Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal: How to Keep Your School From Being Brand X, by Ronald Alsop:
Every business school must think more seriously than ever about its brand identity, as competition for students intensifies in a crowded market of look-alike M.B.A. programs. Many schools boast talented marketing professors and place their graduates in brand-management jobs. Yet most schools have failed to develop a resonant brand image of their own. While they may well have distinctive cultures and academic strengths, they usually play up their media rankings and frequently use the same buzzwords, such as "global" and "entrepreneurial." "It's death if you don't differentiate yourself in this competitive market," says Steve Salbu, the new dean of the Georgia Institute of Technology's College of Management in Atlanta....
Indiana University's Kelley School of Business also is trying to distinguish itself from competitors more effectively. Daniel Smith, Kelley's dean and a marketing professor himself, believes promoting M.B.A. programs requires a much different approach from selling mass-market products and services. "When you have an experience product like an M.B.A. program, the customer's risk is high because you can't test drive multiple schools and you can't change your mind once you make your purchasing decision," he explains. "That makes the brand extremely important as a trust mark that helps to reduce the customer's risk."