A System Design Approach

A strategic approach to university branding is the need of the hour in today's highly competitive higher education market (HEM).
Major factors such as rising industrial innovations and the aspirations of Gen Z and millennial students imply that the perception of a university is crucial in their decision-making process for choosing a university.
A student’s educational journey is influenced by its various aspects like campus life, academic rigour, faculty, infrastructure, events and experiences.
IT IS ESTIMATED THAT APPROXIMATELY 2 MILLION Indian students would be pursuing higher education abroad by 2025. This increased outflow of students calls for the university to be strategic and future-ready.

At the heart of a well-branded university lies a seamlessly integrated system design that fosters a desire for learning, builds value, and creates a positive shift in perception.


Faced by CUSAT
The University's inability to cultivate a strong brand affinity among key stakeholders has hindered efforts to increase brand equity.
Additionally, it has struggled to position itself as an ecosystem that can provide valuable human capital to society.
In India, factors such as high family expectations, overseas education consultants and social media platforms influence the decision, leading to a brain drain in the student.
In addition, key findings indicate that the primary drivers that influence migration decisions are the lack of top-ranking institutes, lack of infrastructural facilities within the institutions and deficiency in resources.
Hence, prospective students fail to realize the fact that CUSAT is a 
world-ranking university, recognised by the Times Higher Education World Ranking, with a specific focus on higher education, research on applied science, technology, industry, humanities and commerce. This situation necessitates a multifaceted strategy for university branding

Unlike any other entity branding, a university branding highly relies on its culture, academic prowess of the faculty within and outside the classroom, and overall experience it offers to its students.
The expertise and achievements of faculty members contribute significantly to the university's overall academic reputation.
Strategically enhancing the value of each aspect through an impeccable system design is required to achieve branding goals.
Along with a strong value system, innovative learning methodologies, campus atmosphere, extracurricular activities attract students and faculty alike.
Universities are centres of excellence, playing a powerful role in shaping the socioeconomic landscape.

By nurturing and supporting students stepping on their entrepreneurial journeys, universities become catalysts for economic development. For example, a top-tier incubation center that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship can significantly enhance a university's brand equity.


Positioning a University Brand

Establishing a strong brand architecture is pivotal for uniquely positioning a university brand, and creating a distinctive identity.

This involves building a positive brand perception by effectively communicating both tangible and intangible benefits, and establishing an emotional connect with the audience.

Strategizing the actions to position it and regularly measuring outcomes helps identify necessary iterations, ensuring the brand remains impactful.


  Communicating   Brand Message

Setting a strong brand communication framework translates its unique positioning to society.

Focusing on communicating the unique aspects of a university helps differentiate it as an intensely collaborative and engaging institution among the public. And, creating a strong relationship with stakeholders enhances brand affinity, loyalty and advocacy.

Choosing the right mix of communication mediums (offline and online) helps reach the target audience effectively.

Developing long-term and integrated communication strategies helps stay consistent across all touch points of a prospective student and faculty.

Ensuring the messages align with the brand persona and values is significant.


Delivering Brand Performance

Adapting a data-driven method to measure
and monitor brand performance is key.

According to our analysis, this offers an in-depth understanding of variables that impact the brand performance and helps identify key result areas. Tracking the key metrics provides actionable insights for reiteration and restrategising, this aids in elevating brand performance.

Furthermore, implementing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all branding activities is necessary to ensure quality and consistency. Similarly, enhancing brand awareness, recognition and loyalty among stakeholders such as students, faculty, alumni, and industry partners is influential in today’s changing learning landscape.

Extending strategic alliances with industry links through empowering workshops, inspiring talks from industry veterans would be game-changing. Ultimately aiming for a positive word of mouth in academia, industry and particularly in HEM.
Our approach was aimed to strategically enhance experience of key stakeholders, by carefully designing and implementing a system that would improve various aspects such as culture, operational efficiency,
and infrastructure.

As a result, it opened up a captivating environment for students and faculty. This strategic revamp was not only intended to improve day-to-day operations but also to enhance its overall reputation and positioning, in the hearts of society.


Strategic Benefits of system design

If we view a university as a system design,
its various components such as academics,
culture, infrastructure, and management

are distinct elements within this system.

Each area of functioning is interconnected, and the effectiveness of the entire system depends on this link.  A well-designed system aims to optimise these interconnections to maximize outcomes. When different units of the university system collaborate flawlessly, it enhances the experience of all the stakeholders.

A thoughtfully curated system design serves as a bridge between students and the university, students and faculty, and students and their aspirations, thereby boosting their overall satisfaction.

Subsequently, students feel more empowered, helping them adapt to new challenges and cultivate a positive growth mindset, enabling them to attain their full potential. Happier students regard the university as a source of pride. This emotional connection can foster greater loyalty and engagement.

Over time, this opens up new opportunities for the university in the global market, resulting in industry partnerships and favour, increased admissions, and placements. Moreover, it fosters a new synergy between the university and its students, leading to innovations, talent acquisition and investments.

A Research driven Methodology

Our intensive and exploratory research
focused on comprehensive perception analysis, which enabled us to derive a brand philosophy rooted in Knowledge, Culture, Humanity, and Sustainability.

This philosophy emerged through a text analysis method that involved mapping the perceptions of key stakeholders. We conducted one-to-one interactions with students, alumni, faculty, and staff, distilling major emotional responses. Additionally, we examined content from digital assets, including websites, social media handles, publications, and news media. These efforts identified four fundamental aspects that guided further development.

What We

Our emphasis was to build 

an environment fostering a
transformational relationship
amongst students, alumni,
leadership, management, industries, etc.

This helps enhance brand affinity and loyalty among
the stakeholders. We also re-imagined the design of eco-friendly interactive spaces as part of culture design, for hosting experiential events that promote innovation, creativity and a growth mindset.

Our Impact

The newly designed culture changed the way the University was perceived by its major stakeholders. Our partnership with CUSAT was an engaging and enlightening experience for the Bblewrap team.
It cultivated a positive word-of-mouth reputation, not only within academics but also in the HEM and industry circles.
Furthermore, our strategic goals of increased visibility and positioning were successfully achieved.
The enhanced communication among stakeholders resulted in improved student performance, thereby enhancing the overall functioning of the university.
This global perspective has opened up new avenues for industry collaborations and foreign alliances.

Related Projects

Let’s talk innovation!

Feel free to reach us to explore an idea, or a product/service.
We will be happy to explore it with you.