Few could argue that Harvard Business School (HBS) and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School are quite popular among their students, but how do they compare to brands such as Discover Card and iPhone in terms of their Net Promoter Score (NPS)? An entity’s NPS is based on the probability that individuals will recommend the brand to others, thereby generally measuring the entity’s popularity via customer satisfaction. The Harbus, HBS’s news publication, originally reported in February that the long-venerated institution has a NPS of 41, based on the newspaper’s survey of more than 100 students to determine the likelihood that they would recommend the school.
In March, The Wharton Journal rose to the challenge and conducted a similar survey involving more than 240 students. The result was an NPS of 51, ten points higher than HBS had achieved. For comparison’s sake, both MBA programs referenced data issued by the Satmetrix Net Promoter US Consumer Benchmarks for 2014 indicating the NPS of certain well-known products and companies. HBS, with its score of 41, found itself in line with brands such as Tracfone (39) and Walgreens (42), whereas Wharton, with its 51, rated more in line with State Farm life insurance (45) and Discover Card (52). Still, neither school managed to rise to the level of iPhone (67) and Costco (82).
Interestingly, results varied between classes at Wharton, with first years’ input resulting in a score of 49 for the school, while second years produced a score of 53. Could this be the beginning of an NPS battle among the top-ranked MBA programs? We can only wait and see.