Can a university be built as a brand?

Unlike many other brands whether it is FMCG or a service-oriented brand, a University brand can be built from scratch. I had this privilege to work for a university right from licensing. The founders of the university wanted the university brand to be built and to build the entire University operations and pattern up to a premium International University standard on a global scale. Right from the naming to its forms to its campus a clear reflection of certain brand traits was represented.

We made visual guidelines, conducted Focus Group discussions and surveys in private universities, besides this a day-long disruption session was held to determine and differentiate with the universities Brand Positioning. Since it’s a University, the tools of brand communication were of an orthodox nature, the brand was reflected through collaterals, audiovisuals, world standard websites which is functional and aesthetical and Facebook marketing as well as activations on seasons where the majority of students get recruited from.


Salehin Chowdhury – the author of this article

There was a wide range of strategic partnerships through which student recruitment on jobs was affiliated in different companies and also student exchange programs were ensured, scholarships were communicated along with formidable amount of newspaper ad designs in regular intervals which worked as brand building and later brand recall element, giveaways in university trade work as a very vital tool to communicate the brand, for example, giveaways like notebooks, pens, backpacks, mugs which are University logo branded that can really work ok as an effective tool to let people know about the brand. on a mature stage, the university requires a different kind of brand communication activities which Aligns it with operations and functional procedures.

For example, if you have a vehicle which is used for university purpose it can be branded which can work as a moving billboards also the ID cards that the students and the faculties carry and move across the city is also a good element to let people know about the university brand, highlighting different academicians who is known in the country and highlighting their portfolios and strength in proper materials and prepare advertisings can get you a good result on getting students as well as building the brand for long-term.

Nevertheless, the direct counselling people who meets the students even how they counsel the students, what their grooming, is what are the key factors they will highlight about the university or whether they have a sales toolkit or guideline, how that will be used and what are are the contents of those even a bare form of visiting cards, a smart hotline number- these things along with the smart design of admission space creates impact as well.

Let’s focus into the day to day thing which takes a University brand forward alongside the brand building and brand awareness a growing university needs to follow. Since it’s a very youthful brand it has to consider different modern elements of branding like in universities now club cultures are very much in, also students having different contests including their own Facebook groups are very active. different contest of local/global stature makes the university stand out.

Also, modern contents which will come in newspaper, magazine ads need to be modernized so as a University this brand can align with all these modern contexts that dynamically changes with time. it has to adopt with this ever-changing norms of universities and should keep on focusing on interactive language patterns and should be appealing in nature to students urging for disseminating education.

Having interactions mentioning the facilities of gymnasium, common rooms and state of art Laboratories, having all these facilities and communicating in each and every platform to make the target group of students and Corporates know how the brand differentiates with the traditional ones. Lastly, I would like to draw a conclusion with the fact that a mare brand building cannot necessarily make a University grow, the quality of education- which is uncompromising and the wholehearted ownership of its faculties and officials and the overall bonding with students and infrastructure and the officials and the Teachers build a University for eternal time and keeps on serving the society and the country. These should be kept on mind besides the brand building of a University.

Salehin Chowdhury

Salehin Chowdhury is an expert on Global Brand Communications. He has exposure to branding local products and services and has versatile experience on all segments of ATL and BTL Communications, along with B2B and B2C background in terms of Product, Service and Social Branding. Salehin has specialised skills on Startup Ventures Brand Formulation with cost-effectiveness and high integrity. Throughout his career, he has an enriched experience on Brand Communication and Marketing and worked with Brands like OTOBI, RUNNER, The City Bank Limited, Premier Bank, BanglaCAT, Abdul Monem Limited, Bengal Foundation, Jamuna Group, Lubnan Trade Consortium, Canadian University of Bangladesh etc. Currently, he is a Research fellow doing his MPhil in the topic "Globalization strategies of Local brands" at Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP).
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