The Dean's Digest -February 2014
Building a brand takes time.
The McColl School brand is well-established here in Charlotte, the result of many years of delivering high quality graduate education by accomplished faculty to business professionals on their way up. Over time, our reputation grew by word-of-mouth from proud alumni and with it came more visibility, more students, and the base of our brand. From humble beginnings of our MBA program in 1980, the McColl School experienced strong growth in the 90s and the first decade of this century.
But now we are a mature business facing many competitors in the region and trying to attract new Charlotte residents who may not be as familiar with the McColl name or our heady days of yesteryear. Visibility is harder to come by, potential students have more choices, and our brand needs polishing.
This makes the new recognition by CEO Magazine (see the lead story) all the more significant. We are becoming better known outside the United States than inside the state of North Carolina! CEO Magazine bases a large portion of its rankings on the quality of a business school's faculty, more so than average GMAT scores, percentage of Fortune 500 companies that recruit on campus, or average starting salary of MBA graduates, like some of the domestic ranking services do. On faculty credentials and experience we shine; hence, our good showing in the CEO Magazine rankings.
But the rankings offer much more than mere bragging rights. They validate part of our new Queens 2017 strategic plan. We envisioned a broader footprint for the McColl School, one that would provide national (and international) recognition. Over the next several years we know that we must compete harder for new students and for new faculty. Marketers tell us that brand awareness is a necessary ingredient for success.
Thus, we need to spread our brand promise far and wide, well beyond the Charlotte region. Our online MBA program launches this fall and, over time, we should attract students from across the country. What will drive them to the McColl School for their MBA? The McColl School brand.
Rankings help, faculty research helps, international study trips help, online programs help, but most of all the accomplishments of our alumni tell the story of the McColl School. Thank you for helping us rise to this point. Now, let's climb the next hill!
As always, we'd love to hear from you, we'd love to meet you for coffee some morning, and we would love for you to subscribe to the McColl School blog. It's your move! Ron Shiffler Dean Thrive!
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