Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Organization & Leadership EdD

First Advisor

Patricia Mitchell

Second Advisor

Betty Taylor

Third Advisor

Ellen Herda


Many educational institutions across the world create an image to attract students; this process is called branding. Branding began as a channel of choice for consumers and has grown to include what an organziation respresents in worth and values. Corporations commonly implement branding initiatives through trademark-licensing programs due to competition and infringements that mocked their services or marks. Specifically, corporations across the world wanted to be unique from others that might have similar offerings. Likewise, many college institutions such as Harvard, University of California Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California have branded their identity through the use of trademarks. Due to the increased competition in higher education, branding has become more relevant in promoting an institution’s reputation, as well as generating additional revenue for the institution through the sale of trademarked goods.

This study examined the ascribed importance and perceived impact of branding initiatives in higher education in California. The study specifically examined the perceptions of elements in 4-year college and university branding initiatives in California. In addition, the study validated the newly developed survey instrument through assessment of psychometric properties, particularly, internal consistency.

The study used a quantitative methodology approach by distributing a newly developed, online suvey, Perceptions of Branding in Higher Education. The survey was ii given to individuals employed at colleges and universities in California who seek assistance with their branding initiatives by Strategic Marketing Affiliates, Collegiate Licensing Company, or Licensing Resource Group.

The data gathered from the survey lent significant insight into the benefits of trademark programs and branding. Through positively correlated statistical findings, the data showed that branding has many positive impacts on colleges and universities. Overall, trademark programs have had a substantial and positive impact on colleges and universities, ranging from campus identity and increased enrollment, to increasing college recognition. According to the professionals who responded to the survey, branding appears to beneficially impact higher educational institutions.

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