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University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School hopes that knowledge is also a powerful branding message as it rolls out a new marketing campaign later this month.
Kate Lord/The Wall Street JournalThe University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School dean, Thomas Robertson, at the Journal offices in March.
The Philadelphia business school's new advertising tagline, "Knowledge for..." will be completed with a variety of words—"action," "global impact" and "life."
"There was a certain inconsistency" in the school's previous branding efforts, says Thomas Robertson, Wharton's dean and a marketing professor. The school's 20 research centers "weren't immediately identifiable as Wharton."
To promote Wharton's "quant heavy" reputation for strong finance programs, the new marketing materials rely heavily on charts and graphs, including an infographic with concentric circles to show how far students travel to study at the school and another with colorful vertical bars to represent finance professors' years of experience.
Meanwhile, Wharton is investing in three strategic areas: innovation, social impact and global presence—recently appointing vice deans for each initiative and adding classroom and extracurricular activities to foster the strategy.
Wharton's bottom line:
Number of current students: 4,859 (including undergraduate, M.B.A., executive M.B.A. and doctoral students)
Number of M.B.A. applicants: 6,442 (for the class that started in fall 2011)
Tuition and fees: $58,244 (for the M.B.A. class that started in fall 2011)
Number of alumni: more than 88,000
Year founded: 1881
Source: Wharton School
Mr. Robertson, 69 years old, spoke with The Wall Street Journal about the campaign, how the school is building up a global presence and how innovation at Wharton is on the rise. Edited excerpts:
The Wall Street Journal: What's the impetus for the branding campaign?
Thomas Robertson: It was important that we clarify and achieve consistency for the Wharton brand. It was a matter of finding a shared understanding of what the brand is all about.
Words such as knowledge, analytics, rigor came up [in focus groups]. Initially, there was no single...