Why Education Branding Matters

Pressure mounts for colleges and universities competing to get (and keep) the same students. Building an education brand that resonates with your audience is more important than ever to increase enrollment, improve retention and secure funding.

Illustrations of people studying literature and technology.
Published: 11.14.2019

An effective education brand takes all the things that makes a school unique — its culture, community, academics, athletics and more — and communicates that uniqueness in a compelling way that inspires the “right” students to enroll. It is not about attracting the best students with the highest test scores and most impressive extracurriculars, but rather, it is about attracting the best students for your institution. Talents and interests converge and align with all the things that makes a college or university uniquely right for individual students.

That’s why there are so many different schools offering unique cultures, opportunities and specific academic focuses.

There are lots of ways to boost enrollment but it’s no longer enough to get students in the door. Refining your efforts to attract students who are a good fit for your institution supports their success and yours. Outcomes are an important metric used when considering where funding is allocated, so refining your efforts will not only help your students, but it will also help your school rise in performance rankings to secure funding.

Student retention rates benefit from a unified brand that attracts students who will thrive and succeed at your institution.

When the state of Ohio shifted the majority of state education funding to an outcome-based model, Clark State needed to get ahead of the curve in attracting students who would succeed. Clark State came to Sanger & Eby to help them break through the noise in the market and communicate their unique value proposition.

We partnered with Clark State on a comprehensive research plan that led to a branding overhaul, including enhancing their school and athletics logos and mascot; new, informative responsive website that spoke to all of their audiences; and created an entire multi-channel enrollment campaign with new custom photography.

The results were staggering.

The year the enrollment campaign began, Clark State was one of only 3 higher education institutions in the entire state of Ohio to experience an increase in enrollment. Enrollment at Clark State increased by 20% during the 2 years the campaign ran and Clark State’s graduation rate has been on the rise indicating a more engaged student population.

Branding and recruitment marketing are playing an ever-increasing role in the way funding for higher education is distributed. Partner with a proven expert in the field — see what Sanger & Eby can do for you.

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