Branding is commonly associated with the business world, so it is often forgotten that schools are also brands. When it comes to boosting enrollment numbers and achieving goals, schools can implement branding similarly to companies. But what does branding look like for a school? How does a school start a brand? Is branding even important? We will dive into answering these pressing questions.
What is Branding?
Branding is how you position your product in the market as unique. It is how you frame your product in the minds of your customers. While this may sound like a lot of marketing jargon, it is straightforward when broken down. Your brand is essentially how your customers perceive you. For schools, your customers are the families you serve, and your product is your school. When companies establish their brand, they first evaluate their value proposition. The value proposition is how they provide value to their customers in a differentiated way from their competitors. Schools can do the very same. Branding requires pinpointing what value your school can provide to students and how this is different from what other schools offer. We will dive more into this point later.
The Basics of Branding
Let’s start simple. Branding has a lot to do with portraying a cohesive message, including the visual presentation of your school. Your school website, social media platforms, and all printed and email communication should utilize the same colors, fonts, logos, and slogans. While seemingly insignificant, creating this cohesion among all your promotional and informational materials helps establish your brand. When families look at school information and see cohesion and uniformity, it builds credibility and professionalism, creating a lasting impression for families. Tools like Canva make it easy to create designs and implement your brand across all platforms, keeping your colors, fonts, and logos consistent.
Along with visual elements, your school brand must have a consistent voice and tone in your messaging. What is tone? It is the attitude conveyed toward families. Some examples include enthusiastic, serious, authoritative, formal, or friendly. It may also be a combination of these things or a balance between a few. Think about how you want to come across to families to help you establish what tone best suits your school. It plays a significant role in your branding. The brand tone should be consistent throughout your speaking communication, website, social media, and email communication.
How to Brand Your School
So how do you position your school as unique in the minds of families? This part requires a little more effort to accomplish. When thinking about what makes your school unique, the first things that come to mind may be project-based learning, individualized attention, or small class sizes. While these are valuable features your school offers, they are not your brand. Any school can utilize project-based learning, individualized attention, or small class sizes, so these features do not truly make your school unique. Instead, you have to consider what is different about how your school delivers these features. How can it provide value to your students? It comes down to understanding what your school stands for and believes. It is also a common misconception that your brand is your mission. Again, many schools have very similar mission statements because all schools strive to help students become successful learners and future leaders. Your brand is the unique way you go about accomplishing your mission. It can be challenging to pinpoint at first. If you are struggling to identify what differentiates your school from others, consider your “why”. Understanding the “why” will help you recognize how your school provides value to your students in a unique way.
Why Should You Brand
So, what is the point of all this? Remember the power of word of mouth. When your school has a clear brand, families at your school know, without question, what makes your school special. When they talk to others, your current families will communicate a clear message about your school. Word of mouth can be pivotal for families choosing a new school for their child.
More importantly, branding is essential for schools because education is not one-size-fits-all. Some students will be a better fit for your school than others. When your brand is clear, it will attract the students who are the best fit for your school. It can lead to improving education outcomes and strengthening your school community. That is what Schola is all about!
How Schola Can Help
Schola’s mission is to improve education outcomes by placing students in the ideal educational setting. Schola strives to revolutionize the recruitment and enrollment process by helping schools source, engage, and enroll their target families. Furthermore, Schola is committed to equipping schools with the tools and knowledge they need to differentiate themselves and attract the right students. Beyond promoting your school and reaching your enrollment goals, branding moves schools forward towards improving education outcomes, and Schola is here to support schools on that journey.
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