up with a wonderful coffee table book that lacks one thing: 


The Bad 

Branding or rebranding is an expensive undertaking that not every institution can do. 

The disadvantages of this come from a lack of understanding the underlying issues that initiated this exercise.

Did you start this process because there was a thought if people just knew who we were… or perhaps enrollment experienced a downward trajectory for a while. 

Neither of those are reasons to engage in this undertaking of a rebrand overhaul. 

Questions to Ask Yourself 

To get to the true heart of the issue, you’ve got to look at the key indicators: 

  • Did you have enough completed applications? (Not some fictitious, overinflated number of total apps). 
  • What sort of communications structure is there in both print and electronic? 
  • Do you have a comprehensive digital campaign that augments any sort of direct marketing campaign you’re running? 
  • How well-trained is your counseling staff? 
  • Is your CRM optimized to handle all this efficiently? 
  • Do you have a CRM or the right one to meet your needs? 

The TPG Takeaway

There are
so many factors that deliver hard results over brand identity.  

Any firm or internal marketing department worth their salt should be able to assess these deficiencies and determine a course correction. Deployment and strategy of such campaigns is another undertaking. 

That’s the special sauce.