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October 1, 2012

9

Getting Started: A Conversation about Longwood Branding

Longwood Students Walking

Welcome to the president’s blog on branding. An important component of the university’s strategic priorities for 2012-13 is to develop a compelling brand for Longwood.

Critical to this process is gathering input from faculty, staff, alumni and students about what they think makes Longwood attractive to prospective students. Your perceptions are important in understanding Longwood’s brand and in deciding how we want to shape it, so please—Join the Conversation.

Each week on the blog, we will post a summary of the week’s discussion. It would be helpful when you post for you to identify yourself as a faculty or staff member or a student.

For the purpose of sparking the discussion, you may want to view the preliminary take on Longwood’s brand. Download/View Preliminary Brand Platform (Word)

Before everyone gets started with providing their input, we should make sure we are all on the same page about what a brand and branding actually are.

Very simply put, a brand is the set of perceptions in a customer’s mind about a product, service or organization.

Branding is the process of creating those perceptions.

Sometimes people think of a brand as something physical, like the Coca-Cola logo, or a few words, like Nike’s “Just Do It” or a university’s tagline. But really when we speak of a brand we’re referring to what comes to a customer’s mind when he or she thinks about a product, service or organization.

When someone mentions Volvo, do you think of safety and quality? When someone mentions Target, do you have a different set of perceptions than when you think about Wal-Mart?

Branding is the process of trying to change and adjust those perceptions, and one way to change them is to articulate what makes us unique.

What do you think makes Longwood attractive to prospective students? What about to their parents? Would the most attractive characteristics of the university differ depending on which of our target areas the prospective students are from? (Longwood’s target recruitment areas are Northern Virginia, Tidewater, Richmond and select areas of Maryland.) How do Longwood’s attractive characteristics stack up against our primary competition, especially James Madison, Christopher Newport, Radford and VCU?

Thank you very much for your participation in this important initiative.

Use your Longwood ID (LancerNet ID) to login and post a comment below.

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9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dawn Schwartz
    Oct 25 2012

    When I was a student here at Longwood, the thing that stood out the most to me was the caring faculty and staff. I was a young mother of two and they helped me to figure out my goals and then to plan my schedule accordingly around work, kids, etc. They encouraged me. The faculty and staff of the business school were always available for questions, worked with me if I needed to miss class due to a sick child, etc. and they showed through their actions that they truly cared about my personal life and me as a student. They still ask me about my kids when they see me. It means a lot to have people truly care and to encourage you when you are in college. Some days that extra encouragement makes all the difference. I am a staff member at Longwood and my children are now teenagers. I too care about these students and feel that we are more of a community, family, we look out for the students and would do anything we can to help them. I look at them as if they were my own children, how would I want my own child to be treated, how I would hope someone would help my own child if they needed it while away from home, how I would hope someone would give that extra encouragement to my children. Whether it is helping with directions or offering internships. The faculty and staff care about the students and want to help them.

  2. Laura Matthews
    Oct 18 2012

    I absolutely love the professors here at Longwood. They are dedicated individuals who really care about your success and they are always there to help you when you need it. I came to Longwood in January of 2012 as a transfer student and I know that I made the right choice in choosing Longwood as my school. I would recommend Longwood University to anyone. I love Longwood and I am proud to be a Lancer. I couldn’t imagine myself going anywhere else.

  3. Jessica James
    Oct 18 2012

    The Professors are one of the best aspects of Longwood. I am a Chemistry major and I know that if I have a problem I can just go to, not only my professor, but any chemistry professor and ask them for help. And the Biology Professors are just as helpful when it comes to really understanding what they are talking about during classes.

    Another thing is the campus itself. One of the reasons I came to Longwood is because of how beautiful the campus is, their isn’t another like it! I love going out and working on my Photography by using what is right in front of! The campus here is the most beautiful one I saw when I was going from school to school to decide where to go.

    Longwood is defiantly the place to be!

  4. Marjorie Connelly
    Oct 18 2012

    so, it clearly looks like we have a trend here! And its one that I am very glad to hear about – talented and caring Faculty really can make all the difference. Are there any specific stories that would make this factor come alive for potential students who might not be familiar with Longwood?

    Also, what are other people’s thoughts regarding the community aspect? Are there specific things we do that help to create this or does it just happen?

  5. Karen Richardson
    Oct 8 2012

    Also being an English Major, I concur that the professors here at Longwood University are one of the figurative crown jewels. To me, Longwood University is more than just a school, it’s home. From the atmosphere at the dining hall to socializing with my friends in my hall, to just simply walking down Broc Commons, I can’t imagine being anywhere else. Longwood has accepted me where I would be lost at other, bigger universities. Longwood has become the family I’ve always wanted, nurturing, loving, and pushing me to be more than I can be. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more that Longwood has to offer, and I think it would take the remaining three years I have here to just to fully explain why Longwood is so great.

  6. Paige Reitz
    Oct 5 2012

    I would concur that a lot of what makes Longwood stand out is the dedication of its faculty. I’m a social work major, and I know each one of my professors really well and feel I can go to any of them directly if I have any questions or concerns. They’re involved in the school at a unique level that sets us apart from other schools. They care so much about students’ success in AND out of the classroom, and it’s not unusual for professors to ask what’s going on around campus for particular clubs, such as fundraisers and spirit nights, at the beginning of class so lesser known organizations can get some recognition.

    Further, I also agree that we truly are a community here at Longwood. There is a solidarity for the most part that brings people together. Even as a transfer student, I didn’t feel like much of an “outsider” in my classes that first semester and I feel there isn’t such a negative stereotype associated with freshmen that so many other schools have, which is great.

  7. Destiny Saladin
    Oct 5 2012

    One thing I love is the professors. I am an English Major and all of my professors are amazing. They are willing to meet with you anytime for help on an assignment, paper, or a difficult reading. And they don’t just talk to you about classes. They ask about you! Dr. Heady and I had a good conversation about how we are both from Michigan and what it means that he went to Ohio State for graduate school. Their doors are always open and I know that if I have questions from class to life they will be there for me.

  8. Mariah Bono
    Oct 5 2012

    In regards to branding, I think Longwood should show itself as the atypical college. Professors don’t just sit there and lecture at you. We have interactive lectures, discussions, and ‘question days’. I have professors who give candy out on Fridays, or who actively try to incorporate their ‘ramblings’ into things like extra credit opportunities. It’s not weird to have a professor ask, “Any more questions?” at the end of a lecture and have students reply with, “How was your day/weekend/whatever?” We are a community here at Longwood. That is the most important thing to me about this school, and I think it needs to be promoted as much as possible!

  9. Marjorie Connelly
    Oct 5 2012

    i have gotten a number of emails with questions aboutbhow this works. I will respond to each individually via email but also post general answers here in case some of you have similar questions. thanks and I look forward to your thoughts

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