Hult, the new type of business school

31 October 2017

In our Brand Profile Series, we take a closer look at surging brands across the world. For this twelfth article of the series, let us take you to a brand new type of business school, Hult!

A new take on education

It seems that in every conversation about business schools, the giant that has become Hult is mentioned at some point or another. Named after Swedish billionaire Bertil Hult, the school was a merge between two former schools: the Ashridge Business School and the Arthur D. Little School of Management, founded respectively in 1959 and 1964. It became one in 2015 and has since then established itself as a global business school around the world. As a proof of general appreciation, their MBA has been ranked 17th best international MBA by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2016, their masters programs 13th by The Economist in 2017 – enough to awaken our curiosity.


Global or nothing

Hult’s main brand strategy revolves around their positioning as the ultimate global player. They say so themselves, the world is changing but traditional business schools aren’t. In contrast with MBAs that have been running in renowned universities for decades, Hult offers an international take on their programs, highlighting their multiple campuses around the world and the diversity of students taking their classes. The school clearly wants to evolve alongside the changing environment their students face. One could even see it as a sort of clash between the old world that US most famous universities embody and a new world that is coming up. On top of this, Hult seems to be putting all its eggs in the same basket: it rarely speaks of its curriculum or faculties. Rather, it applies its view on globalisation to every aspect of its existence.


Like a world trip

Since Hult wants to establish itself as a global school, it is interesting to note their website’s resemblance with an Education First school’s one – after all, the school was named after EF’s founder. Pictures of cities and touristic attractions with a dose of corporate look are the showcase of the school and the viewer will face pictures of the golden bridge in San Francisco or someone jogging in London before accessing more information about the program. A way, maybe, to mix business and leisure.

In parallel, their logo is similar to a coat of arms reminding the viewer of traditional logos like Harvard’s or Princeton’s, but with a modern twist to it. It seems vectorised and is tastefully incorporated to the black and white aesthetics of the website. A certain way to reinforce their image of an MBA 2.0, one that understands the past but is still geared towards the future.

A personal touch

Hult is a global school, yet its take on students’ coaching is very “one-to-one”. The school offers various private consultations for students to learn more about programs or even to review their CV. It also organises a series of events called “Global Speaker Series”, where different renowned business leaders expose their view on how to be successful. On the “community page”,  one can also read about some of alumni’s new jobs, as well as articles written by successful ex Hult students. A way, all in all, to make this very global school feel personal.


What comes after global?

Being international is now valued by most MBA candidates, Hult hit that exact sweet spot with its positioning. The question is now whether they will be able to present more content to strengthen their position once being “global” isn’t sufficient anymore. We have no idea about their research, for instance, and couldn’t find any collaboration with other schools, universities or business. Positioning itself as “the” global school might have been a perfect leverage, however their strategy will need to be renewed in order for them to stay on top of their game.

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Image credit: © Hult

Brand Strategy, Education