The “Meiji Gakuin University branding project” is a system designed to deepen the connection between Meiji Gakuin University and society at large. It is clearly different from public relations that aim only to boost the university’s name recognition.
The term “brand” usually refers to product images in a certain category and is a concept that arises between enterprises that offer consumer goods and services and consumers who desire them. Fundamentally, universities provide a “service” known as education to “consumers” known as students, so each well-known university has its own brand image that shares with society. Nevertheless, there are definite differences between “ordinary product brands” and “university brands.”
In the case of a “university brand,” the brand does not arise only out of the relationship between the university providing the service and the students requiring it. Is also necessary to consider the motive factor known as society. This is because the mission of a university is to contribute to society through research and education. Thus, a key issue in university branding becomes differentiating ourselves from other universities from the standpoint of “how does this university contribute to society?” The social contribution that is not found elsewhere, that is unique to our university, is the key. Finding ways to convey this to the world at large is a key issue for universities. Universities that do a good job of conveying their appeal to the world at large are said to have “a strong brand.”
The most important opportunity for university branding is identity (something shared by persons related to the university that binds their hearts together). Without this it is not possible to show the university’s presence in society. The identity of Meiji Gakuin University can be found in the principle that runs through the career of the university’s founder, James C. Hepburn, who came to Japan in 1859 and dedicated himself to Japan and the Japanese for 33 years. It is none other than the well-known words from the New Testament: “Do for others what you want them to do for you.”
“Do for Others” can serve as the identity that binds the hearts of the students, faculty, guarantors, and graduates of Meiji Gakuin University. For this reason, Meiji Gakuin University proclaims “Do for Others” as its educational philosophy.
Incidentally, this educational philosophy has no meaning if persons connected with the university, such as students, guarantors, and graduates, do not take it to heart themselves. This is why it was first important to have a mechanism whereby “Do for Others” would become firmly rooted in the thinking of persons connected with the university. This was how the MG logo and yellow school color came to be. They were designed by Mr. Kashiwa Sato, the art director. Mr. Sato designed a logo, and chose a color, that match the educational philosophy “Do for Others.”
Students at Meiji Gakuin University come across the MG logo and yellow school color in many places, including the large hanging banners and restaurant trays at the Palette Zone on the Shirokane campus, on university ID cards, and on university notebooks. In these daily encounters they come into contact with the “Do for Others” message. It is through this process that the educational philosophy comes to permeate every corner of the university.
We are actively spreading the “Do for Others” message via the logo and school color not only within the university but at the same time throughout society at large. Amid today’s information flood, Meiji Gakuin University cannot disseminate the message of our social contribution in the field of education through ads and websites alone. But if the logo and school color can serve as an “icon,” it is easy to convey information about Meiji Gakuin University to society at large.
The Meiji Gakuin University branding project is basically a mechanism, like clicking an “icon,” that puts people in contact with Meiji Gakuin University (Do for Others). This mechanism enables a large number of people to learn about the social contribution of Meiji Gakuin University. In this way it raises the social presence of the university. Once this level is reached, a virtuous cycle arises in which society is conscious of Meiji Gakuin University and Meiji Gakuin University is conscious of society. The branding project aims to build a system for deepening the relationship between Meiji Gakuin University and society.
The educational philosophy “Do for Others,” derived from the guiding principle that runs through Hepburn’s life, implies that persons connected with the university must always be aware of their own connection with society. We are eager to share “Products to Support the Meiji Gakuin University Volunteer Fund” as a way to bind together the hearts of those connected with the university, and to help realize the educational philosophy of the university we have created a system that enables people to make a social contribution by purchasing these products. Ten percent of the pretax sale price of “Products to Support the Meiji Gakuin University Volunteer Fund,” which all bear the official logo mark of Meiji Gakuin University, will be put aside for the “Meiji Gakuin University volunteer fund” administered and run by the Meiji Gakuin University Volunteer Center.
The “Meiji Gakuin University volunteer fund” supports activities planned by the Meiji Gakuin University Volunteer Center.
A wide variety of products are available, ranging from stationery and apparel to candy and souvenirs.