This article reflects upon the implications of institutional branding, brand management, and brand equity in the context of the global higher education market. The penetration of marketing principles, tactics and strategies into academia has been documented since the 1980s and has generally been presented as an intrusion of consumer economics, with advertising as its most conspicuous form. This article questions the rupture theories that view branding as a mere avatar of globalization and argues that traditional preconceptions, even in a country like France where branding and brand management seem at odds with the systemic philosophy, conceal degrees of continuity in brand management. Branding is regarded as comprehensive long-term processes that operate within market environments seeking short-term financial returns. The issue of the coherence between form and content is raised, no academic institution having ever been documented to have become a world-class university through branding alone. The author debates whether institutional branding strategies should be regarded as dynamic homegrown marketing strategies or as conservative status-preserving postures imposed by the market.
|Keywords:||Branding, Brand Management, Brand Equity, Marketing, Higher Education Governance|
Université de Montpellier III, Montpellier, France
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