Any individual organization must always create its brand and maintain it. Having a unique brand for your own company, firm or social organization such as schools or churches is an adage. Brands are what put an individual or a group in the public eye as it is exactly what people can identify you or your organization with. Therefore, it is essential to be careful and creative when choosing your brand.
La Trobe University is one of the universities that have struggled to create and maintain its brand. It is an Australian-based university located in the city of Melbourne within the Bundoora suburb. Established in 1964, La Trobe University became the third to be found in the state of Victoria and the twelfth university in Australia. It is one of the innovative research universities as well as a luxuriant university.
Being one of the competent universities in Australia and the twelfth to be established, La Trobe University must have tough and very able competitors in brand and university capability. One of the most competitive university brands against La Trobe University is the highest globally ranked Australian National University (ANU). It was established in 1946 and is located in Canberra, Australia. ANU is ranked as Australia’s leading university and one of the world’s best. Regarding branding, therefore, Australian National University is, therefore, one that took longer and had the most time to come up with a suitable brand that has since been able to put it on the map. This, therefore poses a high competition that La Trobe University has to struggle to match.
To be a big brand, one must be ready for significant competition from both smaller brands and more prominent brands. La Trobe University is therefore subject to a highly competitive environment regarding branding and quality of services. Being the twelfth to be established, It must, therefore, struggle hard to either beat or meet the standards set by the earlier established universities, as well as set the standards for those that were developed after itself or that will come after.
- La Trobe University Brand
Brand plays a very important role in determining the objectives of the market, the targeted market class or audience as well as the market strategy. When coming up with a brand, one must consider these aspects of the market to ensure that the brand is in sync with the market. Objectives of the market are basically what the community or the surrounding population, which forms essential parts of the market, is out to achieve. An institution such as La Trobe University, for instance, has set its brand to a standard that meets the objectives of its target market. The market strategy is also essential when building a brand. According to Zott and Amit (2008), firms that approach the market with a plan and strategy when considering their branding options are more likely to succeed in winning the market.
It is therefore clear that branding plays a major role in the market approach and offers a variety of advantages to a strategically branded institution that intends to perform well in a competitive market. Its objectives are thus as a result of the interests of the specific institution or firm. La Trobe University strives to sit its brand’s standards high by offering quality higher education in Melbourne and Victoria as a whole.
- Aspects of the brand
The name basically characterizes a label that an organization or a firm identifies itself with, its term, the symbol or otherwise known as the logo that is unique to the specific agency or firm, unique characters, rules and visions of the business and many other unique features that places a company, product or an individual as favorite against its competitors in the eyes of the consumers. Takahashi and Takahashi (2002) explain that when choosing a brand, it is essential to consider the theme communicated by the brand. That is, the brand must match its purpose. La Trobe University has a unique name in the whole of Australia as well as the world. Also, it has a logo that can only be identified with itself that, although maybe close to another in appearance, has a specific feature that renders it unique and original to itself. The logo, also known as the coat of arms, symbolizes the University’s pride, history, and objectives.
The brand has been effective in favor of La Trobe University as it has helped the university grow strong bonds and a serious relationship between schools and other businesses that are within the university. The fame that the brand has earned the university has made it receive students from within as well as all parts of the world and has also grown the ratings that the school has received over time.
According to Keller (2011), building a brand is one thing, but managing the brand is another. It is important to manage a brand to maintain its purpose and meaning. There are four main ways in which La Trobe University can maintain and manage its brand.
- a) Identity
It is vital for the university to support the idea and the impression that they give its customers and audience about who they are and ensure that the meaning of who they are is not lost, neither does it change from time to time.
- b) Meaning
Maintaining the sense of a brand may be somewhat hard but equally very important. The brand has to keep what it means and exactly what it offers.
- c) Response
The brand that the university has developed must be sure to be self-explanatory about who they are, what they offer and why they are the best.
- d) Relationship
People are often curious about why or how an institution is capable of relating or creating a bond with them. The brand that an organization frequently erects self-explains this concept, and one develops an instant connection with the institution. This is one of the strategies that the La Trobe University should adopt.
I would recommend that the University, therefore, look into the issues that I have discussed above and applied the concepts and ideas that I have developed, advising on how to improve on their brand as well as building an even better name. This would help the La Trobe University to compete favorably with its competitors within Australia and in the rest of the world.