BRANDING OF UNIVERSITY ATTRIBUTES PROMOTING HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS TO BE POSITIVELY DIFFERENT FROM COMPETITORS
PhD student, International Black Sea University, GEORGIA, email@example.com
Branding of the universities is rather new thing in nowadays world. In fact, universities have been chosen considering their features for years.
“A brand is defined as a name, term, sign, symbol (or a combination of these) that identifies the maker or seller of the product” (Kotler & Armstrong, 2012). Accordingly, creating brand in most cases is started from inventing name and logo and positioning them on the market. But, besides visual components (name, logo) invisible process inside organization gives brand competitive advantage (Szczepanska-Woszczyna, 2016). The aim of the present study is to show that internal factors, processes are really valuable and crucial in decision-making process.
Leading universities all over the world are involved in the process of creating valuable brands, have invented and implemented innovative, as well as attractive tools of branding. “University branding requires that the higher education institutions clearly define their differentiating features” (Rekettye & Pozsgai, 2014). Importance of branding derives from the fact, that exactly brand recognition is valuable factor in the process of choosing service (Srinivas, 2012). The universities of most eastern European countries lag behind not considering trends of top international universities.
The main focus of the article is how Georgian universities lead to positioning themselves. The problem in their branding process is that most of them do not define their differentiating features and position themselves the similar way. High school students have no opportunity of choosing universities according to their requirements, that makes studying abroad more and more popular.
The objective of the article is to show how much important it is to plan and develop university internal attributes so, that they strengthened brand itself and made it desirable for customers. Creating identity for the university is the strategy of university branding. Identity can be created using differentiating features this particular institution provides. The aim of many universities in nowadays world is making life easy for students and passing difficult periods with less harm (Javani, 2016).
Keywords: branding, university branding, internal marketing, internal factors, differentiation
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