The #highered #branding problem: lack of differentiation

Missouri S&T's "Miners Dig Deeper" tagline graces university banners across campus.

Missouri S&T’s “Miners Dig Deeper” tagline graces university banners across campus.

You’ve probably seen the Inside Higher Ed story published today about the remarkably (or unremarkably) similar taglines in use today by many colleges and universities. In Your Future Starts Here. Or Here. Or Here.Inside Higher Ed‘s Ellen Wexler shares examples of higher ed taglines that hold the distinction of being non-distinctive.

(If you haven’t yet read this story, stop what you’re doing and read it now. I’ll wait.) Continue reading

Book review: There Is Life After College

Jeff Selingo's new book, There Is Life After College

Jeff Selingo’s new book, There Is Life After College

When I graduated from high school in the late 1970s, going off to college wasn’t necessarily the default next step for all of my classmates. Several of my friends from the class of ’78 went straight to work, landing decent blue-collar manufacturing jobs or going to work for our town’s biggest industry, the railroad. Continue reading

The gospel according to brands

Economist cover showing Steve Jobs as a messiah figure.

Economist cover showing Steve Jobs as a messiah figure.

Like many of my fellow Americans of Christian heritage, I celebrated Easter Sunday in a rather typical fashion: I attended church, helped with an Easter egg hunt on church grounds, ate a few too many candy eggs, enjoyed a nice meal with family and capped the day watching college basketball. (I’m happy that North Carolina, my pick for this year’s champion in one of my brackets, advanced to the Final Four last night.) If my activities on Easter are any indication, it’s clear that the meaning behind the big Christian holidays of Easter and Christmas was not always at the forefront of my observance of the holiday. For many of us, Easter and Christmas is more about spending time with loved ones than about the religious or spiritual aspects of these days. Continue reading

Can #highered move from hierarchical to networked?

JUN15_08_545754619_bFor many months now, I’ve been thinking a lot about the forces discussed in this great Harvard Business Review article about the need for organizations to shift from hierarchical to networked structures. And I’ve been wondering whether higher education, bound as it has been for centuries in a hierarchical structure, can make the shift to a networked one. Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday: Favorite #highered #marketing posts of 2015

thumb-422147_960_720I cranked out a fair amount of bloggage in 2015. Much of it was forgettable, but these five are among my favorites for the year.

Based on what the analytics tell me, you readers liked some of them, too. So I hope you enjoy revisiting them as we close the book on 2015.

Continue reading

The year in relevant reading

pile-o-books2015 wasn’t a great reading year for me. I may have started a dozen books, and finished perhaps eight or nine of them. Not much to brag about there.

When you consider books relevant to this blog, the pickings for 2015 were pretty slim. That made it easy to narrow down to my top three books relevant to higher ed and/or marketing that were published in 2015. If you didn’t read them this year, you might want to consider reading them in 2016. Here they are: Continue reading