Your name as your brand (2)
THE name of your alma mater with the kind of education you have received brands you differently from others in the pack. Educational institutions of long-standing ensured that their names were well positioned to achieve this branding.
They ensure that such names are written on the walls of history through industry, dedication as well as the right application of such names as academic brands. They remind their products that good names open doors and even motivate future stars.
This is so as certain names of educational institutions are positioned as unique brands that endure. Many of them stand for specific vision and mission, reflecting in their academic briefs, anthems, emblems, flags and mottos.
This is why even after years of graduation from their alma mater, alumni of institutions of reputable brands still identify with them through participation and support. The mission should be impactful.
The vision should be tall such that it will radiate uniqueness of the institution as a brand that sells.
For example, the universe of knowledge named university is an all-encompassing centre of learning anywhere in the world—from Mathematics to Languages; from Communication to Sciences; Medicine to Law, IT, Sociology, History and Religious Studies; from Political Science to Accounting, Economics to Architecture.
Many areas abound in such universe where individuals are well developed to stand in different fields of their choices.
But when we critically think about it, a university with character-moulding and good moral standards will be outstanding in name as a brand. Such an institution will not only nourish the brain but also the mind of every product to make positive peaceful impact on the immediate society and the world at large.
A good instance is a vision nurtured by the former judge of the world court, Prince Bola Ajibola.
After branding his name in law to an international acclaim, as an icon of the noble profession, he was not done with that. He thought about branding other unique products beyond his children. Then another name emerged in a lifelong education investment-a universe of knowledge named Crescent University.
At his retirement from the International Court of Justice in The Hague, he sold all that he had both home and abroad to accomplish the vision of his desired brand, rather than retire to bliss as several of his colleagues from the ICJ did.
The brand mission was to mould youths’ character starting from his immediate society; to unite youths from the North and the South of our country so as to live together in peace and harmony. This mission was not only for the products—the students at both undergraduate and post graduate levels—to pass academically but also to pass in their character— thus leaving behind an enduring brand in education sector.
According to Ajibola, “we are not branding brilliant beats here. What we are branding are global citizens of the world who will be torch bearers and good ambassadors of our institution and, indeed, our country.”
To him, Boko Haram people are brilliant beasts without character. They went to school, speak good English, are sophisticated in the use of weaponry but are lacking in good moral character. “Fail in moral is fail in all!” It is only the combination of sound knowledge with sound moral discipline that can rid our society of such terrorist insurgency.
A good brand will have good appeals just as exemplified by products of this institution founded by the world jurist. A good brand will not take vengeance or run down another.
In one instance, one of the current state governors narrated a story to the effect that students of some universities who are indigenes of his state were calling out others to join in a protest against installation of a traditional ruler.
Pronto, students from some universities joined in the unruliness which led to vandalism of public property.
In a testimonial to some stakeholders, the governor revealed that those of this universe of knowledge named Crescent University, Abeokuta, resisted the invitation, saying that their university had taught them not to vandalise, rebel or destroy public property at all times.
The students were also quoted as advocating that legal and peaceful processes be adopted to resolve issues for the society’s orderliness. This is uniqueness in a name as a brand which goes beyond reading, passing examinations and obtaining certificates.
A bird does not fly with one wing. This university of “academic and moral excellence” denies students who fail in character their certificates because this is the vision of the visionary, the founder, the jurist, Judge Ajibola.
The university has been able to achieve this positioning for itself within 10 years of existence. The lesson from this is that it is incumbent for the visionary of a name to constantly echo and re-echo why that name exists as a brand. There must be a USP. The flavour, the essence and the substance of that name should not be lost in the crowd.
In another instance, a lady who finished her degree at Crescent University, Abeokuta, with first class honours and was certified worthy in character had scholarship to study for her master’s at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland. Within the period of her study, the university keenly observed that her punctuality and moral conduct were second to none. Because she was also a distinction student of that university (Robert Gordon), she was asked where the impact of her good attributes came from.
Without mincing words, she named her Alma Mater, Crescent University, Abeokuta, Nigeria, where knowledge and character were regularly emphasised in her undergraduate days apart from the academic lectures. Having presented the name of her Alma Mater as a unique brand, the lady has equally presented to the outside world that Nigeria can be a good brand despite some black sheep among us.
So, every academic institution needs to brand its name uniquely for an identity. As knowledge governs ignorance, good character will govern corruption and other social vices in our society.
This is an identity in the education sector. Going by the statement credited to Mustapha that “if you train a woman, you train a nation, “another uniqueness in the name of this university of “academic and moral excellence” is the passion to develop girl-child education; to brand women as unique academic products.
Therefore, it is no longer news that after graduating six sets in its 10 years of existence, Crescent University, Abeokuta, has consistently produced more girls with first-class honours than men.
How you brand your name in your sector—be it healthcare, manufacturing, banking, government agencies, media, property, travel and tourism and so forth—makes a long-lasting impression.