Many Canadian colleges and universities are actively working on rebranding themselves, seeking to reposition their institutions in the changing higher education marketplace. This could involve colleges becoming universities, universities sub-branding their premiere programs, or local colleges attempting to reposition themselves for growth in larger Canadian and international marketplaces. The reasons behind these changes can be numerous, and they include:
A school or program name change
Changes or additions to your core offerings
Inaccurate or out-of-date public perception or reputation
Rebranding involves the development of new strategic plans, with new goals, vision and value statements, focus groups, consultants and more. A common mistake that schools make when undertaking this process is to overlook the wealth of data they have about their institution from existing web properties. How is your current brand performing? If you change it, how do you know if you have made an improvement? You don’t want to rely on gut feelings. What you need is a full website audit. Thorough strategic web audits can determine the competitive landscape and provide insight into your site’s current performance, search engine ranking, online lead generation and calls to action.
This approach can give you a clear understanding of what your brand and site needs, shedding light on how to build a new brand that better resonates with your students, faculty and special interest groups. In other words, a technical audit should be the first step in the process, identifying problem spots and providing a road map to the improvement of your brand. It will, in essence, tell you exactly where your brand stands, if you should re-brand and, most importantly, how you should do it. To re-brand without an audit could be a costly mistake.
For more on higher education rebranding, check out this informative video put together by the folks at HigherEdLive:
Contact Higher Education Marketing today for a free website audit.