Reactive brand management in higher education: The case of a teacher training programme in the Netherlands

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Studies of marketing for higher education have widely explored the branding activities of specific entities in higher education such as universities and programmes, but they consistently focus on proactive brand management. Proactive strategies are centred around gaining and maintaining a stronger brand. This also implies that reactive strategies are underexplored. Reactive strategies are rather centred around repairing stakeholder trust in contexts where stakeholders criticise the brand. For instance, in the Netherlands, stakeholders have strongly criticised teacher training programmes, by raising fundamental issues concerning their quality and societal relevance. Based on a case study of a specific teacher training programme in the Netherlands, we investigate processes underlying reactive brand management. We identify several micro-level strategies of brand managers such as acknowledgement, normalisation and denial of responsibility. Our assumption is that these kind of strategies can contribute to the continuity of problematic or even highly controversial entities in higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2143001
JournalJournal of Marketing for Higher Education
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Nov 2022


  • Branding
  • Case study
  • Reactive brand management
  • Teacher training programme
  • The Netherlands


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