Values-based post-secondary brand architecture modelling
Khan, Alexandra Inez
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Subjectbrand architecture; brand equity; co-creation; cultural auditing; discursive leadership; post-secondary
In an environment where funds are shrinking and competition is increasing, post-secondary institutions would benefit from the unification of administration, service staff, and faculty efforts under a single authentic brand promise supported by co-created values-based tactics. Such an approach builds brand equity, creates workflow efficiency, and strengthens organizational culture; these are all factors that strengthen the institution’s ability to thrive in a competitive market. Contrapuntal Analysis (Baxter, 2011) was used to explore the competing discourses at a Canadian college. Findings confirmed the main area of friction is the commodification of education. Three basic assumptions define college culture: 1) A dedication to fostering relationships in service of individual student success and excellent programming; 2) A dedication to meeting the learner where they are at; and 3) A recognition that the role of education is both social and economic. To thrive within a flat unionized organizational structure, the institution should create an environment that balances autonomy and systems. The findings validated a new post-secondary branding model that combines discursive leadership, cultural auditing, brand architecture, and post-secondary branding theory. The evidence-based brand model called Discursive Leadership Brand Architecture Model (DLBAM) and research are offered to communications experts serving post-secondary institutions. DLBAM celebrates post-secondary sub-cultures and tasks the members of each sub-culture to contribute to a co-created marketing effort that will increase brand equity, positively affect enrolment, attract new employees, and encourage stakeholder investment. Keywords: brand architecture, brand equity, branded house, branding, co-creation, culture, cultural auditing, discursive leadership, post-secondary
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