Category Archives: Brand

College, its sense of place, and how it catalyzes responsibility to community

Ownership of a place, a spot on the earth that matters to you profoundly, is part of the college experience. It’s where one comes of age. Where one chose to be. It’s not the home sweet home of one’s parents nor a favorite vacation spot. It’s where one becomes the adult self, one’s first placeRead more

Use your brand to fuel your content and your heart to tell a great story

Is your campus team hard at work managing your brand? If so, you’re likely making decisions about what content to produce to feed your marketing campaign. And, if you’re like most schools, you’re in the mode of collecting stories about the impressive accomplishments of students who then go on to do great things. But areRead more

How collaboration, creativity, and good humor results in a sustainable brand

In the early stages of building a brand, just about every institution we encounter has the same questions and concerns: How will we engage all constituent groups? How much more work will it be for the marketing team? Will it stick for the long-term? Experience tells us that these concerns are most easily addressed atRead more

What idea does your institution want to advance?

This comment was posted in response to an article by Paul Redfern in Inside Higher Education about brand development, specifically the long-standing and successful brand work done at Gettysburg College. The story was then picked up by Elephant Creative, a UK marketing firm.  The Cognitive Marketing team is very proud of the Gettysburg College brand—not just ourRead more

Levels of Joy

When Aretha Franklin performed the song, (You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman at the Kennedy Center Honors awards ceremony, the honoree, Carole King, said it “put her rungs higher on the levels of joy.” I can relate. Though I’m not able to carry a tune, I’ve been transported many times to a betterRead more

Five Takeaways From CASE Summit 2014

1. Ideas Trump Loyalty:  John Sexton, President of New York University, led an interactive session entitled “A Whole New World,” in which he posited that while a time traveler arriving today from one hundred years ago, or even from Oxford and Cambridge one thousand years ago, would likely recognize our universities and colleges as littleRead more

Making Institutional Storytelling More Effective

Storytelling is all the rage these days in college and university marketing. Rather than endless promotional writing extolling the virtues of the institution itself, it’s understood now that it’s better to “prove” those virtues by telling the stories of inspired faculty, gifted students and successful alumni. Stories of human accomplishment are certainly more interesting toRead more

Viewbook 2.0

The conversation has been happening in Admissions and Marketing offices on college campuses across the country for years: Is the viewbook still relevant? A 2012 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, “For Courting Students, Glossy Viewbooks Lose Luster,” notes: “Of all a college’s courtship materials, the viewbook has long been the centerpiece. It seeksRead more

Unite Your Community of Storytellers

At a recent Brand Orientation Workshop at Keuka College, veteran staff members and current students learned about how a campus visit from Eleanor Roosevelt, back when the U.S. was on the brink of entering World War II, still inspires the Keuka College of today, especially its nursing students. Because they heard this story, they, alongRead more

Four Simple Habits of Great Brand Schools

If you were to ask a room of people interested in higher education to fill in a blank sheet of paper with 20 of the best-known schools in the country, it’s likely we would see a considerable amount of agreement as to the identity of those schools. These institutions would represent educational “brands” that haveRead more