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ROLEx Academic Branding Management

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ROLEx Academic Branding Management
by UNO- Recoletos - Wednesday, 3 April 2019, 7:33 AM

Academic Branding Management training workshop for Agriculture teachers was held in UPLB SEARCA study room last June 16-17,2018. The head trainers were Prof Glenn N. Baticados and Glenn B. Gregorio.  Instead of the usual SWOT analysis, the Value Proposition Canvas was used because it provides a more holistic picture of the factors and considerations in identifying UNO-R’s unique value proposition. The goal is for UNO-R, specifically the Agriculture program to build SIMPLE values by promoting a curriculum which is “Industry-designed; Employment-ready; and Partnership-driven.”

One aim is to capitalize on UNO-R’s reputation of having graduates valued for their work ethics when they enter the workplace. This is known to be UNO-R’s advantage over other schools. However, it was also revealed through a market research that the Agriculture program in UNO-R does not sufficiently prepare students for a career in sales. The personality and practical life skills of graduates should, therefore, be enhanced.

This is why the value proposition developed is quite promising. When prospective UNO-R students undergo an industry-designed curriculum, this allows them to learn and adopt a certain work culture and to learn trade secrets in the industry that are not usually taught in schools. Also, hard work, resourcefulness, resilience, and discipline will be developed. This does not mean, however, that the General Education courses will be left out. Instead, the GE courses are where students can learn and assimilate UNO-R’s SIMPLE values. The curriculum will, therefore, highlight a combination of VALUES FORMATION and LIFE SKILLS.

The Value Proposition served as the basis for the completion of the Business Model Canvas (BMC). This canvas is meant to lay out the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures VALUE. In order to ensure that students outcomes are met, the BMC is a foremost step. Mr. Rodel Anunciado further explains that the BMC is a strategic management tool to design and communicate business model and that any business should be repeatable and scalable.

9 Building Blocks of the BMC

  1. Customer Segments
  2. Value Propositions
  3. Channels
  4. Customer Relationships
  5. Revenue Streams
  6. Key Activities
  7. Key Resources
  8. Key Partnerships
  9. Cost Structure

The discussion led to the following application of the BMC in the case of UNO-R:

  1. Customer Segments – represented by the Unabia’s
  2. Value Propositions – Partnership-driven; Industry-designed; and Employment-Ready
  3. Channels – personal, online
  4. Customer Relationships – personal, online, social media
  5. Revenue Streams – tuition, miscellaneous, short courses, sponsorships
  6. Key Activities – a retooling of the curriculum; looking for the partners; selling the idea to the management; promotions and marketing
  7. Key Resources – government support, teachers, students, partner companies; Web portal
  8. Key Partnerships – LGUs, companies, feeder schools, PTA, partner schools, grants and scholarships, financial assistance,
  9. Cost Structure – salaries, infrastructure, equipment, innovation hub (let the partners handle the infrastructure) UNO-R’s role is on teachers, curriculum, among others. The Board has to understand that UNO-R is on the receiving end.

Potential partners may include alumni in the pharmaceutical industry as brand ambassadors, San Miguel, Bounty Fresh, top executives who will be invited to hold short courses, the international Recoletos system, among others. Also, a partnership between UNO-R and UPLB Agribusiness program may be explored. To enable this, key activities involve partners’ recruitment. The Agri Innovation Forum/Summit will serve as the first platform. Also, one strategy is to focus on partners that can draw other partners.

Prof. Baticados then had a short, interesting talk on what distinguishes a good brand and a great brand. Key takeaways are the following:

  • That marketing is about delivering your promise.
  • That one should be truthful and clear about who you are and what you do.
  • That it is crucial to understand yourself and understand your audience.
  • That it is crucial to keep one’s promises.
  • That it is important to stay relevant and evolve.

Mr. Gian de Jesus then facilitated a visioning exercise for the group in order to begin the “Branding Journey” which is composed of the following:

  • Brand Message
  • Brand Name
  • Brand Design Brief
  • Brand Logo
  • Brand Identity
  • Brand Guidelines
  • Brand Applications
  • Brand Personality
  • Brand Voice
  • Brand Experience
  • Brand Story
  • Brand Value
  • Brand Strategy
  • Brand Engineering
  • Brand Culture

The visualization activity led to the following insights and recommendations:

  1. People’s perception of agriculture and of UNO-R is that both are very traditional.
  2. The Rolex program, on the other hand, is very current and 21st
  3. To marry these, UNO-R should make good use of its online infrastructure which is already in place, and attach the “millennial” brand to UNO-R.
  4. There are four authors when it comes to brand story, namely:
  • The company itself – UNO-R
  • Popular culture
  • Influencers / Brand ambassadors
  • Experiences and collective stories from the students and parents (customer segment)
  1. The UNO-R representatives are excited about the kind of clients and stakeholders that they may have given the proposed innovation in the curriculum. Also, they are excited for UNO-R to claim back its throne as the University of choice of students. They are also optimistic to teach using modern, innovative approaches ways, to tap successful alumni, and to see UNO-R live by its values and be known as an “Innovation Hub.”
  2. The participants also foresee having diverse agricultural industries in the province, and not just confined to the sugar cane industry. Examples are the swine industry and agripreneur businesses.
  3. Overall, they are excited to build a brand for UNO-R’s Agriculture program that transforms people’s perception of agriculture from that of being traditional to that of something exciting, innovative. The brand should, therefore, be able to communicate with a wide spectrum of audiences.
  4. The Rolex idea transcends geographic boundaries; thus, it can serve as the flagship program. Partnership with UP Open University can be explored.
  5. Online learning should be made a key feature of UNO-R’s unique offering, and that short sample courses should be offered.

Finally, the continuation of the co-creation of the Brand Story will still be geared towards changing people’s perceptions and mindsets – towards UNO-R, toward agriculture, and towards education responsive to the needs of 21stcentury learning.