Magazine article Times Higher Education

The Only Way Is to the 'Lighthouse': News

Magazine article Times Higher Education

The Only Way Is to the 'Lighthouse': News

Article excerpt

Essex's efforts to stand out in marketplace confuse English speakers. John Morgan reports.

The cynics predicted that the creation of a market in higher education would lead to universities pointlessly splurging on marketing as competition for students increased.

But they reckoned without the "Challenger Lighthouse".

A paper titled "Developing a 'Challenger' Lighthouse Identity" was recently presented at the University of Essex's governing council.

Essex has commissioned consultants eatbigfish to work on "creating a convincing narrative around what distinguishes the university ... projecting an identity that will help (it) to recruit the students it wants and needs", the paper says.

Eatbigfish specialises in "challenger brands" - smaller names that want to grab a bigger share of the market. The firm explains on its website that challenger brands "project what they believe like a lighthouse, so you notice them, even if you are not looking for them", and are "anchored on a product rock or compelling truth about their offer".

The firm explains that the "Challenger Lighthouse Identity Programme" is "an intense facilitated process run over a 12-16 week timeframe with a cross functional team (including agency partners)".

And "with strategy and execution running together the deliverables for the process are both tangible - a 3-5 year vision and illustrative executional ideas to accompany it - and intangible - ownership and alignment across a team through co-creation and addressing all needs". …

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