Marketing

Forget college rankings: Which universities have the best brand trust?

“The strongest brand in the world is not Apple or Mercedes-Benz or Coca-Cola. The strongest brands are MIT, Oxford, and Stanford,” Scott Galloway once said.
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NYU Stern marketing professor Scott Galloway once said that “the strongest brand in the world is not Apple or Mercedes-Benz or Coca-Cola. The strongest brands are MIT, Oxford, and Stanford.”

According to a new special report from Morning Consult on the most trusted colleges and universities, Galloway isn’t exactly wrong. The report (which was conducted June 11–15 and surveyed 11,050 US adults) found that…

US colleges and universities are more trusted than other institutions: The US government, corporations, and media orgs all scored lower on trust than the place where you used to get food poisoning from the dining hall on a quarterly basis.

But Gen Z still isn’t sold: The age group that had the lowest trust in US universities of any generation, trusting higher ed 14% less than baby boomers…probably because many of them haven’t yet realized how valuable having four straight years to focus on mastering the noble sport of beer pong is.

Johns Hopkins was the most trusted school overall. William & Mary clocked in at No. 12, the University of Florida came in at No. 43, and Washington University in St. Louis being No. 83 most trusted.

Looking ahead: It’s no wonder why colleges are spending billions on marketing these days, with more and more marketers joining campus C-suites.

+1: Fostering trust could become even more important as some reconsider the value of college—enrollment across undergrad programs was down 4.7% in spring 2022 compared to a year prior, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. As another great scholar once said, it’s brutal out there.—PB

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