August 11, 2005
NYT on College Rebrandings
The NY Times runs an interesting article about colleges rebranding themselves--which, in some cases, has dramatically improved their applicant metrics or other success metrics. For example, Arcadia University (formerly Beaver College--good choice to change the name!) doubled its applications. And Trenton State College renamed itself the College of New Jersey; that, plus some other organizational changes, boosted average SATs from 1150 to 1310!
Although the article focuses on college names and not nicknames, I would be remiss not acknowledging Marquette's recent foray into rebranding. I wonder what our SATs would be like if we had stuck with the nickname "Gold"?
Posted by Eric at August 11, 2005 09:54 PM | Trademark
I have thought about University branding for quite some time. A couple years ago, I remember reading something similar (I think it was in the Chronicle of Higher Ed.) about how "colleges" were rebranding to "universities." I graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and undoubtedly, the name has caused confusion in many ways, including applications.
I think the article has a critical omission. It omits the fact that alumni are less likely to donate if their alma mater is a different name than it was when they went to school (and I am not talking about mascots!!).
The article quotes somebody saying that alumni donations increased after the name change -- yeah right!?! I don't believe that for a second, and I am pretty sure that the data shows the contrary.
Posted by: Matthew Goeden at August 12, 2005 02:44 PM