Top-Tier Business School Repositions Its Brand in a Changing Market


A top-tier U.S. graduate business school with a global reputation re-examined its position and brand image relative to a core group of competitors in the changing market for world-class business education. The challenge was how to integrate the diverse perspectives of the stakeholders, constituents, and communities it serves, such as MBA students, executive education sponsors, and recruiters. Could an authentic core belief exist among all customer segments regarding the value of this one top-tier school?


We partnered with the business school's marketing agency to design and implement the first phase of hybrid research, which focused on executive education. We developed a core in-depth interview guide to address key questions with decision-makers directly or indirectly involved in investing in business education for corporate employees. Asking the right questions to uncover and probe insights that matter helped to meet the school's strategic challenge and guide marketing and public relations. 


The business school's marketing agency used the insights, implications, and recommendations from our solution to guide successive phases of hybrid research among different customer segments. We delivered the results to the agency account team in a combined debriefing and brainstorming session, which we facilitated. Key to the repositioning process and rebranding outcome was our approach to exploring the value of a top-tier business program and the context in which each customer segment perceives differences among top-tier business schools. 

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