WHY UNIVERSITIES NEED A DISTINCTION IN BRANDING

WHY UNIVERSITIES NEED A DISTINCTION IN BRANDING

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Many HE institutions rely on their reputation, heritage, and grades to attract students. However, we know that it’s not always enough. It’s common that universities have branding messages that are easily interchangeable with other brands. The only real way to get ahead is with an expert branding strategy crafted from human psychology.

Your brand is what you can promise your students, to convince them that no matter what happens, their investment is worth it. Success can’t always be promised so they need to feel that they can assess your value to them in other ways, such as:

  • Shared values
  • Community
  • Quality of life
  • Support – mental and physical as well as study support
  • Quality of faculty members

As you will already know, high-quality branding makes the higher education vision more tangible and exciting.

THE BENEFITS OF SHARP BRANDING

There is more to it than a clever copy line and modern logo. You need to create a set of brand guidelines and strategies that your entire institution can roll with. By branding a university with the right image and identity, you can:

  • Develop loyalty
  • Enhance credibility
  • Gain a competitive edge

How to get ahead

1. KNOW YOUR STORY: Look at where your university came from, what it’s accomplished over the years, and why it was started in the first place.

2. FIND YOUR STRENGTHS: What is your unique selling point? What do you offer that other universities don’t?

3. ASSESS THE COMPETITION: Find a way to set yourself apart from competitors. Carry out a competitive analysis for insight so that you can build your institution to solve the problems students face or enhance what they love.

4. CRAFT YOUR SLOGAN: There are many straplines that seem inspirational on the surface, but they don’t really tell your audiences anything about your organisation, or what it stands for. There needs to be meaning and emotion. Take some time to think about your position in the industry and what you can offer.

5. LOGO/PALETTE PSYCHOLOGY: Ensure that your logo means something to the institution. It might convey your history or enhance your emblem. Remember, the palette you choose can have an emotional impact on your audience. For instance, blue evokes notions of trust and safety, while purple is regal and sophisticated.

6. CONSISTENCY IS KEY: Make sure that you maintain your brand aesthetic in everything you do – from TikTok to your campus hoodies. Inconsistent branding is confusing and unprofessional. If you look ‘messy’, you risk subconsciously communicating your university isn’t going to invest in your students. Consistency isn’t just visual. Think about the tone of voice that your marketing team needs to use and stick to when creating content.

7. RESEARCH: Branding psychology is grounded in the understanding of the human mind and its emotions. You must therefore study your ever-evolving prospective audience and craft your campaigns to their unique desires.

8. SOCIAL APPEARANCE: Socially appeal to your audience. From contributing to social causes to supporting eco-justice, these steps show empathy, authenticity, and compassion. Think about how your mission and messaging can translate to charitable causes and connective experiences.

By using colour psychology, brand voice, social appearance, and imagery to your advantage, you can not only foster a more reliable connection with your existing and new audience but also forge a loyal network of students for years to come, spreading the word.

Here at Cubed, we believe in conjuring creative that inspires and provokes a response. Click here for information about our creative services and how we can help you.

Samatha Owen - Education Cubed

SAMANTHA OWEN

MID-WEIGHT DESIGNER

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