How to brand your Institution

“Building A Beautiful Campus OR Bringing In Successful Academic Programs Doesn’t Really Matter, But What Matters Is Building Unique Differentiator For Setting Yourself Apart From The Competitors”

Entrepreneur defines brand as “a promise to your customer. It tells them what you can expect from your products and services, and is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.” The brand matters when students apply and corporates approach your institution. Brand helps to build a trust and emotional connection with your institution. Adopting a couple of inbound marketing principles can set yourself apart from the competition.

Understand Your Strength
Constant self evaluation keeps the institution vital. Do you have a unique location, an array of internships, pioneering partnerships with people working in technology or sustainable development or professional mentors to offer your students? Listen to what is being said about you, and know where you stand.

Whatever sets you apart, emphasize this on your website, in your blog and in any communications with prospective students and potential employers. Finally what it comes down to is that students need to trust an institution if they are going to pursue an education there and corporate needs to believe that the campus talent pools are in par with the industry standards.

Customize The Curriculum
Companies struggle to find adequately skilled candidates just as much as candidates struggle to find jobs. The mismatch essentially arises from the utter disconnect between what is taught at colleges and what is needed at real workplaces. Understanding the industry trends and tweaking the curriculum with the industry experts and educational specialist is the most important for your better stand in the competition.

Establish a Training & Placement department, this is crucial in providing the pre-final and final year students with a much needed rallying point to prepare themselves for placements and their careers ahead. A department like this is also important in fostering a competitive spirit amongst the student cohort. Taking professional help by employing training companies can also go a long way in streamlining the placement preparation process as well as the placement cell itself.

Focus On Technical Events
Create technical content, solution for a technical problem and troubleshooting tips, and give it away for free in technical forums like stack overflow. On social media, comment and share opinions of other respected institutions or individuals. Be a part of the conversation and your prospective students and corporates will take note.

Host tech events, hackathons, project-competitions, etc and invite companies to judge/sponsor some of them. Hold open forums to talk through the institution’s identity, and listen for trends.

Build A Vibrant Community
Branding can be done effectively if you are savvy with social media. Building a profile and being strategic with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms will help you set yourself apart from the flock. Hold open forums to talk through the institution’s identity, and listen for trends.

Increasing endowment, expanding the scope, and staying engaged with the world all depend
on students and alumni who are both ambassadors and supporters of your institution. Reach out to alumni at companies that are large recruiters and build a alumni & students community.

Branding is important, and worth putting some time, effort and strategy into. An institution’s ability to raise its standing, attract top faculty, develop new programs, and bring in top recruiters who relies on the talents of its campus population. Focus on building true technical skills, scaling up the placement cell to maintain relationships with larger number of companies, facilitating research activities in campus, encouraging students to take up internships in various core areas, empowering professors to take consulting assignments with neighbourhood industries are some of the ways of enabling your institution to become an established brand.