Marketing the Institution to Prospective Students – A Review of Brand (Reputation) Management in Higher Education

Justin Beneke


This article considers an overview of brand (reputation) management in higher education, with a focus on South
Africa. The literature paints a picture necessitating a proactive stance on maximizing the appeal of the
institutional brand so as to recruit desirable students and ensure that the institution’s strategic goals are achieved.
Inherent in this approach is embracing the competitive challenge, effecting internal remedies and thereafter
ensuring that all branding elements are cohesively aligned. Findings suggests that just like any other brand, an
institutional brand has the effect of reducing perceived risk for consumers (the students) and allowing the
institution a degree of stability in the market place. However, marketers of institutional brands are cautioned
against the multiplicity effect, whereby the multifaceted brand can prove challenging to manage. Lastly, a South
African framework is reviewed as a means to achieve the above.

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