I heard a lot about branding

at the ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting.  Especially in relationship to the organization. TargetX reminds us that branding is not all that simple a process.

The truth about branding
Branding continues to dominate so much of the discussion in higher ed marketing, and Geoffrey James can’t figure out why.

The popular writer and commentator on sales and marketing reacted recently to a series of radio spots run by a Boston-based brand consultancy.

“They’re selling snake oil,” he writes, “because it’s not possible to create a brand through anything that’s typically done under the name of branding.”

Let’s start with the truth, he says. Your brand is the reflection of four things, and none of them is your logo, tagline or anything else that a marketing agency may try to sell you. Your brand is made up of:

- The quality of your products and services (50 percent).
- The way you treat your customers (40 percent).
- The way you treat your employees (5 percent).
- How well you manage your institutional finances (5 percent).

There’s still this prevailing opinion — especially among university presidents and trustees — that you can craft a brand based on what you want people to think or believe about you, and then market it.


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