MBA News: Simon’s New Slogan Tells MBAs to “Toughen Up”

Upbeat, motivational tag lines have long been a mainstay of business school marketing. Take for example such recent rebranding efforts as Kellogg’s “Think bravely…” or Wharton’s “Knowledge for action.” The University of Rochester’s Simon Business School, however, has apparently opted for a sterner approach with its new slogan: “Toughen Up.”

As Bloomberg Businessweek reports, the “unapologetically honest” campaign was designed by Moon Brand—a Rochester-based branding agency—to deliver “a bold tag line that served as a message to the entire B-school community, not just a marketing ploy for potential students.” While some fear it may invoke images of drill sergeants at a boot camp, Simon’s new tough love tag line seems reflective of the challenges of both business school and a rapidly changing and competitive job market. The school’s marketing director explains that the goal is to instead portray business school faculty as Olympic coaches training students for victory…“without any illusions about how rocky the road to gold can be.”

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