I'm often asked, “How do we know if our branding efforts have been successful?” It’s a great question and one that every school should ask. What determines success should be driven by the goals for the effort. You’ve got goals, right? It’s hard to get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going.
One school's goal might be to correct a misperception—perhaps it has changed but its outdated image hasn't. Another school's goal might be to differentiate it from a competitor, while still another's is to clarify its confused image, resulting from years of unfocused marketing. I've even seen branding efforts with all three of these goals.
The important thing is to have goals for the project—real, understandable, measurable goals. Then you will be able to look back in one, two, or three years and see what progress has been made.