Exploring rationales for branding a university: Should we be seeking to measure branding in UK universities?

This source preferred by Chris Chapleo

Authors: Chapleo, C.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/18824/

http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/bm.2010.53

Journal: Journal of Brand Management

Volume: 18

Pages: 411-422

ISSN: 1350-231X

DOI: 10.1057/bm.2010.53

Although branding is now widespread among UK universities, the application of branding principles in the higher education sector is comparatively recent and may be controversial for internal audiences who question its suitability and efficiency. This paper seeks to investigate how and whether the effectiveness of branding activity in the higher education sector should be evaluated and measured, through exploratory interviews with those who often drive it; UK University marketing professionals.

Conclusions suggest that university branding is inherently complex and therefore application of commercial approaches may be over simplistic. Whilst marketing professionals discuss challenges they do not necessarily have a consistent view of the objectives of branding activity although all were able to clearly articulate branding objectives for their university, including both qualitative and, to some extent, quantitative metrics. Some measures of the real value of branding activity are therefore suggested but a key debate is perhaps whether the objectives and role of branding in higher education needs to be clarified, and a more consistent view of appropriate metrics reached? Various challenges in implementing branding approaches are also highlighted.

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Chapleo, C.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/18824/

Journal: Journal of Brand Management

Volume: 18

Issue: 6

Pages: 411-422

eISSN: 1479-1803

ISSN: 1350-231X

DOI: 10.1057/bm.2010.53

Although branding is now widespread among UK universities, the application of branding principles in the higher education sector is comparatively recent and may be controversial for internal audiences who question its suitability and efficiency. This article seeks to investigate how and whether the effectiveness of branding activity in the higher education sector should be evaluated and measured, through exploratory interviews with those who often drive it: UK University marketing professionals. Conclusions suggest that university branding is inherently complex, and therefore application of commercial approaches may be over-simplistic. While marketing professionals discuss challenges, they do not necessarily have a consistent view of the objectives of branding activity although all were able to clearly articulate branding objectives for their university, including both qualitative and, to some extent, quantitative metrics. Some measures of the real value of branding activity are therefore suggested, but a key debate is perhaps whether the objectives and role of branding in higher education need to be clarified, and a more consistent view of appropriate metrics reached? Various challenges in implementing branding approaches are also highlighted. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

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