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RIT moves forward with research on branding initiative

Jim Miller
James Miller

RIT’s branding initiative is proceeding on schedule with the help of a nationally known consulting firm.

RIT’s Branding Task Force is working with Art & Science Group LLC of Baltimore, a firm that specializes in providing market intelligence to clients in higher education. The company has conducted a series of interviews and met with focus groups on campus and has conducted surveys of alumni, corporate partners, students and prospective students.

The Branding Task Force is co-chaired by James Miller, senior vice president, Enrollment Management and Career Services, and Phil Tyler, associate professor of marketing, E. Philip Saunders College of Business. Its members include Mary-Beth Cooper, vice president for student affairs; Bob Finnerty, chief communications officer; and RIT trustees Klaus Gueldenpfennig, Frank Hutchins, Tom Hubbard and Larry Matteson.

The consultant defines a brand as the intangible essence of an institution and the experience it offers its constituents. Also, a well-positioned brand aligns the institution with constituents’ interests and differentiates it from competitors, giving the concept consistent and clear expression.

“An effective university brand is built from the inside out and based on substance,” says Miller. “Through this initiative, RIT seeks to better understand how we are perceived among key constituencies.”

Tyler says the branding initiative is consistent with and supportive of RIT’s Strategic Plan (2005-2015).

“It reflects the need for RIT to be sensitive to our changing environment and the impacts of those changes on our students, as well as on our faculty and staff, our corporate partners, and other universities with whom we compete for excellent students.”