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There isn’t an algorithm for defining brand architecture for higher education. However, some heuristics or common patterns exist that will help colleges and universities frame their specific situation. Here is a start: I. Branded House: This model applies to most private colleges. Harvard is a great example of this. Note how Harvard’s parent brand has great equity and visually plays a dominant role for all its graduate schools. Most private schools are quite protective of their parent brand name, which is wise, but certain situations demand exceptions. II. Branded House with some exceptions: Though Harvard, the oldest university in the US, isn’t willing to give up its primacy for anyone, University of Pennsylvania is willing to let wealthy donors get primacy in naming rights. For most of us, Wharton comes to mind. Interestingly, Wharton at UPenn was named in 1881. Kellogg at Northwestern was named in 1908. In an expanding world of university choices, Universities ought to turn their business, … Continue reading

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