Clicks Don’t Count!

As long as banner ads have been on websites, the number of clicks they garner has been the most important performance metric for an ad. Ads that get fewer clicks are canned in favor of those that get more. I questioned this (with Seth Godin’s unwitting help) a few years ago in College Branding and [...]

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Finding a College and Choice Architecture

It’s that time of year when many U.S. high school seniors are making their final college decisions. They have their last acceptance letters, and now must choose which school they will attend in the fall. It’s a good time to think about how the college search process begins, and how the choice architecture of the [...]

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Get Schooled: Use Social Personalization Like Higher Ed

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Colleges and universities face some unique marketing challenges in the U.S. With more than 3,000 competitors, attracting the right students takes effort and creativity. Even schools that have no trouble “filling the seats” have important enrollment objectives for academic accomplishment, extracurricular skills, and, in many cases, ability to pay. I’ve written about the need for [...]

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The Case FOR College Sports

Recently, Newsweek ran a big article titled The Case Against College Athletic Recruiting, with the sensational subtitle claiming that U.S. universities are “misappropriating resources” on sports. Accusing some of the nation’s most revered institutions of financial malfeasance is no small thing. But are colleges really squandering the money they spend on athletics? Perhaps in some [...]

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College Branding, Personal Branding

Although the concept of personal branding was likely launched by Tom Peters’ excellent 1997 article, The Brand Called You, the idea that others perceive you as an amalgam of personal characteristics, experience, and qualities no doubt goes back millennia. And since education became formalized by the establishment of universities, for many people a key part [...]

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College Branding in an Open Source Era

At this year’s South by Southwest Interactive, I had a chance to speak with Anya Kamenetz, author of DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education. In her short but insightful book, Kamenetz outlines the forces that are starting to transform higher education in the U.S. and suggests alternative scenarios for what [...]

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College Branding: What if Harvard Moved Next Door?

Why do most college branding efforts end up as meaningless pablum? I think it’s because most colleges have been relatively insulated from the effects of devastating competition. In fact, historically there have been major barriers to competition in the cozy world of higher education. The biggest have been geography, cost, and reputation. Let’s look at [...]

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Just Say NO to Bland College Branding

I’ve been reading the recently released second edition of Differentiate or Die by Jack Trout, and there are some powerful (and timeless) messages there for all brands. Although the entire book is geared toward commercial brand differentiation, some of the comments relate directly to higher education marketing. Trout takes on bland, meaningless product taglines with [...]

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Sexy Names for College Courses

I’ve written often lately about college branding, but have focused on developing the external brand of the institution. One thing that’s clear is that as skeptical as academics may be about the idea of branding, a few profs are actively employing the concept to increase enrollment in the courses they teach. If you had to [...]

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College Branding: Taglines

One of the great things about social media is that a conversation can be extended quickly between sites and even continents. Such was my experience with my College Branding post. The first extension of the conversation was by Lou Caravella of Vital Communications, who wrote a blog post citing mine as inspiration but identifying a [...]

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