Can a strategic plan have a brand?

I am not really crazy about the word brand and its use in higher education, but I thought including it in a blog post might get some people to tune in.

It’s hard for me to imagine that a strategic plan can be branded in the same what Fruit of Loom or Tide is branded, but I do think it is possible to identify a few distinguishing characteristic of Affirm, Assure and Assess that make our plan stand out in higher ed and position us well to implement the plan.

The following statements represent the values and value of Affirm, Assure and Assess and probably comes as close to a brand as anything might:

•  It responds thoughtfully but very directly to identified contemporary risks to the college  (RESPONDS TO REAL RISKS)

•  Furthermore, it includes methodology for measuring our responses to those risks across all levels of the college  (MEASURES OUR RESPONSES)

•  It drew upon the input of a vast cross-section of the college’s constituencies throughout its development, and will continue to rely upon that broad commitment throughout the execution of strategic goals (INCLUSIVE)

•  The plan will focus our attention and align our work for the next three to five years as we work to strengthen the college’s human resources, improve our physical plant and neighborhood and implement programming curriculum, experiences and teaching that prepare our students to stand out (ALIGNS OUR WORK)

Again, I don’t know if this is worthy of a so called “brand,” but I sure do like the values and value described above. Don’t you, too?


W. Kent Barnds

VP Enrollment, Communication and Planning

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