Publications & Products
To Be or Not to Be Distinctive

The Challenge of Being DistinctiveHow do you distinguish your institution from others when competing for students, funding, and reputation? In other words, how do you achieve strategic advantage for your institution, and do so in a way that resonates with your audiences Can you do it while achieving the twin virtues of aspiration and authenticity? 

Achieving all of this is not easy. To find a solution, you must examine the quality of your process and your commitment to seeing it through to reach for your institution's distinction.

Susannah Baker and Anna Myers guide readers through just such a comprehensive process in The Challenge of Being Distinctive: What You Stand For and How It Delivers Strategic Advantage, a new resource from CASE. The authors unveil the key phases of their Distinct Framework and provide concrete guidance about how to navigate each step to enhance reputation and brand. Moreover, they draw upon many expert contributions and case studies from university leaders, faculty, marketing and communications leaders, and industry consultants. The result is an insightful look at how pursuing three main criteria, being real, rare, and relevant, can help you chart a path to defining and communicating what makes your institution truly distinctive.

This book will show you how to:

  • Chart a path toward distinctiveness that can set your institution apart,
  • Pursue institutional change that takes advantage of opportunities and achieves buy-in across all levels,
  • Work with institutional leaders to understand and embrace their unique role in distinctiveness,
  • Establish your distinctiveness, test it, and revise it when it needs updating,
  • Communicate it to audiences to achieve your goals, and
  • Use distinctiveness to enhance your development efforts.

"As a vice-chancellor, I've found this book particularly helpful," says Alistair Fitt of Oxford Brookes University. "It really does shine a light on what can make a university stand out and how an institution can tell its stakeholders and audience about everything that makes it really special."

This article is from the BriefCASE 2017 issue.