Good branding is incredibly important to building loyalty and fostering relationships between any business and its consumers, and schools are no exception. A strong brand identity makes crafting successful marketing efforts easier by providing a way for your school to present itself in a consistent, attractive manner. More importantly, creating a strong brand helps to improve the experience of community members by asking marketers to examine and then cater towards the wants and needs of current and potential members of your school’s community.
So consider, what makes a good brand?
A good brand has a unique and well-defined personality.
Help prospective families and staff see your school as a uniquely perfect fit for them by conveying your school or district in a way that encompasses their educational, professional, and personal goals!
Try envisioning your brand as a person. Draw this person out and list some of their personality traits.
Example: If you think of the Nike brand as a person, you may think of a very enthusiastic athletic trainer in yoga pants or exercise shorts, ready to take on her next challenge. Or maybe you can envision Harvard as a shrewd and well-spoken man with dark-rimmed glasses, hair slicked back, wearing a tailored suit and tie.
Additionally, be sure to have unique value proposition for your brand. What specific trait or feature differentiates your school from your competitors and also benefits current and prospective students and staff?
Write out a sentence stating your unique value proposition here:
Example: We provide state-of-the-art performing arts instruction, equipment and facilities to inspire the creation of professional-quality content.
A good brand keeps every aspect of its content consistent with its personality.
Give your copy a voice that reflects your brand’s personality. Maybe an elementary school would be inclined to use informal vocabulary and a welcoming tone, whereas a college prep would be will likely to use formal vernacular and a sophisticated tone.
Colors, fonts, and other aesthetic elements of your school’s content should also be consistent with your brand. Lighter, brighter color schemes and quirky fonts may be seen of as friendly, and more minimalistic color schemes and clean fonts may come off as more refined.
Point out the similarities and differences between these mission statements:
Catalyzing personal growth in a rigorous academic environment for 15 years
Inspiring informed and well-rounded students for 15 years
A good brand keeps its audience in mind.
When you’re shaping your brand, the most important thing to keep in mind is your target audience-- as a school, your target audience most likely consists of prospective and current students and staff. Reflect on everything you post-- all the content you produce should cater towards your target audience’s needs, values, and interests.
Describe a typical person from each group of your target audience:
Example: Lisa is a 37-year-old pharmacist and a mother to two children, ages 13 and 11. She is looking for a college preparatory school for her 13-year-old daughter; ideally, the school will have a strong STEM curriculum and an expansive music program. She is very active on Facebook and enjoys writing reviews on Yelp.
If this is the first time considering your school’s brand, these tips are an excellent starting point. If you’ve already put extensive time into crafting your school’s brand, these exercises are a great refresher, and may even provide new insight to your marketing efforts. Either way, we’re confident that improving your school’s branding efforts will not only help you better suit the unique needs of your community, but also attract stellar students and staff!