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December 30, 2011 / compassioninpolitics

Marketing and Branding a Sustainability MBA Program

The top nine ways to increase awareness about Bainbridge Graduate Institute:

1. Events. Hosting or sponsoring local eco-networking/eco-business events and speakers.
2. Publishing. A weekly column by one of your professors–ideally this would be both in print and digital form.
3. Speaking. Also, having your teachers/professors speak around at various events.
4. Awards.
5. Scholarship money to existing business owners.
6. Honorary positions.
7. Innovative programs and education models.
8. Partnerships.
9. Sponsorships.

I had some more ideas that might help provide strategic direction and insight:

1. Create a manifesto, a pledge, or the like. Partner with other organizations to provide additional content. Or perhaps a “State of the Union” of the green sustainability space.
2. Column in Fast Company, Business Week, Inc, and/or Huffington Post. Although you might be better served to target green, sustainability, and left-leaning publications. I’m not sure who your exact target audience (my guess is both business minded and green minded individuals–with perhaps an emphasis on the later). I don’t know how feature issues happen, but pitching that to one of the above publications might be interesting. I think there is a lot of info around green, but not all from a data driven perspective.
3. Partnership with SEA, B-Corporation, and other sustainability related organizations (not sure what that would look like, but certainly they are your allies in your mission and movement). They also have deep trust and relationships with your target audiences. Working with Net Impacts publication of their guide might be helpful. (ie an article insert about the value of a sustainability MBA which features you and perhaps other leading schools, so it tells a broad and balanced story about the issue, while offering readers of the Net Impact guide more insight). Same goes for the Aspen Institute.
4. Partner with other schools in your niche. Telling this story is important to your mission.
5. Business plan competition. Classic marketing for MBA schools. Reach out to other programs in both the typical MBA space as well as schools featured in the Net Impact Guide & the Beyond Gray Pinstripes guide. For instance, its a bit simplistic, but a $50k competition is just $5 k from 10 businesses or $10k from 5.
6. Be the go to organization in Seattle for Sustainability events.
7. Publish more data on the sustainability market (consulting, technology, and job markets) now and in the future.
8. Associate yourself with the top ideas, businesses, and thought leaders in the industry in a way that creates mutual value.

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