- Open Access
- Authors : Fransisca Natalia Widjaja , Muhammad Aras , La Mani
- Paper ID : IJERTV10IS100087
- Volume & Issue : Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2021)
- Published (First Online): 21-10-2021
- ISSN (Online) : 2278-0181
- Publisher Name : IJERT
- License: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Brand Positioning As a Christian University: A Case Study (Challenge or Threat) in Krida Wacana Christian University through the Website and Online Media
Fransisca Natalia Widjaja
Master of Strategic Marketing Communication, Communication Department
BINUS Graduate Program Jakarta, Indonesia
Master of Strategic Marketing Communication, Communication Department
BINUS Graduate Program Jakarta, Indonesia
Master of Strategic Marketing Communication, Communication Department BINUS Graduate Program
AbstractAs part of branding, brand positioning is essential. Krida Wacana Christian University (UKRIDA) attempted to position itself as an educational institution different from other religious or secular-based universities. This study aims to look at the description of UKRIDA's brand positioning as a Christian university using a qualitative approach through semi-structured interviews with relevant university staff and a descriptive analyze through its website and online media. The result shows that UKRIDA utilizes Christian values as a brand foundation and establishes their brand positioning with the assistance of several media. This brand positioning is applied towards the general public, Christian schools, and churches. Moreover, UKRIDA does not provide exclusive treatments to Christian students; be it Christian students or students from other religious communities, all individuals are treated in an equal manner. This non-exclusivity treatment allows UKRIDA to market themselves in various walks of life. Nevertheless, there are still some challenges that UKRIDA faces in establishing its brand
KeywordsBranding, university, website, online media, communication
One of the most important businesses emerging in the last few decades is advanced education or higher education. As stated by Nadiri (2006), most universities attempt to build and maintain positive brand image, customer satisfaction, as well as constantly enhancing their competitiveness and enrolment. University brand or what can further be called a university brand has been a point of interest for university marketing for some time.
In 2019, the Kemenristekdikti data grouped universities into two (2) categories, namely the Non-Vocational University (academic education) category, which consisted of Universities, Institutions, and Colleges, and the Vocational University category, which consisted of Polytechnics and
Academies. The number of Non-Vocational Universities with a total of 2,141 universities under Kemenristekdikti with 549 of them being private universities. Furthermore, PDDIKTI Kemenristekdikti noted there were 19 Christian universities spread across several regions of Indonesia.
How the 19 Christian-based universities present their identity to outsiders or the public or prospective students becomes a comprehensive understanding of its own compared to other secular private universities. These Christian universities are often asked to focus on evaluating their loyalty to religious identity when presenting themselves to external parties (Pizzaro & Rizk, 2019). Furthermore, Pizzaro & Rizk (2019) classified Christian universities into 2 (two) groups, namely 'isolated' universities and 'integrated' universities. Isolated universities limit their relationship with secular universities and display their identity in special education where students focus and only serve God. All identities displayed show religious topics or discussions. While on the other hand, the integrated university displays its identity among secular universities and discusses common, widely taught subjects and curriculums which do not solely focus in religious matters. Although using Christian, academic and religious attributes or symbols in this group of universities, they are displayed simultaneously and interact well.
Some universities, including the Christian universities above, have allocated the resources they have to build and maintain their brands in the community (Chapleo, 2007). Branding or brand-building activities have become one of the top priorities for universities, especially the private sector amid the rise of private universities that are competing to find students and enhance their reputation. Supported by marketing activities, through branding, the university tries to build its brand in the minds of consumers or students. Branding can be started by looking for aspects or factors of excellence that can
improve the quality of universities and emphasize those positive qualities during the branding endeavors. The positioning of the universitys brand is aimed at strengthening brand identity via marketing activities (Keller & Lehmann, 2006). Keller & Lehmann (2006) further stated that brand positioning involves the association of several universities within the mind of consumers, and those associations are what differentiate those universities from one another to enhance the universities competitiveness (Keller et al. 2002).
Brand positioning requires a special identification of how the market sees the university. Effective brand positioning helps university policymakers determine the effective image of the brand, the target audience, and the qualities that make the university unique. (Sammut, 2015). The stronger the internal and external recognition of the brand, the stronger the brand positioning of the university. This can be achieved through ongoing innovations such as various majors, quality or accreditation, selection process, and study fees.
Brand positioning can also be obtained through public perception derived from the brand image displayed by the university. In this case, brand consistency is closely related to public relations activities that are tasked with conveying the university's brand to the public. The right marketing communication strategy is needed in delivering the university brand so that the brand position is stronger. How public relations handle the communication regarding the brand to the community and the internal parties of the university itself is crucial in the branding process (Prindle, 2011). Some concrete examples mention that the integration between marketing and public relations affects public or consumer awareness of institutional brands, as mentioned by Bush (2009) regarding American Airlines and New Study (2010) about the importance of public relations in managing brand values perceived by the public. In general, the community, especially prospective students of the university, seek integrated programs and a consistent brand.
One of the best communication channel to make market sees the university is through internet, especially during these eras. Through this media, not only for the market, but also university could valuing consumer behavior, communication technologies, and market conditions which could increase universitys capability to manage its brand dynamically.
Based on some of the explanations above and limited research on branding in certain Christian or religious-based universities in Indonesia, the researcher wants to explore the description of the brand positioning of Christian universities, especially at Krida Wacana Christian University (UKRIDA). It aims to improve the brand positioning of Christian-based universities or perhaps certain religions in the community, especially prospective students. UKRIDA as a university is under Krida Wacana Christian Higher Education Foundation (YBPTK), the foundation for the ownership of the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) Synod in West Java. The university ws established in 1967 or is 52 years old in 2019, so it can be called one of the universities that have long been established and is active in the field of advanced education. Originally, the university was established under the name Djaya Christian
University under the auspices of the West Java Christian Education Foundation.
At the beginning of its establishment, UKRIDA had three faculties namely the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Engineering, and the Faculty of Economics. The name change was made on February 8, 1992, where the Djaya Christian University officially changed its name to Krida Wacana Christian University based on the Decree of the Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia No. 0106/0/1992, while using the UKRIDA acronym. In line with the need for new study programs, UKRIDA in 1999 opened a Masters in Management Master program, and in 2002 also opened a Bachelor of Informatics Engineering and a Psychology S1. The Information Systems S1 and S1 English Literature Study Program are the last two to be opened in 2009 and 2014. On August 3, 2002, UKRIDA inaugurated Campus II on North Arjuna Canal no. 6, which is occupied by the Faculty of Medicine. Campus III, located in Kelapa Gading, was also opened in 2010 for lectures at the Faculty of Economics. At present, UKRIDA has 5 (five) faculties, 1 Nursing Academy (D3) study program in collaboration with Swakarsa, 11 Bachelor (S1) study programs, and 1 Master of Management (S2) study program and activities in 3 (three) campuses; the Tanjung Duren campus, the Arjuna campus, and the Kelapa Gading campus. UKRIDA ranking in Kemenristekdikti in 2018 is ranked 143 or included in cluster
3. While the number of students who register to study at UKRIDA within the last 3 (three) academic years, based on reports from the UKRIDA marketing team has experienced a slow and less significant increase, especially in certain study programs such as the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science. By considering UKRIDA's status as one of the Christian universities in Jakarta and UKRIDA's current age in the world of tertiary education, the university rankings and student income are still not optimal, researchers are trying to analyze the UKRIDA brand positioning efforts undertaken by the Marketing and Cooperation team through several techniques such as interviews, observation and documentation. On the other hand, the researcher also study and analyze literature related to branding at higher education institutions. Furthermore, the researcher, through the case study method, analyzed the research data obtained related to the UKRIDA branding process, especially in the university's brand positioning section. The research was concluded based on the findings, both literature and case study results and are expected to be a new finding for universities in developing marketing and public relations activities of the institution and increasing the value of the brand or university brand in the community after obtaining the institution's brand positioning information. This research is also expected to increase the repertoire of knowledge in the field of marketing communication with specific topics about brands for certain Christian or religious-based universities in Indonesia.
This research focused on Brand Positioning as a Christian University: A case study (challenge or threat) in Krida Wacana Christian University Jakarta using a qualitative approach and the interpretive paradigm. Qualitative research
is a study aimed at describing and analyzing phenomena, events, social activities, attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, thoughts of individuals individually or in groups (Bachri, 2010). This article aimed to explain the phenomena profusely, through deep data collection. Bungin (2006) in his book entitled Practical Techniques: Communication Research, stated that what is emphasized in qualitative research is the problem of depth (quality) of data, not the amount (quantity) of data. The researcher is mentioned as part of the data, which is the research instrument itself.
Daymond & Holloway (2002) mentioned in their research, that the qualitative paradigm allows researchers to be more open and understand the direct experience of the phenomenon or focus of research that was explored. Qualitative research tries to understand research on a particular phenomenon rather than finding out the cause of the phenomenon. Using the interpretive paradigm, this guided research studies to understand the brand positioning of Christian universities, specifically Krida Wacana Christian University (UKRIDA) through experience and direct interpretation of research subjects directly involved in it.
The nature of this research data is a case study, by conducting an in-depth analysis of the facts found in the field based on interviews with several informant sources. The case study is a design that can be found in several fields, especially those that are evaluative, where researchers develop an in-depth analysis of a case, program, event, activity, process, and so on (Creswell, 2014). Researchers collect information data using various data collection procedures in a given time (Stake, 1995; Yin, 2009, 2012). Yin (2003) explains the importance of case studies in understanding complex social phenomena which enable researchers to investigate the characteristics of actual situations in-depth, such as organizational processes. According to Daymon & Holloway (2002), the purpose of case studies is to increase knowledge about real events in their context, linked in the focus of this research; a case study at Krida Wacana Christian University (UKRIDA) to get a picture of brand positioning at Christian universities. Furthermore, the case study used in this study is a single-case study design. This design is generally suitable for in-depth analysis and focuses on one particular phenomenon.
This research was conducted at a Christian university (Krida Wacana Christian University / UKRIDA) in the Jakarta area. UKRIDA was established in 1967, currently has
5 faculties consisting of 13 study programs. Some study programs are spread from diploma (D3), undergraduate (S1), and postgraduate (S2) levels. Study places are spread over 2 (two) campuses in the West Jakarta area and 1 (one) in the North Jakarta area (ukrida.ac.id).
The research subjects involved were part of universities that had competencies or know about this research question. This study took 3 (three) informants the subject of the university's internal environment, namely the Director of Marketing and Cooperation, the head of the Public Relations & Protocol unit, and (Prospective) Vice Chancellor III for Student Affairs, Alumni, and Marketing as one of the
policymakers and implementers of the UKRIDA branding activities. These informants were the closest environment in the university who know how public relations strategies and policies in building the university's brand to put the brand's position in the community.
This research data is grouped into 2 (two) types, namely primary data and secondary data. Primary data were collected through in-depth interview techniques and participant observation. The data collection for this study involved using interview techniques in a semi-structured interview to help explore the focus of research to answer the objectives of the research conducted. Semi-structured interviews are considered as the most effective data collection method where much data can be obtained in a shorter time. The interviews were prepared in 5 (five) questions with an additional 2 (two) probing questions and are conducted within 30-40 minutes duration. The data obtained from this study is in the form of information consisting of words, sentences, and narration. Researchers carry out the process of analysis by reducing and interpreting the interview data, presenting data, and drawing conclusions or verification (Miles & Huberman, 1992). While secondary data was used as a support to complete primary data and in this study obtained through university documents such as the 2018 UKRIDA brand guidelines book.
Based on this research topic, the triangulation technique used is sourced triangulation technique, where the informant or research subject consists of several different people who were asked similar questions. The researcher collected the responses or answers from each informant, analyzed the results of interviews from each informant, and drew conclusions to see the degree of confidence or consistency of the informant's response.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Brand and Urgency for the University
In the data collection process, the informants mentioned that the brand is an important thing for institutions or universities, including for UKRIDA. This brand is understood as a trading name attached to the university so that it becomes a picture of the quality and quality of UKRIDA. Brands are also found differently for each institution, this is what makes one university different from other universities. While the status, accreditation, student achievement, quality of research results and graduates were believed to be one of the measurements of the university's brand.
Of course, the brand is very important. Because the sustainability of these institutions depends on the quality of the brand. So, if the branding turns out to be disappointing, people will not convert and enrol in that university, (informant 1)
This informant 1s statement shows how Christian universities are also like other secular universities that place branding activities as part of university marketing activities. Various improvements are needed to be able to survive in
these increasingly competitive conditions. Through the brand, the public is expected to know and ultimately be able to provide an assessment of the university.
The UKRIDA brand is also visually reflected through the color of its identity which is always displayed on various university communication media. This was conveyed by informant 2 as follows:
It's quite unique, one of which is characterized by having patent colors (Blue and Yellow) as part of the current brand ' (informant 2)
On the other hand, although the three informants agreed that UKRIDA was well-known as a Christian university, informant 3 stated that according to him, the UKRIDA brand at this time had not been translated thoroughly and applied, especially with regard to brand values that were not yet too strong. The brand tagline "LEAD TO IMPACT" or "TAKE THE LEAD" which has been established since re-branding in 2017, was felt by the informants to have not been clearly defined.
Well, that's probably what UKRIDA needs to think about well, because LEAD to IMPACT is of course in terms of the brand, what is LEAD, what is IMPACT? Now that's what we might need to be clearer. Compared to the tagline that is already strong, they really can easily communicate their brand, yes (informant 3)
The secondary data shows that since its inception in 1967, the UKRIDA brand has never experienced the changes recorded in the university archives. UKRIDA only has a few definitions of brand elements, such as: (archive Directorate of Human Resources Development UKRIDA, 2015) meaning of name, meaning of symbol, vision, mission, motto, and values (UKRIDA). In 2017, the university rebranding and produced several important points such as brand vision, brand mission, brand essence, brand values, brand positioning, brands personality, brand promises, and brand tagline. These points are contained in the 2018 UKRIDA brand guidelines book.
Based on the results of the primary data and secondary data above, it can be concluded that the three informants agreed that the UKRIDA brand is a private university in Jakarta based on Christian values and UKRIDA began to run and introduce the university's brand according to the results of the rebranding conducted in 2017 (contained in the UKRIDA 2018 brand guidelines). Despite being renowned for its medical major, UKRIDA still does not have a solid branding for the general public or even the universitys internal parties. There needs to be an effort to strengthen the brand.
The importance of strengthening the university's brand was understood by the informants as something that needs to be done immediately. This is due to the still weak picture of the UKRIDA brand, both internally and externally. Although the re-branding process has been carried out since 2017, but until now, the new brand concepts are felt to have not been applied well by the university and its community members. There are some parts of the brand that are felt to be not strong because they are still separate from the brands essence. This is also due to the existence of several different brand managers in the process, as stated by informant 3 below:
I think we still dont have a strong, clear image of the brand.Even though we already have a strong branding concept derived from DMID, the execution is not yet strong. So that concept, because when DMID became our consultant, we stopped in the middle of the actual road. Because the next time it will be taken over by ECLAT, the direction will no longer translate the branding to our entire lives. The values in the brand are not explored further, making the brand possessing a concept, but it lacks execution. Therefore, we need to concede that we are not yet strong enough as a brand.' (informant 3)
The university has an important role in positioning itself as a superior Christian university among prospective students so that UKRIDA is not only chosen by them as a place of study, but also as an answer to the needs of prospective students in the world of further education. A good university brand can also describe the identity of the university, the clarity of the university's credibility, the emotional relations with prospective students, motivate prospective students, and even maintain the loyalty of prospective students. UKRIDA needs to focus on the needs of prospective students through a clear and strong definition of the target market, and this effort manifested in the branding activities carried out by all UKRIDA members.
Brand Positioning UKRIDA
UKRIDA as a Christian university in Jakarta was established and positioned as a university-based on Christian values. These values are reflected in the character of all academicians, starting from the rectorate, lecturers, employees, to students in LEAD (Loving, Enlightening, Advanced, and Determined) values, said informant 1. This is expected to be something that gives the characteristic of UKRIDA, as a Christian university.
Furthermore, informant 1 also mentioned that the location and availability of scholarships for students from areas far outside Jakarta could be one of the university's advantages that distinguishes it from other universities. The strategic location in the center of Jakarta, especially West Jakarta (for the Tanjung Duren campus & Arjuna campus), makes it easier for the prospective students to reach the university. UKRIDA also provides equal scholarship opportunities for students from various regions outside Jakarta, which supports one of its missions to accommodate the diversity of students.
The UKRIDA branding process was told by informants starting from about 5 (five) years ago, especially in the more structured branding process. Informant 1 at the policy-making level stated that he, as a part of the UKRIDA community, only knew the UKRIDA brand better after he was appointed as Director of Marketing and Cooperation. During those 5 (five) years, UKRIDA began the process by re-discussing the vision and mission, followed by the re-branding process and the formation and application of LEAD values. All of these processes were carried out with the help and direction of other parties outside UKRIDA. It seems that UKRIDA has begun to be more structured, and better directed.. This results in a previously blurry target to bemuch clearer.' he added.
One of the secondary data states that the UKRIDA brand positioning is a Christian university that emphasizes the
growth of faith, academic excellence, research activities, and character development (UKRIDA brand guidelines book 2018). However, this context is not yet fully understood by all internal layers of the university. Informant 3 mentions how the brand that has existed since 2018 has been known together, even the public already knows that UKRIDA is a university based on Christian values, but the uniqueness that makes UKRIDA different from public universities and even other Christian universities has not yet been seen.
Our brand is in the category of Christian university, so the theme is LEAD TO IMPACT, it's our essence brand. It means that we are strong in uniqueness, so we are not just what general universities say. But we are indeed a unique university, typical in the sense of a Christian university. Now, that has indirectly limited our market. Because we introduce ourselves as Christian universities, we have become more limited, for example compared to UPH. UPH actually has a strong Christianity within their systems, but they do not promote themselves as such. As for UKRIDA, even from the name there is already the word Christian in Krida Wacana Christian University. This may send a message that being a Christian university is our strong point, but actually we are open to all levels and the public who may not be Christians. We are lacking that definition. Now that's what UKRIDA might need to think about well, because LEAD to IMPACT is of course in terms of the brand, what is LEAD, what is IMPACT? Now that's what we might need to be clearer (informant 3)
Some media have been used by universities to convey the brand to the public, both internal and external. Before the branding process above began, UKRIDA tried almost all media for branding, both print, electronic and social media. After the branding process has been carried out in the last few years, UKRIDA has begun choosing only several media that are felt to be more effective in conveying the brand and at the same time attracting prospective students. The selection process is based on a survey given to prospective students. So now we are more focused, for example through family media, through friends, through websites, and social media. And still the others, to school and church, are still lived. Through education fair, counselling, even now it has been enhanced in offering various collaborative programs to educate prospective students with our faculty/study programs, ' said informant 1. These media can change over time and also increase in number but are expected to be able to introduce brands and attract interest in UKRIDA. Besides, the university team also studied the activities carried out by competitors. This competitive study may provide insights to other useful and effective media or the ones which can be competed with.
UKRIDAs Strategy to Convey the Brand (Internal & External) Through Website and Online Media
In positioning its brand in the community, UKRIDA undertook several strategies, both internal and external. Monitoring and evaluating activities become a part that must be carried out regularly to internal parties. This is to ensure that every community member understands the UKRIDA brand. The visual appearance of the UKRIDA brand itself can
also be seen in various merchandise, design promotions, and UKRIDA activities.
Informant 1 explained that UKRIDA was internally continuing to build systems and Human Resources (HR) that were gradually adjusted and enhanced in their ability to be ready to respond to changes quickly. The era of revolution
4.0 became one of the challenges that could impact marketing activities and brand positioning, especially for millennials. This branding activity was also strengthened by the presence of a special team consisting of several YBPTK Krida Wacana administrators, who were also former administrators from BPK Penabur SMAK and the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) congregation. Overall, the informant said, this marketing and branding activity is expected not only to be carried out by certain units but also involves all faculties and study programs. So these people are expected to have the same interests that marketing UKRIDA is not only the responsibility of the unit, but each study program also has responsibility. '
While externally, the university specifically began to target BPK Penabur SMAK students in the form of cooperation programs such as extracurricular procurement, workshops, mentoring student competition teams, and so on. By increasing the brand image of the school, it is hoped that UKRIDA can become one of the choices for students to study later. Along with the increase in BPK Penabur SMAK graduates who entered UKRIDA, it is also hoped that there will be an increase in the quality of achievement at UKRIDA. This is not impossible, considering the quality of education in the school which can be said to be good or above average. This strategy is also structured to be able to attract the interest of other schools students as well. The University has prepared a long-term strategy to strengthen the brand through the church, especially churches under the auspices of GKI in the form of both praise and special services related to the needs of the congregation and study programs at UKRIDA.
Informant 3 added in general, one of the strategies that needed to be carried out immediately, was about how UKRIDA could properly communicate its brand to external parties, in particular, so that other people's perceptions of the UKRIDA brand could be the same or as desired by UKRIDA. This is reflected in the following interview excerpt:
Yes, now it's actually a communication problem like the title of a journal, so it's crucial. The issue is not just that there may be some people who do not have a great perception of UKRIDAs quality; but the problem is there have been little to no efforts to change those perceptions. For example, Electrical Engineering. Our brand is good, the inside is good. There's Mr. Indra, there's Mr. Ivan. Why the people do not associate that major with its positive qualities? It may be because we are not doing enough to change the peoples perceptions. Actually, like for example, take Nestle. Not all products are superior, some perform great on sales, while some may not sell that well. . Each brand must be able to survive like that. Now, if we just advertise Nestle, there's nothing interesting. For example, if we just advertise UKRIDA, then maybe we should target more specific people. For example, in Electrical Engineering, for example we sell Mr. Ivan or Pak Indra, maybe we can do more. This is what I
mean; how we cover the gap between people's perceptions and what we have. Now, this communicates what we have to fill in' (informant 3)
Informant 2 also mentioned how the unit moved through the media of the university to socialize this brand Of course there is a lot of media, but what I often access is internet thinkers. Through our website and also our social media … Conduct information dissemination to internal parties, conduct regular monitoring and evaluation … By displaying the UKRIDA brand on all merchandise designs, documents and inventory. And sponsors certain activities that are considered relevant to UKRIDA she said.
The advantages that are already possessed by the university need to be conveyed properly and clearly to the external parties of the university, so that the desired perception formed in the community can be in accordance with the latest UKRIDA conditions, not only for consumption or known by the university's internal environment. In this case, the branding of study programs is also an important thing besides branding of the university. The university can strengthen the university's brand through the branding of its study programs, which are carried out according to thetarget market of each study program.
Beside the content, the channel is also important in establish the branding strategy. Keller (2010) in Journal of Interactive Marketing, suggested two perspectives which should be used and also could be a challenge in branding strategy. From a micro perspective, marketers now have to manage multiple channels and communication options as well as indirect brand equity effects from being associated with a particular channel or communication option. From a macro perspective, marketers have to make sure their products and messages are synergistic across different media and channels, while taking advantage of each mediums unique characteristics.
In these multichannel perspective, UKRIDA uses multiple channels such as social media and website either for delivering the brand message or just to make sure its awareness had been known by market. Instagram (@kampusukrida) and Facebook are two platforms which used for reaching the young segment, as long as we know they are the biggest consumer of these online media. And for the broader market, UKRIDA still improving their brand equity through its website (ukrida.ac.id). While UKRIDA uses some channel, like what Keller (2010) said, the team should aware and analyze through micro and macro perspectives to keep the brand alive and consistent from time by time especially the brand message.
From the interview, informant 1 said I think our website is the main one. We display almost all about UKRIDA in there, included the events, our achievements, etc. Students and parents also can check them anytime they need. Beside social media of course, and I also hear the team is planning to do more through Tiktok platform too. Hopefully, these platforms could deliver our brand better in the future. Through this information, we can conclude UKRIDA is still trying to update and expand their platform in the terms of branding strategy. Chan-Olmsted (2011) remind us, that the most important is not about the newest platform, but how
these multichannel platforms can complement each other in responding markets demand. UKRIDA should be aware with this note to make sure their new platforms could complement with other platforms.
Christian University: A Name versus A Brand
As a Christian university, UKRIDA has a universal curriculum. Christian values are found in the values and ethics of UKRIDA in the daily life of the whole community. "Christian values are the basis of behavior including the KBM process, various campus activities are adjusted," said informant 1.
The activities in question includes morning pray before the start of lecture and work activities, there is a prayer once a week, and there is a special worship service for students from outside the area every Sunday. For academics who are not Christians, the university allows each individual to worship according to their beliefs and provides a place of worship in the campus area. The university also allows students to use religious attributes according to their beliefs.
This statement was also strengthened by informant 2 who mentioned As a Christian campus UKRIDA has a universal curriculum. The Christian values emerge in the UKRIDA values and ethics' with a note that Christian values can be seen in the daily behavior of all university members, including students.
Christian religion courses are given in lectures by the Directorate of Character Development during opening classes, which are also provided for non-Christian students. This directorate provides counselling assistance for students in need. The assistance provided is based on Christian principles or values. Based on some of the informants' explanations above, the label or naming as a Christian university is used by UKRIDA as a brand and is also marketed by the team to the external community which establishes an identity among other universities.
Challenges vs. Threats: UKRIDA as a Christian University
All informants stated the same thing that there were no problems in the matter during the teaching and learning activities carried out. All students, lecturers, and employees who joined UKRIDA were said to have known the university's identity as a Christian university and tried to adjust to it.
Generally, those who are willing to study or work at UKRIDA, they are moderate or liberal so that they can adjust because they know about these Christian values of the university since entering. We do everything based on Christian values' (informant 1)
A few challenges arise from the marketing side, sometimes prospective students who are non-Christians will have a major consideration before deciding to enrol at UKRIDA. They may even tend to avoid entering Christian universities like what informant 2 said in the interview: When dealing with other non-Christian communities / parties, the acceptance is not too open compared to the more general institutions. So from the beginning, the direction of
UKRIDAs marketing focuses more towards Christian schools instead of emphasizing the general public. Even like that, UKRIDA, as mentioned by the informant, still promotes its brand and is open to the general public.
Informant 1 added, In every socialization or promotional activity, even though we are a Christian university, it is always conveyed that we are open to all religions, races and all regions without differentiating
One of the biggest challenges in positioning the brand comes from internal parties, in this case, the informant mentioned consistency as an important key that must be carried out by the university. Brands that have been prepared, with the help of second parties, are believed by informants to still be flexible and can adopt changes that occur in the future as stated by informant 2 So far there has never been a problem regarding the assessment of non-Christian students on the UKRIDA brand and there has never been a problem that leads there
Yes, because we know that this UKRIDA structure is very dynamic, changing. Every time there is also a change in the chancellor, vice-chancellor, dean, and so on. It is hoped that these programs will continue unless there are significant changes. Or unless something is needed that needs to be changed. If everything is done consistently, in my opinion, everything is on track, it's going as it should ' (informant 1)
One of the most crucial elements to be maintained is the universitys internal word of mouth. Informant 3 emphasizes the importance in building a positive WOM regarding UKRIDA, especially UKRIDAs internal parties. The positive WOM was expected to bring opportunities for the university to enhance its brand image. However, informant 3 stated that cautious steps must be taken to ensure that there would be no negative WOM. The challenge is to spread the positive WOM about UKRIDA. In the case where students are satisfied with the university, then it is most likely that the WOM is positive. The most horrifying thing is that there may be students discouraging their peers to not enroll at UKRIDA; this may happen if the students are not satisfied with the university.' (informant 3)
After the text edit has been completed, the paper is ready Based on the results of the study above, the conclusion of this study is that Krida Wacana Christian University (UKRIDA) already has and knows its brand image today which is the result of the re-branding process in 2017. The brand image is UKRIDA as a private university in Jakarta based on Christian values, which is well known, especially in the field of Medicine. However, it is felt that UKRIDA still does not really live up to the meaning of the brand, even for the internal community, so efforts should be made to convey the brand to various parties.
The university positions itself as a Christian university with values formulated in the LEAD acronym. These values are applied in daily activities, while still providing equal opportunities for all eligious communities other than Christians. In this branding process, improvements are needed to maintain the quality of the university in the eyes of the
public. At UKRIDA itself, this process began around 5 (five) years ago involving a second party outside of UKRIDA. According to Pizzaro & Rizk (2019), UKRIDA can be categorized as an integrated university, where although UKRIDA uses Christian religious attributes (on the university's name and logo), UKRIDA still tries to place itself in the middle of other secular universities without ignoring its academic and non-academic qualities.
The strategy to strengthen and position the brand is carried out by UKRIDA, both internally and externally. UKRIDA is aware of the need to internally increase HR competencies to support this. On the other hand, UKRIDA carries out various promotional activities to tell of its advantages such as location, scholarships, opportunities and partners (Christian schools and churches). And, most importantly, the communication strategy has become an important key for UKRIDA in its efforts to strengthen the brand in internal and external circles. The university is expected to be able to convey its brand precisely according to what the public wants to remember through their main website and also their social media (online media). UKRIDA could adopt and adapt to one concept from Mooney and Rollins (2008), where they propose an open brand. With this concept, UKRIDA could be more successful to engage their market with the help of markets participation itself. OPEN brand could be delineation as on-demand, personal, engaging, and networked. UKRIDA could reach more diverse audiences quicker, minimize the cost, increasing consumer relationships because the brand participation is felt so relevant to the customers life.
The biggest challenge regarding brand positioning arises from the internal UKRIDA, namely how universities can maintain consistency and work together to make branding a shared responsibility, not just a specific units. Meanwhile, external challenges arise from non-Christian communities as well as how UKRIDA can still answer their needs even though it is affiliated with certain religions. Vikner (2003) mentions that Christian universities or schools are often pioneering universities that provide lecture opportunities for some minority groups. At present, more and more secular universities also have the same market as Christian universities, they also actively market their brands to the group so more intense effort is needed for Christian universities to compete with other secular universities.
As a general conclusion for a Christian value-based university (such as UKRIDA) or other faith-based universities, it is necessary to ensure that the university's brand is known and internalized by all internal layers so that the university does not experience obstacles when communicating to external parties. Especially for universities based on certain Christian or religious values, it is better for universities to be able to answer external doubts about the credibility and quality of the education services provided. This is the importance of placing the university brand in the middle of society. In the end, the university has full power to determine its brand, and create its brand positioning as a certain religion- based university in carrying out teaching and learning activities.
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