Case | HBS Case Collection | August 2011 (Revised November 2011)

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point

by Anat Keinan

Abstract

The case examines an iconic institution's decision on whether or not to undertake a branding initiative. Founded in 1802, West Point has played a key role in America's history. It is one of the nation's oldest institutions of higher learning and is well known for producing prominent military, political and business leaders. In the increasingly competitive environment of higher education, the Director of Strategic Communications at the US Military Academy is faced with a decision on whether or not to invest resources in a rebranding effort. Over the course of the school's history, several distinct logos have come into existence and little uniformity or guidance for use exists. Data from a recent consumer survey offers some insight for the decision maker to contemplate, as does the school's recent appearance on the cover of Forbes' magazine as the number one undergraduate institution in the nation. Numerous stakeholders, tradition, the competitive environment and resource constraints all factor into the decision making process.

Keywords: Surveys; Resource Allocation; Brands and Branding; Business and Stakeholder Relations; Competitive Strategy; Education Industry; United States;

Citation:

Keinan, Anat. "The U.S. Military Academy at West Point." Harvard Business School Case 512-012, August 2011. (Revised November 2011.)