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Big Brands Are Coming to Higher Education…Are You Ready?

Big Brands Are Coming to Higher Education…Are You Ready_

Those in the publishing industry are no strangers to branding. After all, what’s a company without its name? When we think of names like Apple, Amazon, and Google, we instantly recall their well-known logos. More significantly, we recall their reputation. Though most people don’t imagine their degree as a choice influenced by branding, universities also depend heavily on their own personal brand. Now, however, a new player has come to town. Major companies are creating their very own educational programs, ones that rival the Ivy League. Though big brand names are still in their academic infancy, big change is on the horizon.

The Weight Of Reputation

Branding is about more than being recognizable; it’s about recognition of excellence. Branding done well tells a story, infusing the image of a company with powerful, positive messages. The world of education is no stranger to the value of branding. The Ivy League consistently comprises a large chunk of the top 20 U.S. News university rankings each year- and most of these schools have over 200 years of history to brag about.

What do you think of when you hear the name Harvard, Brown, or Yale? If you’re like most people, you’re impressed. The same can’t be said for newer schools who can’t rely on their lengthy reputation, no matter how revoluntionary their curriculum. Thus far, universities have been primarily rated by their reputation, and building a new one is easier said than done. Big name universities are hard to compete with…but what if the competitors weren’t universities at all? What if educational excellence was weighted by experience and expertise rather than age? That’s exactly what’s about to happen.

The Future Of Education

The brands governing education are about to shift. Reputation is everything- why would one choose Stanford over Hulu for an education in tv production? How could Penn State compete with Google for a degree in programming? To put it simply, it can’t. When hard-hitting educational outsiders with massive reputations start playing ball, traditional universities can expect some losses. When you pair this with the rising costs of a traditional education and the increased availability of information online, the weight of an Ivy League education starts to diminish.

Many employers are now open to bright individuals with a non-traditional education. They want employees with the expertise they need, and the best way to create an expert is to learn from one. Soon, employers will be hiring writers who studied with the New York Times and software developers who learned from the minds behind the Apple app store over those with an unbranded degree. The power shift in education will be huge. No longer will old school universities rule the roost; big brands will be the ones setting the standards instead.

The Potential

It’s no secret that running a successful educational publishing business is no small feat. The rise of college tuition, used textbook programs, and textbook rental services are making it more and more difficult to make a profit selling traditional textbooks. Fortunately, the entrance of big brands into publishing may actually help publishers.

As an increasing number of universities pair with powerful brands, the market for academic content evolves. While it’s not yet clear where publishers fit in this new educational picture, one thing is clear: as the demand for new, skill-based online programs rises, so does the need for high-quality, innovative, and current learning material. The more value publishing companies can bring, the more likely they’ll have a seat at the table. Universities bring the history; big brands bring the connections and real-world experience…the only question is: what will you bring?

Using a high-quality authoring tool like Gutenberg Technology’s end-to-end publishing platform gives content creators the flexibility to seamlessly create content on the web, smartphones, tablets, and more. The simple to use authoring tool is one of the best ways to create custom content to offer students of all ages the best possible learning experience.

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