As the world of higher education settles in after a frenzied first few weeks of new faculty introductions, last minute dormitory re-assignments and opening football weekend, there is that lingering question: what should we do about our brand?
Whether you’re stuck in avoidance or racing headlong toward action, it’s worth considering a pause. Maybe past attempts at brand cohesion have failed. Maybe the current administration has lost its will to move forward. Maybe the ink just dried on a statement of work. Whatever your situation, relax.
Your brand issues did not arise overnight. They won’t magically resolve any time soon. It may well be the single most important thing you orchestrate in your career as a vice president of marketing or college president. And it can wait.
Great brands, in the end, depend on good soil to take root. And when I say soil, I mean smart, authentic, surprising, delightful story telling. Show me a college bold enough to tell an honest, compelling story — and I will show you a college fit for the rigors of a brand discovery.
Brand articulation without the benefit of a good acoustic backdrop — without an audience accustom to listening for and relishing great story telling — will ultimately ring hollow.
Here are a few places I routinely go to find such stories, and to read for pleasure about the life of a college: