Professional identities

August 15, 2013

Fred Inglis’ rage against marketing and the way corporate identities are reported to be created for universities (“Incinerated by the branding iron”, 18 July) may be shared by many academics and university administrators if comments heard in and around institutions of higher education are to be believed.

Professional practitioners and firms of such professionals tend to cultivate, protect, cherish and, in some cases, flaunt their professional reputation, and many staff of universities behave in the same way. The same people appear to hate the idea that they and their organisations can be branded, marketed and pushed in to the market with sales promotion campaigns as if they were packaged goods, like soap powder, which they are not.

The problems are well known among academics, administrators, advertising agencies, their support teams and other stakeholders in higher education. What are less well known are the solutions. I think I may have an answer. Wally Olins’ The Corporate Personality: An Inquiry into the Nature of Corporate Identity (1978) is a seminal book that gives a well-regarded introduction to the subject expressed by the title. G. Lynn Shostack’s “Breaking Free from Product Marketing” in the Journal of Marketing (1977) is a much-cited article on the issues. I would encourage those with a stake in higher education to look over the two works, reflect on the thoughtful and constructive ideas they develop and consider them in relation to their own work and to their home institution.

Nicholas Beyts
London

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Retired academics calculating moves while playing bowls

Lincoln Allison, Eric Thomas and Richard Larschan reflect on the ‘next phase’ of the scholarly life