Too many stakeholders: Rebranding a University

by Chris Brown on Sunday, March 25, 2007

Andrew Careaga’s blog talks about a recent name change at University of Missouri-Rolla:

{11 a.m. 3/23/07}… That’s when UMR Chancellor John F. Carney III plans to announce the recommended he has submitted to the University of Missouri and its board of curators. Since sending out a media advisory Thursday afternoon, the Name Change Conversations blog has been moderately abuzz, with traffic surging from an average of about 110 unique visitors per day to 353 yesterday. Commenting has heated up, too, but some of those comments ” from ”insiders” who have gotten the scoop” are being held until after the 11 a.m. announcement. Fun times to be a higher ed blogger.

{Note, the blog has been removed from}

I think that rebranding a university is much harder than rebranding a company. With a university the stakeholders feel much more ownership of the branding than the stakeholders in a company. The faculty. The alumni. The students.

Think about it: how many students shell out hundreds of dollars for the privilege of advertising the university on their chest, backpack, notebooks, car plates. How about alumni?

Most employees want the company to give them branded merchandise, not have them buy it. Most retirees don’t sport the brand like alumni of a university will and do.

I hope Andrew’s university rebranding goes smoothly. It can be tough!

Related Post:
Style Guides: One Key for Revamping the Marketing of a University

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Andrew Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 5:38 pm

Dear Chris:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about our university’s rebranding efforts. Your title says it all: “too many stakeholders.” Prospective students, current students, alumni, faculty and staff, state and federal legislators, research-granting organizations, corporate recruiters, etc., etc. But you’re correct, I believe, in that a university’s stakeholders feel more ownership than a corporation’s.

Andrew @ higher ed marketing

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