Branded Educational Programs

Think Small Picture

Many schools of all stripes – public, private, vocational, international – continue to invest in defining their own Brand (note capital B). Mostly, this involves intense, navel-gazing research focused on identifying a single, large, visual idea about the school.
Reality: While schools may want to sell the total experience of achieving a degree within their hallowed halls, students today want to view education as a buffet.

Students today are seekers, not finders

The 80/20 rule applies; roughly 20% of students use 80% of school resources. The rest are only partially engaged and wandering through the land of online courses and community colleges. Here’s a link to some wonky research if you have the time.
The point is that students today want bite-sized academic samples before ordering the full, prix fixe meal. Who can blame them? .The cost of college is ballistic in both private and public sectors.

The trend: Concise credentials

Rather than expect an 18 year old to stare $140,000 of debt in the face, why not offer small-batch experiences instead?
Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate is a prime example It’s a 6-month commitment, no experience necessary, and offers qualification for entry-level work with a $50K+ salary.
This is a radically pragmatic response to traditional colleges, private schools, and open-curriculum schools, which seem abstract and dysfunctional in light of today’s need for focused qualifications.

Educational Programs = Branded merchandise

We think schools need to take a more merchandised approach to selling their wares. Individual courses, collections of courses, and micro-degrees and certificate programs should slowly share the stage with (and may eventually eclipse) Bachelor’s degrees and MBAs.

The advantages: More (quantitative) student engagement. A flatter revenue stream that’s more sustainable. A customizable, go-at-your-own-pace path to a degree that doesn’t feel like all-in Texas Hold ‘Em.

And a scholastic brand that feels flexible, fun, dynamic – and relevant.

If your school needs to revitalize its identity, contact us.
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