Let the Mayhem Begin: Branding a Public University

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Conference Track

General Papers

Publication Date



To address the chaotic disruption of technology and the increased competition for students, universities must crisply define and communicate their distinctive points of differentiation. Changes to the key brand elements (name, marks, colors, tag lines) in public higher education have often been fraught with difficulty and a challenge to accomplish. As a result, key aspects of the change process have proceeded in private, "behind the veil." This paper presents case research into an attempted university name change that has not progressed to completion.

Theoretical frames from services marketing, branding communities and organizational theory in higher education are employed in the analysis. Managerial implications identify key elements and decision points in public university re-branding processes which leaders will want to consider carefully. Directions for future research--and a call for collaboration between marketing faculty and marketing staff to collaborate to increase the rigor of strategic marketing in the public university sector emerge from the research.

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Digital Commons@Georgia Southern License

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